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George Michael’s first ever Greek concert July 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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OK, back home from George’s live in Athens!

Simply a sensational performance! George has proved once more that he IS a superstar. A magnificent hi-tech production, an Olympic Stadium with thousands of crazy Greeks, a show which lasted for a little more than two hours. It all started at 22:00 and ended at 0:35 local Greek time.

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George, although of Greek-Cypriot descent, spoke fairly little Greek, and he said:

“This is the first time that people in any country of the world, called me with my real name”

while Greeks were shouting “Giorgos, Giorgos, Giorgos!” all in a rythm! At the end of the show and at audience’s demand he performed two additional songs, “Careless Whisper” and “Freedom”. Just before performing “Freedom” George appeared on  stage bearing a large Greek flag. The Greeks went crazy! They cheered and applauded him and again touched by his move, started calling him with his Greek name “Giorgos! Giorgos! Giorgos!”

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Due to security restrictions, I was able to only take some photos via my mobile phone, but as you know, quality is low, plus the fact that from the place I was seating, distance was another obstacle. Nevertheless, I hope to obtain some better pictures tomorrow, so I will post them here, plus more comments and details.

UPDATE > 27 July 2007

For those who wish to view and read more about George’s or Giorgo’s Athenian live, the Greek MadTV (well, the Greek reply to MTV) has a related page with details from his concert, sort of a live update and presentation of the concert’s highlights.

poster_madtv.jpg  Mind you, the page is available only in Greek language. Check this out > http://www.mad.tv/special/gmichael/

George Michael’s Official Website > http://www.georgemichael.com

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History of Andros island told in postcards July 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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andros_postcard.jpg  G. Embeirikou Street, Andros, a postcard mailed in 1904.

An exhibition at the Kaireio Library in Hora, on Andros island, reveals that Greece once had a number of local publishers and photographers who made a living from postcards.

Early 20th century postcards, which played something of the role that SMS messages do today, were produced in the hundreds of thousands by local manufacturers that adopted the custom common throughout the West of copying photographs of landscapes and all aspects of life. It was the golden age of photography as a popular means of communication.

This exhibition of postcards from 1900-1960 has brought together scores of collector’s items. Most of the items on display come from the collection of Giorgos Papadopoulos, with smaller numbers from other collections.

A small local business founded in 1892 by printer Lorentzos Karaoulanis printed 90 percent of the postcards available on Andros for several decades. It was the epitome of the local family business that for much of the 20th century, and, in some cases, part of the 19th century, recorded the photographic history of many communities and small places. Thanks to printing presses and keen photographers all over Greece and abroad, where there were Greek-speaking communities, a significant archive was created. Without collectors, these records would have been scattered or lost and would have remained undocumented.

Now, given the exhibition on Andros, we can imagine small archives and collections taking on the role of relating forgotten stories and histories. Today we might see these photographs as forerunners of the digital epoch, but a century ago the postcards were an absolute innovation which herald in a new world. Countless postcards have recorded Greek locations, creating a body of memory that is of interest both to collectors and the general public. The exhibition, which runs until September 29, is sponsored by the National Bank of Greece.

Greek National Opera > next season’s rich program July 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera, Music Life Classical.
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With a focus on Puccini, the Greek National Opera has also scheduled works by Verdi, Rossini and others

Puccini’s ‘Tosca,’ one of last season’s highly successful productions, will go on stage once more next April. The year 2008 will also mark the 150th anniversary of the Italian composer’s birth and another three of his works are to be performed .

The National Opera’s main program for the 2007-8 season will bear the signature of its former artistic director, Giorgos Lazaridis. This was only to be expected, and not just because of a shortage of time to make other arrangements. The institution’s Board of Directors has acknowledged Lazaridis’s great contribution to the National Opera’s renewal and in any case the strife that led to the two parting ways had nothing to do with his artistic choices. The only addition to his initial suggestions has been the re-staging of the highly successful “Tosca,” scheduled to take place in April 2008.

