Duo Mediterraneo is a voice & harp ensemble that my good friend Maria Chiossi and I created when I first moved to London.
We perform music that is written for our combination of instruments, but we also like to experiment with medieval, renaissance and early baroque compositions not originally written for voice & harp.
My friend Maria recently moved to Chile and so we are keeping this one on hold until we meet again.
La Divina, The Last Interview of Maria Callas
This is a project that I was involved in as a director and not as a performer. It was my first directing attempt and it has been an absolutely educating process.
The piece is a monologue put together by American actress and music theatre singer Shelley Cooper who collected material from actual Maria Callas interviews and put them together in a concise and captivating way.
The performance runs 60 minutes, contains stories from the life of Maria Callas and also some of the iconic arias that she is known for singing. The show premiered at the Orlando Repertory Theatre Black Box Space on October 29 and 30, 2010 and later performed at the International Performing Arts Institute in Bavaria, Germany.
Most Recent Performances include the Bangkok Theatre Festival on November 15 and 16, 2014 that also was the Asian premier of the piece and two performances at the Kad Suan Kaew Performing Arts Center in Changmai, Thailand in March 2015.
La Divina, The Last Interview of Maria Callas is a flexible, easy to put together show that is ideal for theatre festivals since it is only 50 minutes long and requires no props and not set to be performed.
To book La Divina, contact Shelley Cooper at email@example.com.
Happy End by Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Well
Back in the spring of 2014 by good colleague Teddy Crecelius, at Mahidol University in Thailand was going to visit the Kurt Weill Foundation in New York City to ask for help and funding in order to put together a production of Happy End. Knowing my passion and dedication to the music of Kurt Weill, he asked me to be the music director. "What a great opportunity" I thought. Coming back from NYC Teddy brought back a substantial amount of money, the rights to the show and a brilliant concept about the piece.
Putting the music together was not so hard, but helping the students understand the challenges of Kurt Weill's style was certainly an interesting process. Brecht and Weill represent a very different world, which our young students were not familiar with. This very challenge allowed us to educated them "from scratch" and give them the opportunity to do research and discover legendary performers of this music such as Lotte Lenya and Ute Lemper.
The piece was performed at the Alliance française in Bangkok in October 2014.
The production photos posted on Facebook caught the attention of Michael Feingold, the author of the adaptation we used, which was exciting. To view the album click on the photo on the left or click here
From Guilt to Enlightenment
I worked on this project together with pianist Kevin Bylsma in the period 2010-2011 while I was still in the United States. My inspiration was religion-driven guilt and how it affects human relationships.
The Guilt portion of the program is represented by repertoire from the Italian Baroque, more specifically by laments that highlight human weaknesses such as guilt, despair, the ability to betray and the need for revenge. The Enlightenment portion features music from the French post-romantic repertoire that reflects the opposite; liberation, pleasure and freedom of personal expression.
This project is dedicated to an old friend of mine who often lingered between Guilt & Enlightenment.
Welcome to Bedlam
Bethlem Royal Hospital is a hospital in London, United Kingdom for the treatment of mental illness, and is Europe's first and oldest institution to specialize in mental illnesses. It has been known by various names including St Mary Bethlehem, Bethlem Hospital, Bethlehem Hospital and, informally and most notoriously, Bedlam.
Founded in 1247 has been an important subject and a location for inspiration for many artists who would visit its facilities and take a tour observing the patients. Henry Purcell was one of those artists who in 1683 published his Bess of Bedlam, a mad scene in which Bess, a Bedlam resident, who has been driven insane by lovesick grief.
Sometime between 2008-2010 I was working on Bess and I fell in love with its content and structure and with lingering between being a monologue and an aria. Still a student and having time for research I was happy to discover many more of Purcell's songs that belonged to same sub-genre; the Mad Song. At the time I was also very much emotionally charged and the music seemed to be in perfect harmony with my emotional being.
I decided to create a concert-program in three parts; the first part featured Italian Baroque compositions by Antonio Vivaldi and Francesco Cavalli where love is still a happy feeling with small doses of longing. The second part featured lute songs by John Dowland that highlighted the sadness and ofter subtle renaissance depression of lost love. The third part was dedicated to the darkest and most undesirable side of love with Purcell mad songs, showcasing the arch from happy love to insanity.
Kevin Bylsma was my other half in working on this brilliant music.
Wandering, Songs of Love and Dream
Describing this project is quite simple.
Andreas Xenopoulos and I are both musicians and for many years now we have been living abroad, both for educational and professional purposes. Although we both come from the same country, we met in a small town in Bowling Green, Ohio where we collaborated in a variety of chamber music projects as well as in photography projects. What gave us the most joy and inspiration was to gather with friends, cook and drink and then sing old Greek rembetika songs-a form of Greek blues- that talked about love, loss, longing and missing home, things that we both knew well. Andreas played the accordion and I sang, and that form of home entertainment later led on numerous concerts and collaborations primarily supported by the Department of Greek Studies at the University of Michigan and the Greek communities around Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and New York City. In our travelling we had the opportunity to meet people that were introduced to our music for the first time and also many expats that recognized the tunes and would often sing along. Every concert was an opportunity to make new friends that we still keep in touch with.
After working on more than a hundred songs throughout concerts and rehearsals we finally managed to record those tunes that we believe best reflect the feelings of all those that are far from their homes and families. The songs that we recorded have a special place in our hearts, reminding us of all the great times we shared together in America, the people we met, the tears that run through our eyes, the laughter, the agonies, the twists and turns, and all of those things that equipped us with wisdom and made us stronger in order to continue for more challenging journeys.
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Langsam was an electronic music group that was created sometime at the beginning of the century while I was still living in Greece. The mind behind it was my friend Babis Georgiadis, a wonderful composer who also wrote the lyrics right before I entered the booth to record, so no wonder why they make not much sense.
We never made a CD but the song "I'm sorry" was part of the compilation "One Nation" by Klik Records.
All the songs were recorded and mastered at the "Underground Sound Studio" in Thessaloniki by Sotiris Noukas.