Spyridon Xyndas

Spyridon Xyndas

Greek composer and guitarist
Country: Greece

Biography of Spiridon Xindas

Spiridon Xindas was a Greek composer and guitarist who was born in Corfu. He began studying music theory under the guidance of Nikolaos Mantzaros in 1823. Xindas continued his education in Naples and Milan, where he further honed his musical skills.

In 1840, Xindas, along with Antonios Liveralis, who was also a student of Mantzaros, became the only professional musicians to participate in the establishment of the Philharmonic Society of Corfu. Xindas actively collaborated with the society and even taught there for several years.

In the 1840s, Xindas started composing concert arias and songs in vernacular Greek. These experiments eventually evolved into something greater, leading to the composition of his opera "O ypopsifios" ("The Parliamentary Candidate") in 1867. This work became the world's first full-length opera based on a Greek libretto and remains Xindas' only existing opera to this day. The libretto for "O ypopsifios" was written by Ioannis Rinopulos, with assistance from Nikolaos Makris and Xindas himself. While the opera may initially appear purely comedic, it addresses serious issues in Greece, including the dire living conditions in the agricultural areas of the Ionian Islands and the immorality of local politicians.

Xindas went on to compose several more operas, with his adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' "The Three Musketeers" titled "Anna Winter" receiving significant interest. Prior to Xindas, no one had incorporated Dumas' works into modern Greek theater. "O ypopsifios" enjoyed great success when it premiered in Athens in 1888, leading to the establishment of the first Greek melodramatic troupe in the city. This development prompted Xindas to relocate to the Greek capital.

Xindas spent the remainder of his life in Athens and passed away in 1896. It is widely believed that most of his works were destroyed during the bombing of the Municipal Theatre of Corfu in 1943 by Luftwaffe planes. Consequently, "O ypopsifios" is the only opera by Xindas that has survived to the present day.