?Our aim is for this iconic building to regain and maintain its position as a living cultural space in the centre of Athens,? Athens Mayor George Kaminis said on Thursday, during a press conference held at the Foyer of the Olympia Theatre that formerly housed the Greek National Opera.

Left vacant after the GNO relocated to its new stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre in March 2017, the theatre will now reopen its doors to the public after a total refurbishment carried out by the City of Athens. Renamed the "Olympia Municipal Musical Theatre Maria Callas" (MMTMC) it will house the City of Athens' new initiative, a municipal opera. As a tribute to the great Greek opera singer, in the Foyer of the theatre several personal objects of Maria Callas will be put on display in a space dedicated to her memory .

During the press conference, conductor Loukas Karytinos and member of the MMTMC artistic committee presented the program for the coming period, which will open on December 3 with Felix Mendelssohn’s ?A Midsummer Night’s Dream?, directed by Vassilis Nikolaides. On the opening night, entrance will be free upon presentation of one of the vouchers the Olympia box office will distribute at 18:30 on the same day.

Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Kaminis referred to the new MMTMC as ?a source of light in the dark,? and added that he would like to see more central Athens shops and entertainment venues "keep their lights on during the night."