AKTINA's SPECTACULAR TRIBUTE TO THE SONGS OF GREEK CINEMA
WITH MELINA ASLANIDOU, VANGELIS DOUVALIS AND THE GREEK POPULAR ORCHESTRA "EMMETRON"
Watch videos from this concert
Against a backdrop of videos projected on a big screen in full sequence with the live performance, AKTINA's Greek Music Journey 2009 produced by Elena Maroulleti given on May 1, 2009 at the Town Hall theater in Manhattan, New York revived the most loved and classic songs of Greek cinema. The concert featured Greek singers Melina Aslanidou and Vangelis Douvalis and the Popular Orchestra of Greek Music "Emmetron" lead by bouzouki maestro Manolis Georgostathis. Aslanidou who made her debut performance in the U.S., as a leading artist in a performance captivated the audience in a concert which lasted for2 ½ hours and revived some of the most representative songs which depicted from the Greek movies during the Golden Age of Greek cinema in the 1950's and 1960's. The audience enjoyed everlasting songs by great Greek composers and songwriters such as Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hadjidakis, Mimis Plessas, Stavros Xarhakos and George Zambetas among others.
Before a full house of enthused guests, the concert opened with a film excerpt from the movie "Olga My Love" and the song, "Ti Sou Kana Ke Pinis" music by M. Plessas and lyrics by L. Papadopoulos which was originally performed by the legendary singer Poly Panou, however it became very popular years later by Melina Aslanidou, as the song's lyricist Lefteris Papadopoulos also verified in his Prologue in the concert's Playbill. Then followed great hits and music themes from renowned and award winning movies such as "Stella", "Mantalena","Never On Sunday", "Amerika, Amerika", "Honeymoon", "Serpico", "Rembetiko" , "Zorba The Greek" amongothers. In all there were songs from 24 different movies.
From beginning to end the audience was fully engaged by clapping and singing along as a big back up chorus for Melina Aslanidou and Vangelis Douvalis who truly mastered the stage with their uplifting and cordial personalities. They sang but also danced to the everlasting songs they revived. The orchestra made up of some of the most representative and leading musicians of Greece who are credited for recording the majority of Greek discography and for working with all of the major composers and singers were equally captivating and each displayed their talent in this one of a kind musical performance.
Exceptionally uplifting for the audience was the closing of the first part of the program when bouzouki maestros Manolis Georgostathis (former band leader of the Mikis Theodorakis orchestra) and Aris Koukos displayed further their masterful talent to the theme score of "Zorba The Greek". In a very festive atmosphere filled with cheers and ongoing clapping the audience was at times lifted from their seats as they watched up on the big screen the legendary actor Anthony Quin and Alan Bates dancing in complete sequence with the live orchestra on stage the famous dance of "Zorba".
There were also exceptional moments for the famous drummer Yiannis Sarikos who almost brought the house down during one of his solos as well as for the rest of musicians, Dimos Polymeris (accordion), Panagiotis Georgotas (bass), Panagiotis Samaras (guitar) and Antonis Logothetis (keyboards). The superb sound was mastered by audio engineer Yiannis Paxevanis, also from Greece. Paxevanis, is also an award winning composer of music for films and documentaries in Greece. AKTINA TV's Production Director, Tom Stouras mastered beautifully the projection of the videos up on the big screeen as well as the projection of the singers and the orchestra for everyone in the theatre to further enjoy and appreciate.
A Playbill with biographical information also included a Prologue referring to the merits of singer Melina Aslanidou written by Lefteris Papadopoulos a renowned Greek journalist, TV host, writer and one of the most important Greek song lyricists of Greece.
The concert was presented by AKTINA Productions, Inc., from its acclaimed series "Greek Music Journey" to benefit its public service media AKTINA FM and AKTINA TV. It was made possible in part by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Arch Capital Services, Inc., The Pancyprian Association of America, Astoria Federal Savings Bank, Kellari Taverna, PJ Mechanical Corp., and private individuals. Greece's Satellite Channel Antenna was a media sponsor and Kellari Taverna in Manhattan, NY the official Caterer.
AKTINA's Production volunteer staff included: Elena Maroulleti, Concert Executive Producer, Tom Stouras, videography and AKTINA TV Production Director, Caroline Ioannou, Sr. Production Assistant, Kosmas Vrakas, Production Assistant, Lambros Kontokostas and Petros Michaelides Production Support, Christos Maroulletis and Stephan Masso, Publicity Support. Legal Counsel by David Katona of Katona & MIR LLP, Sound by Audio Inc.-Sound System Design, Video Projection by MB Productions.
Photos above by: Costas Beis