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ΤΗΕ MOTHER’S RING 
(ΤΟ DACHTYLIDI ΤIS MANAS) 
Music drama in three acts from the drama by Yannis Kambysis.
Libretto by Manolis Kalomiris. The composer was assisted by Pantelis Horn with the further adaptation of the plot for the stage.
Lyrics by Agnis Orfikos1.
1917/1939.

Cast:
Mother / Old woman, Mezzo-soprano
Yannakis, Tenor
Sotiris, Baritone
Erofili / Fairy queen, Soprano
Kyriakos, Bass
Dame Destiny, Soprano
[Her] Slave girl, Soprano

Orchestra: 3 3 3 2 - 4 3 3 1 - Timpani, Percussion, Glockenspiel, Carillon, Harp, Celesta, Xylophone, Strings, Mixed choir (and ballet)

Duration: 2:25'

First Performance: 8 December 1917
Municipal Theatre, Athens
New Musical Company of Elli Afentaki
Conducted by Manolis Kalomiris
Directed by Spyros Trihas2
Choir master: Ilias Priftis
Sets by Ioannis Ampelas
Choreography by Εlνira Weil3

Publication:
Full score: Unpublished.
Piano/vocal score: Gaetanos, Athens 1937.
Manolis Kalomiris, Athens 1962 (Υannakis' aria from Act III, "My Eyes Are Closing").

Discography
Terzakis/Koromantzou/Sfika-Karvela/Kouloumbis/Voutsinos/Genova/Valcova
Kalomitis-The Mothers Ring-CD cover.jpg
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Bulgarian National Choir Svetoslav Obretenov
Conducted by Yannis Daras

 ___________

Notes
1. Pen name of the poet Yorgos Stefanopoulos.
2. In the piano/vocal score (p. 9), the name of the stage director Spyros Trihas was printed erroneously M. Trihas. Spyros Trihas was a well known actor of the time. This information was graciously provided by Yannis Sideris, historian of modern Greek Theatre. In the program from the premiere on 8 December 1917, no mention was made of a stage director (Theatrical Museum, Athens).
3. Elvira Weil was a teacher of dance and rhythmic gymnastics at the National Conservatory [Ethnikon Odeion] in Athens.

 

* Three excerpts from The Mother’s Ring (Prelude to act I, Entry of Dame Destiny from Act II and Prelude to Act III Christmas Morn), may be given in concert performance, either as a suite, or separately. For the Suite look under the category Works for Orchestra, The Mother's Ring - Suite in three movements, from the music drama of the same title.

 

To Dachtylidi tis Manas (The Mother’s Ring) takes its title from the drama by Yannis Kambysis, a copy of which was given to Kalomiris by the author’s mother after his return to Greece. The character of Yannakis was inspired by the life of the poet Kostas Krystalis (1868–1896), who died young, consumed by his desire to recover the lost purity of his childhood home. There are several elements both in the play and in Yannakis’ character with which the composer identified. He felt a constant longing for his list childhood home in Smyrna; he was also, like Yannakis, “a singer and the widow’s son”. Kalomiris stated his intention to have created with this opera, “a monument to the love of his own mother”.

Kambysis, Yannis (1872–1902), playwright and editor of the literary periodical Dionysos. Influenced by Strindberg and Hauptmann, he tried to combine the tendencies of northern Europe with Greek themes "expressed in a lyrical manner". Kalomiris based the libretto for the operas The Mother's Ring and Anatoli on works of Kambysis.
[Notes by Maria Voelker-Kamarinea]

SUMMARY OF THE PLOT

Click here

ACT ONE
Christmas Eve. Snow storm outside. In his poor shack, Giannakis the singer reminisces the high mountains of his homeland and falls to despair knowing that he will die soon. His mother tries to comfort him in vain. Kyriakos appears, the father of Erofili-with whom Giannakis is hopelessly in love with her- to tell mother that he found a buyer for her ring, a valuable family heirloom. Kyriakos will wait for her outside the church at midnight.
The unfortunate mother accepts the offer in order to heal her ailing child, although she is aware that there is an ancestral curse forbidding her to sell the ring. Soon after the church bells ring, Erofili together with other girls, arrive to wish health to the youth. The young couple sing their love. Giannakis's brother, Sotiris, together with the children of the village, cheerfully enter the house to sing Christmas carols.
Soon Kyriakos and Erofili, together with the other guests, leave the house. Then Giannakis asks his mother to tell him about the legend of the ring. While she is narrating the story, the ring accidentally falls onto his bed. Mother sings an old lullaby for her ailing son. When the two sons fall asleep, she gently leaves the room, while a dark threatening cloud covers the two boys.

