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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2328/8146

Title: 'The Master Builder' from Folksong to Opera: The Adaptation of 'The Bridge of Arta' by Nikos Kazantzakis and Manolis Kalomiris
Authors: Vincent, Alfred
Keywords: Greek Research
Greece
Australia
language
literature
Alfred Vincent
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek
Citation: Vincent, Alfred 2005. 'The Master Builder' from Folksong to Opera: The Adaptation of 'The Bridge of Arta' by Nikos Kazantzakis and Manolis Kalomiris. In E. Close, M. Tsianikas and G. Frazis (eds.) "Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University April 2003", Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek: Adelaide, 119-156.
Abstract: Manolis Kalomiris’ opera The Master Builder, first performed in 1916, was adapted from Nikos Kazantzakis’ play of the same name. Kazantzakis based his work on the Greek folksong in which, in order to complete a bridge, a master builder is ordered by a spirit to sacrifice his wife. Kazantzakis’ protagonist is a Nietzschean hero, distracted by his love for his employer’s daughter, Smaragda. While the play has features of ancient Greek tragedy, Kazantzakis suggests a contemporary relevance; his builders describe themselves as “the cranes which bring [...] the black swallows of the Springtime of the Mind”. In his libretto, aided by three poet friends, Kalomiris developed the lyrical element, but otherwise kept close to Kazantzakis’ text. He removed some misogynistic expressions, and focused upon Smaragda’s heroic devotion. Although Kalomiris dedicated his work, significantly, to Eleftherios Venizelos, whom he called “the Master Builder of Greater Greece”, his opera, like Kazantzakis’ play, transcends boundaries of time, place and cultural background.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2328/8146
ISBN: 0-7258-1126-9
Appears in Collections:Proceedings of the 5th Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, 2003

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