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Cyprus history to be staged in opera July 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Ballet Dance Opera, Music Life Classical.
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Cyprus’ first opera composer Michalis Hadjiloizou will be having his melodrama “9th of July 1821, The Song of Kyprianos” staged at the Nicosia Municipal Theatre on July 9 under the auspices of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II.

The Orchestra of the Melodramatic Stage of Nicosia, together with the Chorus of Nicosia Music Society, the Theatre Group of Palechori and the Ballet Company of Antigoni Tasouri, will be conducted by Yiannis Hadjiloizou.

Highlights of the opera have been performed in numerous European countries and the United States, and, although the opera has been staged in its entirety at the Presidential Palace in previous years, this will be the first performance with orchestra, soloist, chorus, ballet and theatre.

Conductor Yiannis Hadjiloizou is particularly excited about the impact of the work: “The work has a significant musicological and historic character as it is the only work which proves the co-existence of ancient Greek drama, Byzantium and the East and modern western civilisation in a modern opera.” Conducting his father’s work has not presented any problems, although Yiannis explains that “it’s not so easy in the first rehearsals, I’m his son, and while I admire his work, I have my own musical opinion and thoughts…”

Yiannis has returned to Cyprus after ten years in the United States with a Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting. “I want to offer all the experiences which I received, such as master classes with great conductors like Lorin Mazel, Solti and Barenboim to Cyprus and to generate an even greater interest in classical music.” Although Yiannis prefers classical music, his musical album is far and wide ranging, and he feels that “diversity is the spice of life”.

He is particularly excited about conducting the opera, an expression of the work by Cyprus’ National poet Vasilis Michaelides which details the events when the Cypriot people joined the Greek uprising War for Independence of 1821. During Ottoman rule, the island had fallen into economic decline, and reaction to Turkish misrule caused uprisings, but the Greek Cypriots were never strong enough to prevail.

During the Greek War of Independence in 1821, the Ottoman authorities feared the Greeks of the island would rebel again. Cypriot Archbishop Kyprianos, a powerful leader who worked to improve the education of Greek Cypriot children, was accused of plotting against the Ottoman authorities. Kyprianos, his bishops and hundreds of priests and important laymen were arrested and summarily executed on July 9, 1821.

Tickets will be available at £10 each at the theatre box office from July 2, 2007. For further information, call 22 432665.


Katherine Jenkins’ Greek Olympic Spirit July 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Ballet Dance Opera.
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Katherine Jenkins donned her running kit and celebrated singing her first duet with the legendary Placido Domingo in Athens by sprinting around he stadium where the first modern-day Olympics were held.

Spanish-born tenor Domingo was joined by the Welsh mezzo soprano for a charity concert at the Panathenaic, Kallimarmaro, Stadium on Wednesday night. It was the venue for the first modern Olympic games in 1896.

After their performance of popular operatic duets, 26-year-old Katherine, who is from Neath, could not resist changing into her shorts and running around the 400-metre track at the Greek capital’s historic stadium. Katherine is a keen runner and often runs to help her keep fit. Her spokesman said last night, “She’d just come off stage and was on an incredible high. The stadium was the first place the Olympics were ever staged and she wanted to experience the Olympic feeling which simply couldn’t be missed.”

Katherine teamed up with Domingo for the concert in aid of the children of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of western Sudan. Organised by the Greek Branch of Medecins Sans Frontieres, it also featured the ERT, Greek Radio and TV State Corporation, Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Kohn.

Domingo and Katherine sang solo and popular operatic duets. Among the pieces they performed were Tonight from West Side Story and Waltz Duet from The Merry Widow. They also sang Saro Per Te which was written especially for them by Domingo’s son Placido Jr, to mark the special occasion of their first time performing together. Thousands of people defied the scorching heat and attended the concert. Greek politicians and the Spanish Ambassador to Greece were also present. Domingo is the latest star to perform a duet with Katherine. Among the other names she’s sung with in the past are Bryn Terfel and Aled Jones.

Katherine is now preparing for her first festival in Wales. Katherine In The Park takes place at Margam Park in Port Talbot on July 8. She will be joined by Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez and Paul Potts, the winner of the TV series Britain’s Got Talent, who lives in Port Talbot and has this week been recording at Abbey Road studios in London.

Marcos Baghdatis is branding Cyprus July 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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At the end of Marcos Baghdatis’ game at the Gerry Weber Open final in Germany earlier this month, the organisers brought out a cake to celebrate the Cypriot tennis star’s 22nd birthday.

A polite and genuine gesture for a colourful sportsman whose temperament and talent by admission of the International Tennis Federation have animated an otherwise dull, read bar Nadal, circuit.

The cake was marked with the Cyprus flag. In the world of fast information and images and faster impressions, the Baghdatis-Cyprus connection at that moment generated more positive recognition for Cyprus than compared to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation campaign featuring images of beaches and mountain tops.

Marcos Baghdatis. The Cyprus’ National tennis star. Born in 1985, talented, charming, laid-back but also temperamental; tri-lingual and very European. If he wins any grand slam down the line he’ll be elevated to Cyprus’ global ambassador. He will personify the way the world identifies and appreciates Cyprus.

