MUSIC in DRAMA

In 1971 the BBC Drama Department commissioned Christos Pittas, then 25 years old, to compose incidental music for one of its Drama Productions, Menander’s "The Samian Woman", which was directed by Raimond Raikes. This, followed shortly by another BBC commission, to compose the music for Sophocles’s "Electra", established a fruitful collaboration between the composer and the Corporation and in the years that followed Pittas was commissioned by the BBC Drama Department and Producer/Directors such as Martin Jenkins, Ian Cotterel, David Spencer and John Theocharis, to compose dozens of original music scores. His work in the field made a strong impact and was often praised by the critics.

"...the music of Christos Pittas made the work an absorbing, stunning opera. Voices of infinite depth and variety gave us cackling spirits and choruses who took up words as in a relay race, making sounds like a tumbling cascade…A mighty score"...Sue Cornfield. Writing in the Sunday Times on a BBC production of Goethe’s "Faust" directed by David Spencer.

Listen to Music extract 2, from Faust.

"... a remarkable British entry for the Prix Italia, directed by John Theocharis, with its fine, original music by Christos Pittas"... Anne Karpf reviewing "AG" in The Observer.

"In "AG", (Aeschylus/Josipovici) the music of Christos Pittas incorporated everything from Paleolithic grunts to blues without affectation. Mythic overtones, moans, crackles, mouth music and solemn intoning…I found myself marveling, captured"... Eric Korn, in the New Statement.

Listen to Music extract 3, from AG.

The 1974 political change in Greece, with the fall of the junta and the re-establishment of Democracy, gave the opportunity to Pittas to further pursue, now in Greece as well, his interest in the relation and the interconnection between Music and Drama, mainly within the context of the classical Greek Tragedy. As a composer he collaborated with various Greek Drama groups and Theatre Organisations such as ‘Desmoi’ (founded and led by Aspasia Papathanasiou) the National Theatre of Northern Greece, the Popular Experimental Theatre and - in Cyprus - the National Theatre (THOC) and THEPAK , in prestigious productions in which music played a fundamental role as a conceptual, structural element .

"In ancient Greek drama the solutions offered by Christos Pittas have by now established some of the most important suggestions in approaching the thorny problem of the singing chorus"...Kostas Georgousopoulos after ‘Medea’ at the Athens Festival (Ta Nea newspaper).

Christos Pittas Working now for the Greek theatre as well, Pittas’s music world expanded. He often incorporated in his scores, particularly the ones composed within the context of Greek Tragedy, rhythmic and modal elements drawn from the rich sources of Traditional Greek music. He developed these elements in his own personal way and did so not only in Greek productions but also in English ones like the 1978 BBC Production of "Oedipus at Colonus" where Pittas had the Chorus leader (the tenor Martyn Hill) in ‘dialogue’ with a solo clarinet, singing in a way which carries distant but distinct echoes of the mountain music of Northern Greece.

Listen to Music extract 4, from Oedipus at Colonus.

Erofili and Erotokritos, the two 'landmark' plays of the Cretan Renaissance theatre, have always been and still are much loved by audiences .The music Christos Pittas composed for these two plays made a strong impact to audiences and critics alike. 

Erofili (G.Hortatsis) was produced in 1990 by the National Theatre of Northern Greece and  directed by Dimitris Exarchos.  

"The superb music Christos Pittas composed for this Renaissance drama can definitely stand on its own as one of the best examples of contemporary Greek music"...Spyros Pagiatakis in Kathimerini newspaper after "Erofili" at the Athens Festival.

Listen to Music extract 5, from Erofili.

Erotokritos, (V.Kornaros), a production by THEPAK, directed by Michalis Pieris, since  its premiere in Cyprus in 2005, has been presented to audiences in Greece, London, France and Italy and is still travelling!

"The beautiful symphonic creation of Christos Pittas in counterpoint to the Cretan folkloric elements of Psarantonis gave the production the character of an epic opera"...Iannis Varveris in ‘Kathimerini’ newspaper after "Erotokritos" a Renaissance Cretan Drama.

Listen to Music extract 6, from Erotokritos.

In 2003 Christos Pittas was awarded the ‘Melina Mercouri’ prize for his music to the ‘PhoenicianWomen’ by Euripides (THOC- Epidavros Festival 2002) In the same year ‘Megaron’, the Athens Concert Hall, dedicated a concert to Pittas’s music. The programme included his "Antigone", a Music Dance-Drama Act, premiered two years earlier by the German Gorlitzballett.

"Antigone" was another stepping stone in the path he has been following for a good number of years taking him into a new domain, that of Music as Drama. Music as the axis upon, around and through which other forms of artistic expression develop from, through and because of it.

Go to Music as Drama


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Extract from "Oedipus at Colonus" (Sophocles).

With the BBC Singers and Orchestra, solo tenor Martyn Hill, conductor the composer BBC Production Directed by John Theocharis.

Music by Christos Pittas

Extract from "Faust" (Goethe)

With the National Symphony Orchestra (Leader Irvin Arditti) BBC Singers, Westminster Boys Choir. Conductor the Composer. BBC Production directed by David Spencer.


Extracts from "AG" (Aeschylus/Josipovici)

With the BBC Singers and Orchestra, solo tenor Martyn Hill, conductor the composer BBC Production Directed by John Theocharis.














































Extract from "Oedipus at Colonus" (Sophocles).
With the BBC Singers and Orchestra, solo tenor Martyn Hill, conductor the composer BBC Production Directed by John Theocharis.






Extract from"Erofili" (G.Hortatsis)

A National Theatre of N.Greece production of ‘Erofili’ directed by Dimitris Exarchos.



Extract from"Erotokritos" (V.Kornaros)

Aretousas lament with Naya Theodorou. A T.H.E.P.A.K production of ‘Erotokritos’ directed by Prof. Michalis Pieris.