• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Diane

  1. My Greek teacher recently loaned me a copy of a CD by Nena Venetsanou, called Ikones. I was very impressed with the quality and clarity of her voice, particularly on the tracks that she sang without music. However, her name is entirely new to me, and I wondered if anyone here would be able to give me some information - how long has she been singing, how popular is she, what do other members think about her voice and music? I have searched for her name within the Forum but was unsuccessful (it was a very hasty search though). Your views would be appreciated.
  2. I'm sure there must be people who are not members of the Forum, and who don't look at the Dalaras.gr site, who saw the MMA announcement and made arrangements accordingly. What sort of major concert hall puts things in their schedules that are not finalised? The Kaldaras concerts have not been officially announced so we have not booked flights, but these were on the MMA schedule! It is not only preferable for us to book our flights in advance to get the better price, but we also have to book time away from work, and fit it in with our other colleagues, and in our case Chris has to make complicated arrangements with care homes for the care of his mother. It is very inconvenient to keep changing these dates, and if we leave it too late often may not possible for our employers to allow us the time off work, and care homes don't have any spaces. It is not a case of simply choosing when we go out for an evening's entertainment, there are many more plans to be made. I'm sorry to go on about it, but this causes us great difficulties. It is not the fault of anyone in the Forum, but the foreign members are having a really bad time with this uncertainty and we are very unhappy about it.
  3. I'm sure I saw it on the Megaron website, with the original dates, which is why I (and others) booked. And if we book flights at the last minute they are even more expensive. Either way we end up paying a LOT of money.
  4. Another change of date, more flight changes to be made, more costs. This is getting VERY expensive for us! Does anyone know why it has been changed? I have to say, I am not happy about this!
  5. I had a feeling that this performance with Stelios would be something special, and it looks like I was right - I am so, so disappointed that I couldn't be there to experience it myself, but many thanks to Alona and Maria for helping to ease my disappointment a little!! If Dalaras is going to treat us to so many excellent concerts perhaps Chris and I should move to Athens for the winter (ah, if only we could....) Thank you everyone for your reports!
  6. Ah, that explains it. I do really like her voice.
  7. Many, many thanks to Alona for the videos and to Maro and everyone for the photographs! They really help to hold on to the memories of two superb evenings of the highest order! I have not seen Dalaras since Vienna, and before then in Basel, with Bregovic. Both very enjoyable in their own way and I was happy to be there, but …... Since then, there have been cancelled concerts, and nothing else for me. It’s not that I had lost interest – I would liken it to a pot of water simmering quietly away on the stove, and last weekend the pot boiled over!! NOW I remember why we get up in the middle of the night, and travel long distances to get to airports. Everything about these two evenings was exceptional! The venue – I had not expected the intimacy, being SO close to the musicians (THANK YOU Irina for organising such a good view!). I know that these venues with tables can be extremely irritating sometimes, with people talking through the performance and moving to and fro all the time, but I have to say we had very little disruption where we were, and I felt that the majority of the audience had come to listen to the music – and to take part! I would be very happy to go there again, in fact I am desperately trying to think of a way I could go to the next performances (although common sense tells me I can’t….) The songs – it is always the case that songs which are not particularly inspiring in recorded form can come to life when performed live. So it is with these new songs – performed with such passion and enthusiasm, it is difficult to dislike them, and some of them are very good indeed! But what an array of other music we heard – old songs, new songs, rare songs, rebetika (always a favourite for me). And on the second night, the second half was different again. I loved it! Adrianna – a new face and voice for me, and I liked both very much indeed (although I did think she looked a little bored at times on Saturday night? – maybe it was just me…..) Dalaras himself – well, what can I say! What took my breath away, as usual, was the voice. How he can sing like that after over 40 years, as though he has just started out on his career, I will never know! What an extraordinary performer he is!! He was clearly enjoying himself so much, it was such a joy to see and so infectious. I could watch and listen to him for hours…… this was the best concert I have been to in a long, long time! The one thing I am most pleased about – that this year, which had such painful episodes for Dalaras earlier on, has finished like this – the man himself at his absolute best, playing to audiences who are so happy to see him and so full of appreciation for his talents. Bravo George!!