ACT TWO
Giannakis is dreaming...An old woman- who reminds him of his mother-leads him to a mythical palace. He begs her to help him find the Fairy who had stolen from him the seven-stoned precious ring. The old woman advises him to wait for the Dame of the Palace and then snatch the golden apple she will be holding, in order to force her to show him the way...
The Dame enters in with all her impressive procession. Her servants start weaving on the Loom of Life while she is playing with the golden apple. Giannakis rushes and grabs the golden apple from her. Then at the Lady's magic spell, the whole palace disappears and a green wide passage appears in front of Giannakis. A Fairy of exquisite beauty-who looks just like Erofili- descends from the mountain and shows the other Fairies the seven-stoned ornamented ring.
Giannakis, lurking nearby, takes Fairy's veil off her hair. She tries to escape by taking different forms, but when a crowing rooster is heard, her companions flee unhappy and she is defeated. The youth takes the ring and commands her to take him to the highest peak of the mountain. The Fairy complains that he is asking for the impossible. Nevertheless, he defies both Fate and Death. Vainly does his mother's far-off voice try to prevent his actions. Giannakis, together with the Fairy, disappear as they climb up the mountain.
Fairies are coming to salute the Sun at dawn. Giannakis, after climbing, seems utterly exhausted. He avidly recalls his love, Erofili. Instead, the Fairy taking the form of his beloved one appears in front of his dazzled eyes. The Fairies synchronize their hymn to the mighty Sun, emerging bright. Giannakis, in the arms of his beloved, feels his life fading away...

ACT THREE
At the churchyard on the Night of Christmas Eve, Kiriakos and Erofili approach as the hymn "Today Virgin Mary..."is heard... Erofili has an alarming premonition. Giannakis's mother appears in despair because she lost the ring she intended to sell, and now she feels its heavy curse upon her.
A troubled Sotiris arrives and says Giannakis spent all night dying in agony and now he is out looking for his mother. Mother and Erofili rush back to meet him. Giannakis, still ecstatic, thinks he is dreaming and starts describing how he grabbed the ring from the Fairy but without being able to reach the "highest rocky peak". He collapses on the doorstep of the church, while the choir harmonises its chant to the hymn "Today the Virgin Mary bears Him."
Giannakis with a superhuman effort tries to join his own voice to the others' heartfelt prayer but in vain; he falls dead on the feet of Erofili. The ring is shining on his hand, while his mother laments her lost son in deep sorrow.
The bells ring the end of the liturgy. The faithful leave the church singing in euphoria: "It's Christmas, Jesus is born, it is the first celebration of the year." They see Giannakis lying dead, and their cheerful song turns into a cry of sorrow.

Greek National Opera programme, season 1973-1974.
English translation: George Athanasopoulos and Kostas Rekleitis

Audio
Manolis Kalomiris, The Mother's Ring, Act II, aria of the Fairy queen. [link]
Vassiliki Karayanni, Fairy queen.
Orchestra & Chorus of the Greek National Opera.
Vassilis Christopoulos, conductor.
Live performance at the Greek National Opera, January 2005.

Manolis Kalomiris, The Mother's Ring, Christmas Carols from Act I. [link]
Terzakis/Koromantzou/Sfika-Karvela/Kouloumbis/Voutsinos/Genova/Valcova
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Bulgarian National Choir Svetoslav Obretenov
Conducted by Yannis Daras

Video
Manolis Kalomiris, The Mother's Ring, Act III, last scene. [link]
Yannis Christopoulos, Yannakis.
Vassiliki Karayanni, Erofili.
Markella Hatziano, Mother.
Orchestra & Chorus of the Greek National Opera.
Vassilis Christopoulos, conductor.
Spyros A. Evangelatos, director.
Live performance, Greek National Opera, January 2005.