Of course, like him, Cyprus counts hundreds of agile, hard working and focused professionals both here and abroad who are capable of carrying the Cyprus brand. At the end of the day, we know we will never host a World Cup or the Olympic Games. So all we can do is to encourage more like Baghdatis to excel in what they do and hope that the state will prove clever enough to help and embrace them. It appears our only asset with branding potential is the human one. Happy Birthday Marcos!

Fun in the sun > Cyprus CyBC’s plans for JESC 2008 July 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV, Music Life Greek.
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CyBC, Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, who will be hosting the 2008 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, have released the promo video clip they submitted to the EBU for the country’s candidacy.

Information on the arena, the staging and the activities planned for the participating artists has been made public by CyBC who state they are already prepared to face the greatest challenge in the channel’s history.

The 2008 JESC will be held in Limassol, Cyprus’ popular resort with international travelers, at the Spyros Kyprianou Athletic Center just outside the town. The stadium is already complete with a Press Center and Press Conference rooms, several large halls, a restaurant with views of the arena and more than 20 dressing rooms. The commentary booths are already in place and the vast underground garage will be used for technical equipment storage. The arena itself will seat 7.500 spectators.

George Papadopoulos, the CyBC production designer, promised a 15 metre in diameter, sealed glass pool-stage from where goddess Aphrodite will rise. There are going to be large screens at the back of the stage, the largest being 12 metres high by 30 metres long. There are going to be projections on all the screens, and this year’s innovation from Cyprus will be that some of the screens will offer the children the opportunity to interact, something that has never been done before.

The postcards have been already designed. The children will also shoot their own messages during JESC week. A lot of fun activities have been planned for the young artists and their escorts to make their stay an educational and unforgettable one. They will sail the seas like pirates on a specially designed pirate ship and take part in a Treasure Hunt.

CyBC have invested heavily on new technical equipment and training to meet with the JESC challenge. Cypriot key production staff will work together with experts from the UK to deliver an imaginative and high quality show.

You can watch the entire promo video in English language at > http://www.cybc.com.cy/junior/junior2008_video.html where you can see computer generated images of the stage.

Seat León Cupra, Greece’s GTI Car of the Year July 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.
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The Seat León continues chalking up success all over Europe, and especially in Greece, where it has just been awarded its third recognition, the GTI of the Year 2006-2007, this time for the León Cupra. 

Readers of the motoring magazine “4-Trohoi/4-Wheels” chose the León Cupra over 11 other rivals after a day of road testing at the Megara track. The Cupra was given 26% of the votes, ahead of the Renault Clio RS, with 20%; the Honda Civic Type R, with 14% and the VW Golf GTI Edition, with 13%.

Equipped with a 240 hp 2.0 TFSI engine, the León Cupra is Seat’s most powerful street model and its performance rivals that of any sports car, a top speed of 247 km/h and 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in only 6.4 seconds. The “GTI of the Year” award is in its third edition in Greece, a country where the Seat León has already won two previous distinctions.

Firstly, it got the highest score at the first edition of “Car of 2007” last December from a panel of 27 motoring press journalists Secondly, the Seat León also won the “Hellenic Car of the Year 2007″ award, also at its first edition last December. The winning votes were cast among the readership of the seven main Greek motoring magazines, 4Wheels, Drive, Car&Driver, Autocar, Evo, Car and TopGear.

Step back in time > Ancient Greek City States July 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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The city-states of ancient Greece are generally considered together as one of the first great civilizations. This doesn’t mean they weren’t up for a little fun.

People in Greece had a remarkable veneration for their gods and goddesses. As a result, most of the early activities focused on the deities and, in particular, praising them. This was accomplished through a bevy of religious festivals held throughout the year. In truth, there is a bit of a question as to whether these festivals were more for political aims than fun and worship. 

Sports played a large role in the city-states. To this end, the modern Olympics were founded during the time. Unlike modern times, the ancient Olympics were mostly about showing up. While we hold the modern Olympics as two separate events, summer and winter, the city-states called for four different Olympics each and every year. 

One area of the popular activities of the city-states that lives on today can be seen in most major cities. In this case, we are talking about street artists. In the city-states of ancient Greece, it was popular to come upon street poets and singers of all variety and ability. This form of artistry was translated to the future through bards and on to street mimes and such. 

In ancient Greece, the public performers served a unique function when compared to modern street artists. The Greek public entertainers were itinerant artists traveling from one place to another. This made them an excellent resource for news from far away locations. In there stead, traveling street artists delivered the news even if it was a little out of date.

Having a good time in the city-states of Greece was both mild in the form of street artists and vicious in the form of the Olympics. Nonetheless, it is interesting that many these events and practices have survived to these modern times, some 2,500 years later.

Almost all fires in Greece under control July 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News.
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Civil Protection Service warns of new

Greece’s Civil Protection service forecasts high risk of new fires, fourth level, in may regions around the country, Naftemporiki newspaper reports.

The risky regions are: Attica periphery, where capital city of Athens is sutuated, capital Athens, the islands of Euboea, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades, as well as Heraklion on the island of Crete.

Meanwhile, almost all fires in the country have been brought under control. Fires are still raging in Pilios, Larissa, and in Chania on the island of Crete, the newspaper adds. 50 fires broke out on Friday, while for the period June 27-29 their number amounts to 307.