  8. First brief report after arriving back at the hotel, very late and very wet: WOW!
  9. Alona is right! This is very expensive for us and we lose a LOT of money if we cancel flights. But if there is no news yet from Dalaras maybe he is trying to put something else together - let's hope so!!
  10. Hristaki, we all share your despair. One light in the darkness - he has proved beyond doubt (not that we needed him to) that he is not just a man of principled words, but that he will act on those principles even in the face of extremist hostility and violence. And he continues to do so, when others would have turned and run away. Let's hope that those responsible for security can be more effective next time! These people should not be allowed to spread their hatred without opposition. Bravo Giorgio, and bravo all of the musicians and artists who continue to appear with him. You all stand tall alongside the cowards who turn the other way, pretending they do not see.
  11. It has been a terrible week. What I have seen and read has been quite unbelievable. I am going to Athens next week, and intend to go to the Heliopolis concert,and for the first time I am not looking forward to it. But I will go, and if I could I would go to every remaining concert to show solidarity for Dalaras. I have tried to imagine what it must have been like, standing on that stage, continuing to sing in the face of such abuse. I cannot. What other artist would have continued under such circumstances? And what does that say about Dalaras? What strength, what courage and dignity the man has! It is so easy to claim that you have principles, but how many of us would have the guts to stand up for those principles,in the face of such hostility. Giorgio, you are a remarkable man indeed! I am sick and tired of hearing that he "deserved it" because he is wealthy and many Greeks are starving. I am tired of hearing that his efforts to raise awareness of problems around the world were just an excuse to fill his own pockets. I am tired of hearing that he has no right to express political opinions because he lives in luxury. Surely there must be many wealthy artists in Greece, who have taken their money for themselves and not attempted to give anything back. It is easy to take the money and keep quiet. It is easy to take the money and ignore what is happening in the rest of the world. Perhaps they do it because it never occurs to them that they could try and do some good, to give something back. Or is it because they have seen what has happened to Dalaras, the one who has stuck his neck out on many subjects and said look at this, this is wrong, we must do something about it. How many of these other wealthy artists give their time and money to worthy causes? Dalaras is not a coward. The cowards are those who criticise his every move, who deny him the credit he deserves for trying to make a difference in the world. I understand that many people in Greece believe that the attacks on Dalaras were justified. It makes me sick, and more than that, it makes me afraid of where this lawlessness will lead. I have been told that I cannot possibly understand what is going on in Greece because I am an "outsider". It is true that I will never be able to experience it, but I see all the terrible statistics about unemployment and homelessness, etc, and hope I do have enough sensitivity to understand the gravity of what is happening. But it seems that Dalaras has become the focus of hatred by extremists and this, together with the unprovoked violence we saw a few nights ago, is so wrong on every level. I hope these thugs, these criminals, will have had their moment of 'glory' now, and that honest, decent musicians will be allowed to continue to do the thing they do best. If I should have put this post in another topic, I apologise! Feel free to move it to a more appropriate place. Bravo Dalaras!
  12. In the past you have only been able to buy tickets three weeks or so before the performance. I presume it will be the same this time, but I'm sure one of the Greek members will be able to confirm this.
