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Despina Kalafati-Petraki

Soloist, Soprano
She was born in Piraeus and studied voice at the Athens Conservatoire under Marika Kalfopoulou and at the National Conservatoire under Kaiti Papalexopoulou. She graduated in 1978 with a Soloist Diploma, with honors and First Prize from the National Conservatoire. On a scholarship from the State Scholarships Foundation, she continued her studies in Germany, at the music academies of Munich and Cologne under Josef Metternich. She appeared in theaters and festivals in Europe, including the Bach Festival in London (1981) and the Europalia festival in Brussels (1982). In 1984 she was honored with a prize by the Bad Hersfeld Festival for her performances in the operas Orpheus and Eurydice [Orfeo ed Euridice] and The Coronation of Poppaea [L'incoronazione di Poppea]. She sang in the same operas at the lyric theaters of Dresden, Leipzig, Kassel and Frankfurt. In Christmas 1984 she participated in a televised concert by the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, where she sang in Haydn’s oratorio The Creation [Die Schöpfung], under conductor Miltiades Karidis. She debuted at the GNO in 1985. During the period from 1985 to 1991, she sang roles in five operas and one operetta: Cleopatra [Julius Caesar in Egypt/Giulio Cesare in Egitto], Servilia [The Clemency of Titus/La clemenza di Tito], Papageno [The Magic Flute/Die Zauberflöte], Rosina [The Barber of Seville/Il barbiere di Siviglia], Norina [Don Pasquale] and Hanner [The house of the three girls/Das Dreimädelhaus]. From 1980 to 1985 she taught voice at the Der Keller theater school in Cologne, while in 1986-1988 she taught in Nafplio’s International Vocal Seminars as assistant to Josef Metternich. Since 1995, she teaches voice at the National Conservatoire of Greece.