Alkis Karmpaliotis, Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Alkis with Riccardo Muti in Greece in 2019
Alkis's signed copy of Javier Camarena's 2018 album, Contrabandista
I was born in 2006, and I currently live in New York City and go to the opera frequently. I have always been a big classical music fan, and I credit this, primarily, to my parents, who have been playing this music for me since the day I was born; and to my piano teacher, Dr. Carol Ann Aicher, who introduced me to Wagner and continues to enhance my knowledge of music every day.
My favorite composers are Ludwig van Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Wagner and my favorite operas are Turandot, Norma, and Tristan und Isolde.
I founded Appreciate Opera in 2019 with the intention of spreading knowledge of the opera to young people across the world. The website was originally intended to be a learning platform with lessons and courses related to the opera, but I decided instead to make the site a hub for existing opera enthusiasts. It would have reviews, articles, quizzes, and videos for opera fans to enjoy. After a very poor first few months in terms of audience, I began to lose hope in my website and stopped writing reviews and articles. In May of 2019, though, I was fortunate enough to attend the Metropolitan Opera's revival of the Ring Cycle, and upon the publication of my reviews of Wagner's four dramas, there was a significant spike in the number of viewers. The week-long adventure did not interfere with my school work, for I insisted upon completing my homework during intermissions.
In May of 2020, the Reviews and Videos sections of the website were removed and replaced by a detailed guide on how anyone can learn to appreciate the opera. I did this to focus my work on new articles, new quizzes, and the opera guide. From then on any reviews would be written on the Articles page.
In June of 2020, the famous violinist and conductor Antonello Manacorda agreed to be interviewed for my website. This led to the creation of the Interviews page. Later in the month, I interviewed renowned counter-tenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.
In addition to Mr. Manacorda and Mr. Costanzo, I am very fortunate to have met other great musicians including: Riccardo Muti, John Eliot Gardiner, and Javier Camarena.
One of my 'comparison' articles, 'Verdi vs Wagner', was praised as 'a fun read' by the Wagner Society of New York, of which I am a member. In addition, a representative of the Metropolitan Opera Education program, which is in charge of the Met Opera Global Summer Camp as well as the landmark HD Live in Schools initiative, referred to Appreciate Opera as 'cool'.
As of July of 2020, Appreciate Opera has been visited by over 2,000 different people from around the world, over 1,000 of which are from India and 300 from the United States.
In August of 2020, I authored my first article for OperaWire, a major opera website. I am currently an OperaWire contributing author.
I was the first in my entire family to be born anywhere other than Greece.
I created and run this website completely by myself.
I enjoy playing tennis, playing the piano and french horn, and creating mini-games with Python.
I hope to one day turn this website into a large-scale not-for-profit education center with educative videos as well as, if possible, an entire building dedicated to teaching and inspiring young people to love the opera.
Alkis with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in New York in 2020