Academy of Lyric Art Maria Callas

Academia, Education and Training, Insight, Music, People and Places — By on May 3, 2018 at 9:50 PM


A noble task to support the creation and completion of this vision in creating the Academy of Lyric Art Maria Callas so as Greece and  all all over Planet Ocean to have a unique institution to further opera on the international scene; read on and look forward to your participation.  

1. Vision – Purpose

The aim of the ‘Academy of Lyric Art Maria Callas’ is to train talented young people, destined to serve the Opera as performers. Their comprehensive preparation will allow them to stand out and gain a prominent position on the international scene.
There is no institution in Greece offering a complete education and training in the skills required to compose and present an Opera.

Therefore, there is a need to set up a university-level Academy, specialised in opera, where all the skills related to the art of opera will be taught [Opera, Melodrama (master classes), Corepetition (performance tutors), Opera Conducting, Opera Direction, Scenography/Costume Design, Dramaturgy, Composition, Libretto, Musical].

The ‘Academy of Lyric Art Maria Callas’ will seek to cooperate with Academies abroad, as well as with eminent Greek and foreign artists, who will teach at the Academy.

This is an innovative project, as it will be the first school (not only in Greece, but in Europe as well) exclusively dedicated to the art of opera, offering university-level studies.

Therefore, it is expected that, in addition to Greek artists, the Academy will also attract a considerable number of students from other countries in Europe and beyond. In this way, it will be a centre of Knowledge and Cultural Experiences, since it will be attended by students from countries where opera was born, as well as from countries where it became known much later.

In such a setting, opera can be the common language of all people.







The ‘Academy of Lyric Art Maria Callas’ will offer studies at Master of Arts level in subjects related to all opera professions (music, direction, scenography, costume design, etc.). The duration of the studies will be 2 years and the duration of the seminars will be 1 year.

The Academy is divided into Faculties, Departments and Divisions, as shown in the chart below:







2. Description of the Civil Non-Profit Association

The Civil Non-Profit ‘Association for the Creation of a New Building for the Greek National Opera and the Maria Callas Opera Academy’ (recognised by the Ministry of Culture – Official Government Gazette 1059/2002) was established in 2000, upon the initiative of the distinguished Opera Artist Mrs Vasso Papantoniou, with the participation of 30 partners, who have a significance presence in the world of arts and science and are its founding members. The Association’s purpose was to construct the new building for the Greek National Opera and the ‘Academy of Lyric Art Maria Callas’.

We submitted our proposal to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Our vision regarding the Greek National Opera was fulfilled, which is now housed at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre. However, our vision regarding the founding and housing of the Academy was not fulfilled.

To achieve its vision, the association has been renamed ‘Academy of Lyric Art Maria Callas’ . The beautiful neoclassical building of 61 Patission Street, in Athens, where Maria Callas used to live, has been conceded to Academy, so that it is based there.

The BoD of the ‘‘Academy of Lyric Art Maria Callas’ consists of the following members:
Chairwoman: Vasso Papantoniou
Vice President: Myron Michailidis
General Secretary: Vassilis Vassilikos
Members: Irini Vassilopoulou
Panagiotis Giatagantzidis
Loukas Karytinos
Giannis Psychopedis

Notable artists and personalities from relevant fields have embraced and adopted the association’s vision and participate in its management, or are willing to contribute to its educational mission.

3. Maria Callas

An iconic figure, who left her mark on Opera.
She redefined this Art form, which consists of Melody and Drama, making it again what it was originally meant to be, through her unique performances, with respect to musicality and sensitivity.
It is a duty, as well as an honour, for us to succeed in creating a higher education institution for the Art that she loved and served, in the house where she lived as an adolescent and started singing lessons with the prominent Elvira de Hidalgo.
Maria Callas is a timeless artist, and her spirit still resides there.

Vasso Papantoniou

It is estimated that the building was constructed around 1925 by architect Kostas Kitsikis, and it is an example of Jugendstil.

This residence has been characterised as a historical preservable monument by Decision of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism YP.PO.T./DILAP/G/1182/24711, for the reason, among others, that Maria Callas once lived there (Official Government Gazette 440/B/6/6/1989). Besides, it was characterised as preservable by Decision of the Ministry of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works 11674/411/3.2.1987 (Official Government Gazette D, No. 160/27.2.1987).
Outside, the facades are well-designed, in line with the building’s overall mindful construction, thus adding considerable value and character to the building.

Inside, one can admire the typical architectural elements of the time, i.e. early twentieth century, including the central staircase with its elegant railings, exterior wooden doors, ceilings, etc., all of which are in a relatively good condition.

The Association has entered into a long-term lease agreement with the Unified Social Security Institution (EFKA), according to which the building, where Maria Callas lived, located at 61 Patission Street, is leased for 30 years, while the Association has undertaken the obligation to restore it and make the necessary modifications within 3 years, so that the Academy may start functioning.

The total cost is expected to range between 2,800,000 and 3,200,000 Euros.

Based on the preliminary architectural design drawn by A.N. Tombazis & Associates Architects, the Association is starting the necessary works to restore the building and make the changes that are needed so that it becomes suitable to house the Academy.


Anyone who would like to contribute to the work of the Association can make a deposit to the bank account held at ALPHA BANK, with the following details:
ΙΒΑΝ: GR 42 0140 1030 1030 0232 0004 792

Moreover, anyone interested in becoming a Subscriber may contact the Association’s office on the telephone numbers below.


The Association’s office is located at the following address:
54 Alkyonis Street, Paleo Faliro, Athens 175 62, Greece
The contact details are as follows:
Tel: + 30 210 3634868 – Fax: + 30 210 3620844



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