CULTURE

Marinella-Dalaras gigs sold out in minutes; extra dates in February

As extraordinary as it may seem, advance tickets for the upcoming series of concerts by popular performers Marinella and Giorgos Dalaras at the Athens Concert Hall vanished, not within days or hours, but within minutes. On October 30, the day tickets went on sale for five shows on November 19, 20, 22, 23 and 24; the venue’s switchboard reportedly went haywire with calls coming in from all around the country, while lines outside the concert hall began forming before dawn. Afterward, Christos Lambrakis, the venue’s director, felt that he owed an apology to fans who missed out, noting that «tickets weren’t tucked away, but sold out.» As consolation, however, he did announce that more dates would be added in February. Details, he said, will be announced in the near future. Marinella and Dalaras held a news conference on the eve of their five sold-out shows, during which they reminisced about their first meeting in August 1969, when an unknown 19-year-old Dalaras went knocking on the already established Marinellas’s door. The move proved fruitful as, soon after, the pair began performing together in Athens, a collaboration that continued for a full three years. Their tenure ended suddenly in 1972, when Marinella went abroad, but their strong friendship has endured. At the news conference, Dalaras spoke of Marinella as a generous, big-hearted person and Marinella returned the compliment by recalling what she described as Dalaras’s superb singing voice which she first heard on the radio with «While Traveling to Vouliagmeni for a Swim.» The repertoire for their shows comprises 36 songs, most of which are delivered as duets. Not surprisingly, golden oldies such as «Baxe Tsifliki,» «As Min Himerone Pote,» and «Ah, Helidoni Mou,» dominate the set list. For these shows, to be documented on a live album release, Dalaras and Marinella are backed by an 18-member orchestra, directed by Giorgos Niarchos.