ΟΡERΑS

THE MASTER BUILDER
Ο Πρωτομάστορας

THE MOTHER'S RING
Το δαχτυλίδι της Μάνας

SUNRISE
Ανατολή

THE SHADOWY WATERS
Ξωτικά νερά

KONSTANDINOS PALEOLOGOS
(The Fall of Constantinople)

Κωνσταντίνος ο Παλαιολόγος (Πήραν την Πόλη)

WORKS FOR VOICE AND ORCHESTRA

MAGIC HERBS
IAMBS AND ANAPAESTS - PART II
Μαγιοβότανα

THE PEDDLER
Ο Πραματευτής

I LOVE YOU
IAMBS AND ANAPAESTS - PART I
Σ’ αγαπώ

SONGS OF SIKELIANOS
Τραγούδια του Σικελιανού

FIVE SONGS FROM
THE FOURTH BOOK OF

THE CITY AND THE SOLITUDE
Πέντε τραγούδια από το τέταρτο βιβλίο Της πολιτείας και της μοναξιάς

THE TWO TOWNCRIERS
Οι δυο διαλαλητάδες

THE CURSE
Η κατάρα

“HAIDE HOURDE”
Χάιντε Χούρδε

WORKS FOR SOLO PIANO

ORIENTAL PAINTING
Ανατολική ζωγραφιά

THREE BALLADS
Τρεις μπαλάντες

NOCTURNE
Νυχτιάτικο

PATINADA
Πατινάδα

TWO RHAPSODIES
Δύο ραψωδίες

PRELUDES FOR PIANO
Πρελούδια για πιάνο

THE DEATH OF THE VALIANT WOMAN
Ο θάνατος της Αντρειωμένης

ΙΝΤΕΡΜΕΖΖΟ (from the opera SUNRISE)
Ιντερμέδιο (από την όπερα Ανατολή)

PRELUDE (from the MAGIC HERBS)
Πρελούδιο (από τα Μαγιοβότανα)

WORKS FOR TWO PIANOS

PRELUDE AND FUGUE
Πρελούδιο και φούγκα

ROMEIKI SUITE
Ρωμέικη σουίτα

SYMPHONY No. 3, “PALAMIKI” – Third part
Συμφωνία αρ.3 «Παλαμική» – Τρίτο μέρος

MINAS THE REBEL - CORSAIR OF THE AEGEAN
Μηνάς ο Ρέμπελος – Κουρσάρος στο Αιγαίο

PEDAGOGICAL WORKS FOR PIANO

FOR THE GREEK CHILDREN
Για τα ελληνόπουλα

FIRST PIANO LESSONS
Τα πρώτα μαθήματα για πιάνο

INCIDENTAL MUSIC

MUSIC AND MELODRAMA FOR “STELLA VIOLANTI”
Στέλλα Βιολλάντη – Μουσική και Μελόδραμα

SABBATH OF SOULS
Ψυχοσάββατο

PARGA
Η Πάργα

MACBETH
Μάκβεθ

THE SHEPHERDESS’ LOVER
Ο αγαπητικός της βοσκοπούλας

MUSICO-PEDAGOGICAL WORKS

ELEMENTARY THEORY
Στοιχειώδης θεωρία

VOCALISE – ÉTUDE

HARMONY
Αρμονία

MUSICAL FORMS
Μουσική μορφολογία

INSTRUMENTATION
Οργανογνωσία

FIRST PIANO LESSONS
Τα πρώτα μαθήματα για πιάνο

LESSONS IN MUSIC
Μαθήματα μουσικής

MELODIC EXERCISES
Μελωδικαί ασκήσεις

RHYTHMIC EXERCISES
Ρυθμικαί ασκήσεις

HARMONY EXERCISES
Θέματα αρμονίας

WORKS NOT LISTED IN THE MAIN BODY OF THE CATALOGUE
Έργα που δεν αναφέρονται στο κυρίως σώμα του Καταλόγου



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