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Subject: Dino Yannopoulos, 83, Director With Long Tenure at the Met

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Date Posted: April 14, 2003 4:06:20 EDT

Dino Yannopoulos, a prominent stage director at the Metropolitan Opera and elsewhere, died April 6 in Philadelphia. He was 83.

In a career of more than 50 years, he was principal director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1945 to 1977.

He was also artistic director of the Vancouver International Festival, director of the Cincinnati Summer Opera, director of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and head of the opera department of the Curtis Institute.

Mr. Yannopoulos counted as one of his triumphs a production of Puccini's "Tosca" in Athens, with Maria Callas in the title role. Among his more notable productions at the Met were Massenet's "Manon," featuring Victoria de los Angeles in the title role, in 1951 and the Met's 300th performance of Wagner's "Lohengrin" in 1952, featuring Jussi Bjoerling.

The son of a Greek admiral and an American-born mother, Mr. Yannopoulos conducted an opera class at the age of 16. He later studied at universities in Vienna and Leipzig and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

Mr. Yannopoulos's work was generally admired by the critics.

"I have no theories," he once told an interviewer. "I believe that the staging of a play or an opera must spring from the inspiration of the author or the composer."

In 1955, Mr. Yannopoulos founded the Athens Music Festival, for which he directed productions including "Orfeo," "Idomeneo" and "Oedipus Rex." King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece attended the opening night.

Konstantinos Yannopoulos, whose professional name was Dino Yannopoulos, was born on Dec. 15, 1919, in Athens. When Germany invaded Greece during World War II, he hid in the mountains and became a guerrilla fighter.

Mr. Yannopoulos is survived by his wife, the former soprano Marguerite Willauer of Philadelphia; a son, Sotorius, of New York City; a daughter, Elsa Spaulding of California; a stepdaughter, Linda Maria Gendron of Mississippi; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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