Konstantin Koukias is a Greek -Tasmanian director, composer and designer based in Amsterdam.
His avant-garde approach to the presentation of opera has resulted in hybrid productions such as ‘Days and Nights with Christ’, ‘To Traverse Water’, ‘MIKROVION (Small Life – 36 Images in a Phantom Flux of Life)’, ‘Tesla – Lightning in His Hand’ and most recently ‘The Barbarians’, inspired by Constantine Cavafy’s famous poem ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’, commissioned by the Museum of Old & New Art.
His works range from large-scale music theatre and opera to mobile installation art events. His compositions have been always remarkable for their characteristic, mesmerising and atmospheric qualities created by temporal, spatial and production designs. In his recent works, exotic flavours have been introduced through Eastern timbres and melody-design.
In 1993 he was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House Trust to compose ‘ICON’, a large-scale music theatre piece to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House. Music theatre works include ‘Kimisis – Falling Asleep’, ‘Borders’, ‘Orfeo’, ‘Rapture – Sonic Taxi Performance’, ‘Schwa – The Neutral Vowel’, ‘Antigone’ and ‘The Da Ponte Project’. ‘Prayer Bells’, which draws on traditions of Latin, Hebrew and Byzantine chant, had its USA premiere at the Chicago Cultural Centre.
Community arts projects include ‘PULP’ – a socio-political operatic intervention with disenfranchised mill workers in a regional community; ‘Sea-Chant’ – a large scale community Opera mediating the tensions between the logging industry and local residents; and ‘The Divine Kiss’ – a collaborative opera co-created with performers who have physical and mental disabilities.
In 2004 he was awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship. His Incantation II for soprano and digital delay won the International Valentino Bucchi Vocal Prize in Rome in 1997. His design credits include the internationally acclaimed Odyssey and Medea.
In 2014/15 ‘Kimisis – Falling Asleep’, a chamber opera for Soprano and Electric Trombone had its Netherlands premiere at Splendor Amsterdam and toured to the Karavaan Festival.
In 2016 he is working on a film opera with writer Biasino William Pezzimenti – ‘Shaped by Trees, The Boy Who Fell Out of The Sky’ – Concerto for Ondes Martentot and Orchestra, Trombone Concerto for Pierre Volders with the New Trombone Collective, ‘Kavafy’ – Opera, ‘ADRIFT’ – by Douglas Khenans & Juanita Rockwell – Chamber Opera.