The addition of “Tosca” is not without significance, since it means the program now features four works by Puccini, something rather appropriate given that 2008 marks the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The other three performances will be the brand new production of “La Boheme,” with a fresh approach from director Graham Vick that is to premiere on December 21, then the one-act “Gianni Schicchi” which will open on November 25, followed by the exotic “Turandot” on June 1 at the Herod Atticus Theater, which will bring the great Renata Scotto to Athens. One of the most highly acclaimed voices of the 20th century, the Italian soprano stopped singing in 2002 and has since devoted herself to directing and teaching.

The season will start on October 14 with another repetition, Verdi’s “Nabucco,” which also met with great success when staged last season. It will feature a new cast and a fresh look by director Julia Pevzner. November will feature three works from the inter-war period, namely Igor Stravinsky’s “Mavra” a Greek first, Kurt Weill’s “Seven Deadly Sins” and the aforementioned “Gianni Schicchi” by Puccini. All three will be staged in a single performance.

Manolis Kalomiris’s “The Masterbuilder,” which will go on stage at the Athens Concert Hall on January 21, will also travel to pre-Olympic Beijing. The production will be directed by Thomas Moschopoulos, a choice bound to produce interesting results.

Kalomiris’s work will be followed by “Le Comte Ory” on February 19, the last comedy that Rossini composed for Paris. The production will bear the signature of director Mariame Clement. What is probably Verdi’s most political opera, “Simone Bocanegra,” will be the second joint production with the Athens Concert Hall and will premiere on May 4.

Those disappointed with Lazaridis’s decision to end operettas will be glad to know that they will be returning to the Acropol Theater. A tribute to Theofrastos Sakellaridis has been scheduled for December, under the artistic direction of Lambros Liavas. The opera program for children has also been strengthened, but will kick off with another repetition, Rossini’s “Cinderella,” adapted by Carmen Ruggeri.

Temporary exhibition of Minoan treasures July 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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The recently restored ‘Prince of the Lilies’ fresco from Knossos is now back on display at the Museum of Iraklion

Just a month and a half before the end of summer, the peak period of the tourism season in Greece, including Crete, the temporary exhibition organized by the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion, in the Cretan capital, has opened.

The Museum building has already been closed for restoration as well as for restoration of its 15,000 important artifacts, a panorama of ancient Cretan art and civilization. Inaugurated by Culture Minister George Voulgarakis earlier this week, the temporary exhibit will be housed in a 350-square-meter building in which 400 of the 15,000 Museum objects are on display, acting as representative samples of the 3,000-year-old civilization.

Even halfway through the summer, those who took on the task of curating the exhibit succeeded in choosing characteristic objects from Cretan civilization, from Neolithic times up until the Roman Empire, with a special focus on the Minoan “miracle.”

An effort was also made to include well-known and beloved masterpieces, such as the “Prince of the Lilies” fresco from Knossos, which was recently restored and open for viewing, as well as “Bull Leaping,” “La Parisienne,” the “Saffron Gatherers” and the “Blue Bird.” According to the current plan, the restoration of the Museum building will cost 21 million euros and will be complete in October 2008. Visitors to Crete will have the opportunity to enjoy the entire exhibit from 2009 onward, when the Museum will reopen.

George Michael’s arrival in Athens July 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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george_michael_athens_airport.jpg  British singer-songwriter George Michael, of Greek-Cypriot descent, talks to reporters at Athens International Airport yesterday.

The 44-year-old pop singer, one of the world’s most successful male artists, is to perform at the Athens Olympic Stadium tonight.

Tonight IS the big night! > July 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Mr Georgios Kyriakos Panayiotou alias George Michael >

> the Greek Cypriot Superstar, LIVE in Athens, at the Olympic Stadium, at 21:00 local Athens time!

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Lord of the Dance photos from the Athens show July 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Ballet Dance Opera, Stage & Theater.
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For all LOTD fans out there, as promised in one of my comments related to our post Lord of the Dance > Flatley’s stage hit arrives in Athens
dated June 18, 2007, here are some photos from the Athens show. Enjoy!

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Related Links > http://www.lordofthedance.com

Check also YouTube for video clips > here