  13. Thank you for your response, and I agree, it is ridiculous that some people have this extremely negative attitude towards Dalaras, and that they cannot see and accept what a positive contribution he has made to Greek culture over 40 years (40 years!!) and still continues to make. I think I have said in this forum before that Dalaras is an excellent ambassador, not just for Greek music, but for the country in general. In fact, I have made this point very forcefully to those Greek people I have met from time to time who have criticised Dalaras. I accept that the people who choose to join the Dalaras forum will never quietly accept such criticisms, and from time to time some journalist or other will say something quite ridiculous. But what can we do? Perhaps we should be content in the knowledge that WE are right and they are WRONG! :lol: :lol:
  14. Might I be allowed to contribute something to this debate? As a non-Greek, I am aware that there are journalists and indeed Greek citizens who will always criticise Dalaras, whatever he does. They will continue to do so and I don't think there is any way to "cure" them of this illness :lol: The facts speak for themselves. Dalaras does not appear at the Irodeion every year. I wish he did, because the QUALITY of the concerts I have seen him perform there are outstanding. Examples are Mikra Asia with Glykeria - an experience to remember, a beautiful concert, very emotional, and Mesogeio - simply the best concert that I have ever been to. Every other performance I have seen there has also been of the very highest quality. As far as I am aware, Dalaras does not perform Axion Esti every year either. I saw a performance of Axion Esti at the Prespes festival a few years ago and it was quite magical - the venue adding to the experience, just as the Irodeion adds a special quality to a concert for me, and to hear the same piece performed there will, I am quite sure, be wonderful . There were no empty seats at any of these concerts and, despite the comments made by certain journalists, I don't anticipate that there will be any empty seats in Athens on 30th August. Those who are "tired" of hearing a majestic composition like Axion Esti sung by the finest voice, not only in Greece, but around the world, can stay at home. There are still plenty of people, myself included, who cannot wait for August to arrive. If red London buses and afternoon tea are quintessentially English, then summer at the Irodeion, with the voice of Dalaras and the music of Theodorakis, is for me the Greek equivalent. I cannot wait.
  15. I have just returned from a week on the beautiful island of Thassos. We returned to our room last Saturday night, turned on the television, and what did we find? Στην Υγειά Μας με το Μουσικό Σχολείο Βόλου!! Such a surprise - and Dalaras was not the only familiar face sitting at the table! :lol: :lol: What a wonderful group of musicians and singers - they did a fantastic job and it was clear that Dalaras was delighted with the performers and their performances. To see so many talented youngsters honouring Dalaras was an absolute pleasure. Congratulations to ALL!
  16. Χρόνια πολλά κύριε Γιώργο Νταλάρα! Να είσαι καλά! Σε ευχαριστώ για ΟΛΑ! Thank you for everything - the music I have discovered (so much beautiful music!), the experiences I have had, the places I have visited and the friendships I have made - all thanks to you. My life is divided into two sections - "before Dalaras" and "after Dalaras". "After Dalaras" is infinitely richer and more rewarding. Long may this adventure continue.
  17. I am trying to access www.stelioskazantzidis.net - but I can't get in! Does anyone know if there is a problem with this site? I need help!
  18. Can I add my thanks also to Thanasis for his hard work in organising the magazine articles. I have not seen this magazine yet but I am looking forward to it very much indeed I can only imagine the amount of work involved in putting this together, and Thanasis deserves the many messages of congratulations that have been sent to him. And Vivi - you have done a magnificent job translating everything! Well done both of you - this is a very fitting tribute to "our" Dalaras on his 40th anniversary
  19. To everyone who is going to Prespes - kalo taxidi I know you will have a fantastic time - I am SO unhappy that I can't go. I will be thinking of you all over the next few days - I WISH I could be there with you......
  20. Follow the link below for an interesting article by Pete Paphides of The Times newpaper (who wrote the review of the last London concert featured in The Times). He has written an interesting article (which mentions Dalaras - he describes him as "a national treasure"!). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_...icle4249966.ece The BBC Radio programme he has made will be on BBC Radio 4 at 1.30 pm UK time, on 8 July. Should be interesting.....
  21. Thanks, Kate, for pointing out the "Listen Again" facility that the BBC has - VERY useful. And yes, it's the first time I have heard Dalaras speaking in English too, which was why it was such a surprise to me!
