Jury

The jury consists of professionals from the world of Opera and the world of drag and they will be judging both phases of the festival: the preselections and the finale. An extra judge will be all of you—the public, voting for your favourite performance in the final phase of the festival.

Born in Thessaloniki, Alexandros Efklidis studied at the School of Drama (Faculty of Fine Arts) of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where he also completed his PhD. Ηe continued with postgraduate theatre studies at the University of Paris III. He has taught at the School of Drama (Faculty of Fine Arts) of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, at the Department of Music Science and Art (University of Macedonia), at the Department of Theatre Studies (University of Patras), as well as at the Drama Schools of the National Theatre, Athens, and the National Theatre of Northern Greece, where he also worked as a repertoire consultant. As a music theatre director he has worked with the Greek National Opera, Athens Festival, Neukölln Opera in Berlin, Thessaloniki Concert Hall, Opera of Thessaloniki, “Beggars’ Operas”, Municipal Theatre of Patras, Onassis Cultural Center, etc. He has directed works of classical repertoire, as well works of contemporary composers, such as Giorgos Koumendakis’ The murderess (Greek National Opera, 2014). Since February 2017 he has been artistic director of the Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera.

British-Canadian soprano, Jessica Muirhead, has been performing around the world in operas ranging from Mozart to Verdi to Wagner to hot-of-the-press new music for the past 15 years. She holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s from McGill University in Montréal, Canada. Her career began with winning major competitions such as the Vinas competition in Barcelona, Toulouse in France, and the coveted George London Foundation award in New York City. She has performed alongside major opera stars, the likes of Anna Netrebko, John Relyea, and Joseph Calleja in opera houses and concert halls all over the world, including Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Toronto, New York City, London, Brussels, Dubai, and Japan, to name a few.  Jessica currently resides in Germany with her husband, who is also an opera singer, where the two of them are lucky to have opera fans as their neighbours. Jessica is thrilled to be part of this inaugural competition. 

Nikolaos Tsironis is a fashion designer, artist and drag performer based in Athens, Greece. He has studied fashion design in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and currently runs his clothing label DAGLARA, a multifaceted project that branches out to other media, such as performance, video and drawing. He is invested in the idea of the “beastly woman” or the “feminine beast” and in unconventional representations of and outlooks on beauty. For Nikolaos, embodying Daglara is a liberating process that gratifies the ritual aspects of life. He has recently worked as a costume designer for the opera ORFEAS 2020, for the Greek National Opera Alternative Stage. He has participated in festivals and exhibitions such as Digital Feminism (Dresden), 2nd “<Interrupted = “Cyfem and Queer> (Berlin), Tending Towards (Tinos-Athens) and Superball 2018 (Amsterdam), where he won the titles “House of Superball” and “Miss Superball 2018”.

Yorgos Ziavras was born in Athens, Greece. He studied orchestra conducting in Cologne (HfMT Köln with Prof. Michael Luig until his death), piano in Greece and Cologne and architecture in Athens (NTUA). He currently resides in Cologne, Germany. During the season 2021/22 he is serving as 1. Kapellmeister at the Krefeld/Mönchengladbach Opera House and will be conducting a multifaceted repertoire (upcoming production: ‘Don Pasquale’, October 2021). Since 2015 he has founded and led CoGNiMUS Collektiv, together, they are currently planning their first European tour (‘RequieMoiroloi / season 2021/22). // http://www.cognimus.de Yorgos Ziavras is currently serving as chief conductor for ÉRMA Ensemble (recent production: ‘HERO’, @AchtBrücken Festival / May 2021, Cologne). //www.erma-ensemble.com In Athens, Yorgos Ziavras has been exclusively collaborating with the Greek National Opera since 2018 (upcoming production: ‘Diptychon’ / October 2021). He has actively supported and collaborated with the drag artist ΝΙΝΑ ΝΑΪ (@thedragbaritone) since the start of her versatile artistic career.

Manolis also known as Mary Sunshine is a professional actror, director, choreographer and singer.  He has collaborated with many renowned directors and choreographers and has participated in many musical performances in theaters of Athens, as well as in most summer open theater festivals throughout Greece.  He wrote, directed and performed the musical monologue “THE TROPICAL BIRD” at the AVATON theater with Mary Sunshine as the main character, who also became his stage persona.

Nandia Kondogeorgi is an actress and singer with great experience in musical theater. She graduated from the Greek National Academy of dramatic arts (National theatre) and also studied Law in University of Athens. She attended courses at Harvard university focused on acting, musical theatre and creativity. She has also studied dancing (modern and jazz-L.S.T.D), music (piano and singing) and completed a bachelor in opera and musical theatre singing. She speaks English and German. In 2014, she was nominated for Melina Merkouri award (highest award for young actors) for her performance as Mary Sunshine in “Chicago”.
Productions: a.o. Sweeney Todd, Matilda, Operetta, Kiss Me, Kate, The Sound of Music, Chicago, Rent, The Threepenny Opera, Fiddler On The Roof, Lysistrata, Twelfth Night, Into The Woods.
She is the hostess of the TV show “Flirt” at the Greek national broadcaster (ERT).