Fani Papanastasiou

Soloist, Soprano
She was born in Athens in 1912 and studied piano and voice under Smaragda Gennadi at the Greek National Conservatoire. She graduated in 1933 with a cash prize and first prize. In 1937, on a scholarship from the Kassimatis Endowment, she continued her studies in Milan under soprano Rosina Storchio. Whilist still studying, she made her debut in Manolis Kalomiris’ opera Mother's Ring [To dachtyilidi tis manas], opposite Nikos Moschonas and Eleni Nicolaides. She appeared with the Melodramatic Group of the National Conservatoire in Athens, Thessaloniki, Egypt, etc. While in Italy, she appeared in performances in various cities (Rome, Turin, Bologna, Catania, etc.) and collaborated with famous conductors and singers (Gina Cigna, Gilda Alfano, ect.). She signed a contract with La Scala Milan to sing in Gino Marinuzzi’s opera Lakmé, but the war in 1940 forced her to return to Greece. In the 1951/52 season, she took part in a tour of Cyprus and Africa, together with Costantino Ego (Dinos Egolfopoulos), during which she appeared in concerts and sang on radio stations. During her collaboration with the GNO in the decade from 1941 to 1951, she sang leading soprano roles in four operas in 15 productions and/or revivals. Starting in the 1941/42 season, she sang Rosina [The Barber of Seville/Il barbiere di Siviglia] (1941/42 to 1947/48), Philine [Mignon], Lucia [Lucia di Lamermoor] (1945/46, 1947/48, 1949/50), Erophile [Mother's ring], Gilda [Rigoletto] and Malamo [The Afternoon of Love/To apogevma tis agapis] (by Mario Varvoglis). She participated in the premieres of Mignon (1946/47), Mother’s ring (1949/50) and The afternoon of Love (1943/44).