  22. I hope you managed to listen to the whole programme today Alona - not only the interview with Rena Stamou (lovely lady - I have seen her before a couple of times and she has MANY stories to tell) but also the interview with Dalaras which I was not expecting I was also pleased to hear Nikos Politis, who I have seen many times at the Hydra Rembetiko Conference. He always has something interesting to say. An excellent programme
  23. I have been wondering what I could write for our non-Greek speaking friends to convey how special these concerts were. Then I read Alona's description and she has said almost precisely what I thought and felt, as though she had been inside my head at the time!! Extraordinary I have grown to love the many types of Greek music since I first discovered it, but for me rembetika songs are the ones that give me the most pleasure. In previous concerts we sometimes get a selection of songs, or one or two, and sometimes none at all. At the Megaron this time it was so special to hear one after another, after another - some very well known (some I even knew the words to ) and others I had never heard before. There were many excellent parts to this performance. The musicians were, as always, of the highest quality and Dalaras gathered around him some very fine singers. Aspasia has a very sweet voice and I enjoyed her singing very much indeed, but for me Sofia's voice has a depth and strength that is always a pleasure to listen to, and her interpretations of each song were simply wonderful. I know that some people in the Forum are not fans of Babis Stokas, but I have to say that I like him very much (like Alona!) and thought that his voice "fitted" the rembetiko style. However (like Alona!) I did not feel that he was part of the group and when he did not appear in the second half of each show because he was also appearing at Zoom (or not at all on Monday night because he broke his wrist), he was not really missed. And Zacharias - well, what can I say. I am more and more impressed with him each time I see him. He is so multi-talented - even now when I recall him strolling onto the stage in his policeman's outfit, I smile to myself! - and his acting talents are matched by his singing. Not only that, but he dances a mean zeibekiko!! He will become a great artist I think, and certainly earns his place on stage with Dalaras. For me these songs speak for themselves and there is no need to add anything to them, but I was very, very impressed with the quality of the dramatic interludes between the singing, which took place on a stage above and behind the musicians. At the very beginning, an actress looking so much like Sotiria Bellou came and sat on the edge of the stage (the resemblance was so good, it was almost as if she was there). Then Bellou's voice rang out around the theatre for a while, before Dalaras appeared on stage to finish the song. I think we all knew then it was going to be a great performance. The actors playing the parts of Vamvakaris, Tsitsanis, Papaioannou, Loukas Daralas, Marika Ninou and a waitress were really very good indeed, and also had wonderful singing voices, particularly Tania Trypi. Even the best actors need to have good dialogue written for them, and we were not disappointed. Obviously a knowledge of the language is helpful (thank you Rena for translating a lot of it for us! ) and by my third concert I knew exactly what was going on. The characters reminisced about the past, and about all the other great rembetiko singers, and it all fitted perfectly within the performance. A great job! And Dalaras? Well, this is what made these concerts so special, because this was very personal for him, and you could see that it was so. He talked at the beginning of the concert about a dream he had of recording songs for his father, and we then saw, on the stage at the back, "his father" very proudly producing this CD for his companions. The most moving moment of the evening for me was when Dalaras sang To Vouno - after a very long, and extremely good, bouzouki taximi, Dalaras started to sing and above him, "Loukas" walked to the edge of the stage, alone, to watch over his son. And at the end of the song, which Dalaras sang beautifully, the waitress walked across and took "Loukas'" by the hand, slowly leading him back to the others. Very, very moving.... Dalaras put so much emotional energy into these performances, and it increased each time I saw it. It is clear that he loves this music very much indeed and vocally he was at his best (even on the Monday night, when he appeared to be struggling with a bad cough). Alona saw the concerts on 14th and 15th February, and thought 15th February was best. I saw the concerts on 15th, 16th and 19th February, and for me the 16th February (Saturday) was the best, for the same reason - many, many vocal Forum members in the audience! Although there were more than expected on Monday night too, due to the snow and the fact that the airport was closed and the roads were too bad to travel, forcing everyone back into Athens. I have to say that the Forum members did not look too unhappy about it!! Once again, I have to say what a pleasure it was to see all the old faces again (I was particularly glad that Apostolis was able to join us ), and some relatively new faces (Margot - I am pleased that you were able to come to Athens for the first time, and I hope it won't be the last). Then of course there are always new faces - it was good to meet you Alona One final word - this time I brought along some friends from the Hydra Rembetiko Conference from Norway and Sweden, and they liked the concerts very much indeed. In fact Halvard from Norway (I hope he doesn't mind me telling you this!) told me that the Saturday night concert was the best concert he had EVER been to!! And when his flight on Monday was cancelled, he was extremely pleased that he could also go to Monday's concert as well. The Dalaras magic still works