The new musical theater play Shadows in Hades at the National Opera


The new musical-theatrical work Shadows in Hades of distinguished composer Alexandros Mouzas comes in the first presentation through the directorial gaze of Thomas Moschopoulos in the alternative scene of the National Opera at the Cultural Center of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The musical theater piece for actor and ensemble will be presented for just two performances on November 27 and 28, 2021, as part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek Revolution. The eleven-member ensemble is led by Nikos Vassileiou, while the role of Lord Byron is played by Christos Loulis.

the project Shadows in Hades uses, exclusively, authentic texts of Lord Byron chosen from his last letters from Greece, his travel work Childe Harold, his game Cain, as well as his poems. The work describes the descent of Byron, in the form of the archetype of “the fallen angel”, in the humid and dystopian environment of Messolonghi, in a Hades who imprisons in his Shadows, in a totally “Greek environment. Gothic”.

In an evocative and soaked setting that brilliantly conveys the feeling of an imaginary Hades full of shadows, premonitions and memories, the atmospheric music of Alexandros Mouza flirts with the cinematic aesthetic, framing in a singular way the demanding interpretation of the actor. The latter presents an ideal reading of a playful and poetic Lord Byron, obsessive and captive of his passions but also glorious creator of his destiny.

The production is implemented with the support of a donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (ISN) [] for the creation of the National Opera’s anniversary program for 200 years since the Greek Revolution of 1821.

the project Shadows in Hades is a mission of the Alternative Scene of ELS and is part of the thematic cycle “Odes to Byron”, which pays homage to the iconic romantic and Philhellene poet. The circle is organized by Alexandros Mouzas. The work is presented in collaboration with the Byronic Society of the Holy City of Messolonghi.

Eloquence, humor, empathy, sharp irony, and heaps of valuable biographical, historical and ethnographic information characterize the nearly 3,000 (!) Letters of Lord Byron that have survived to this day, classifying him, in the whole, among its 19 most important letters. century. From this undisciplined and inexhaustible corpus, the curator of the Circle “Odes to Byron”, the composer Alexandros Mouzas, selected the letters written during the last quarter of the poet’s life to Messolonghi, as well as excerpts from writings, thoughts and of writings. by Byron, as the material for his new musical and theatrical work.

Byron’s tireless efforts to unite warring factions of the Greeks, to financially bolster the Revolution, to raise awareness abroad, to provide humanitarian aid to victims of war, and to settle his personal affairs before his untimely death have made him an international figure. Philhellenism and decisively stirring the interest of foreign powers in the Greek national uprising are depicted in a captivating first-person monodrama, which combines modern musical language with extensive historical research.

A catalyst in deciding the structure of the work was disgust in a letter from Byron to editor Thomas Moore at the time of Childe Harold’s writing: “i was crazy […] between metaphysics, mountains, lakes, love of lime, unspeakable thoughts and the nightmare of my own misdeeds“.

The music of Alexandros Mouzas works almost from a cinematographic point of view, trying, in a modern way, to bring out new messages through personal reading. It does not contain musical loans, nor musical references from the time or tradition. In letters, the actor has relative freedom to manipulate the text within specific time frames, while in poetic texts, the score requires absolute precision in the utterance of the speech and the actor assumes the role of soloist. Large orchestral parts are inserted between the parts, which function as commentators in the stage action.“, notes the composer.

At the same time, the staging of Thomas Moschopoulos Vividly conveys the suffocating atmosphere of the poet’s latest and daring adventure to Messolonghi, a glorious final stop in a unique – and utterly romantic – biography.


A “fallen angel” lands in a lush landscape, almost like a reminder of the Wings of love by Wim Wenders. It is about the romantic poet Lord Byron who arrives in Greece in August 1823. The hero gradually acclimates to space and time, and reveals his “mission” to the public: he came to serve the struggle of the Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman empire. The situation is difficult, because the disputes and the belligerent factions weigh on the work of the Revolution. Byron, being a rich man, a nobleman, but also an official representative of the Philhellenic Committee of London, tries to keep equal distances and to strengthen the Greeks in a fair way. Confronted with internal conflicts, lies and greed of the Greeks, the furious Byron resorts to his inner world, to sensual recollection and to metaphysical contemplation.

His lofty fantasy contrasts sharply with the enchanted reality of Messolonghi, where he was received with honors in January 1824. His determination to stay with the Greeks until the end grew stronger, even though his mind was besieged by romantic thoughts. revolving around Anta’s abandoned daughter and the memory of her student sweetheart John Edleston. His mind swings between the reality of war, emotional excitement and philosophical angst. His health was weighed down by the climate and hardships, but hope and the romantic vision of redemption accompanied him to the end. As his vital functions decline, his mind turns again to his beloved Greece … Finally, the soul of this “fallen angel”, courageous until the last moment, and the earthly part of the world – like two beautiful enemies .

Alexandros Mouzas

He studied composition with Theodoros Antoniou, advanced theory with Harry Xanthoudakis, electronic music with Dimitris Kamarotos and orchestration with Costas Klavvas. He studied Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business. As a composer, he systematically deals with the combination of music with the other arts (cinema, dance, theater). He has received numerous commissions for musical works and theatrical productions from all organizations in Greece. Musical theater is cited as an example City life, music for silent films Man with camera and Andalusian dog, ballet Trisha etc. His works for orchestra have been published internationally by Naxos. He was artistic director of the Silent Film Festival of the M. Kakogiannis Foundation (2010-2018) and of the enLIVE festival in Cyprus, and of producers such as Xenakis in person, Madness (Feast of Athens Epidaurus), Vesalii icons, Dream (Athens concert hall) and Alternative (Onassis Foundation building). He designed the large-scale educational programs Cam-media (2009-2015) and S- [cool] -life (2014-2015) at the Athens concert hall, while he was artistic director of the Greek section of the European program New Media Edge. He teaches music technology at Metropolitan College.

First presentation • Award of the ELS Alternative Tent
Musical theater for actor and musical ensemble
Cycle “Odes to Byron”
Alexandros Mouzas
Shadows in Hades
November 27, 28, 2021
Start time: 8:30 p.m. (Sunday 7:30 p.m.)
Alternative scene of the National Opera – SNFCC
In collaboration with Byronic Society of the Holy City of Messolonghi
As part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek Revolution
Editing of the cycle “Odes to Byron”: Alexandros Mouzas

Capture, music, text selection: Alexandros Mouzas

Musical direction: Nikos Vassileiou

Realized by: Thomas moschopoulos

To organise: Evangelia Therianou

Disguises: Madeleine Augerinou

Kinesiology: Alexis Fusekis

Lighting design: Nikos Vlasopoulos

Artistic collaborator: Anna-Moscow Kamposou

Lord Byron: Christos Loulis

The dancers participate Antonis Vais, Despina Lagoudaki and eleven-member musical ensemble

Ticket prices: € 15, € 20

Student: 10 €

Pre-sale: ELS fund at SNFCC (2130885700, every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.),

It should be noted that the ELS rooms of the SNFCC operate, on the basis of OJ 4919 / ΒΔ / 24.10.2021, as pure spaces for vaccinated and sick people, at 100% of their capacity (spectators must present a certificate in the course of validity). Children up to 11 years old will submit a self-test report within the last 24 hours. Children 12 to 17 years old can present either a vaccination or disease certificate, or a PCR or rapid diagnosis certificate test.


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