CULTURE

A young voice goes for variety and quality

Nikos Kypourgos’s recent concerts at the Athens Concert Hall left the audience more than satisfied, due, among other things, to the fine singers who participated, namely Maria Farandouri, Chronis Aidonidis, Savina Yiannatou, Alkinoos Ioannidis, talented 12-year-old Nikola Floki, and Doros Dimosthenous. Dimosthenous, an upcoming young singer who first appeared a few years ago, not only has a strong, youthful voice, but also the gift for interpreting a song by putting every bit of his being into it. His first appearance on stage was in 1994, singing at the Herod Atticus Theater in a Michalis Cacoyannis production to mark 20 years since the Cyprus invasion. The following year he interpreted the original version of Manos Hadjidakis’s «Tragoudia tis Amartias» (Songs of Sin) at the dance performance «Enos Leptou Sigi» (A Minute’s Silence) by Dimitris Papaioannou and his Omada Edafous dance company. Dimosthenous has studied classical singing and music theory at the National Conservatory, but he also has a degree in radiology. «I knew that I wanted to be a singer from the very beginning,» he says. «Yet I wanted to be educated further, so I was admitted to the Radiology Department of Athens Technical College. My parents wanted me to do so, too; they knew I had a passion for singing, but thought it was a good idea for me to have a degree as well.» Dimosthenous was born and brought in at Limossol in Cyprus until he came to Athens to study in 1991. He has been living in Athens ever since, but says that he does not miss Cyprus because he is able to go back three or four times a year. He does not restrict himself to a particular singing style, but opts for variety: He has interpreted Beatles songs with the Orchestra of Colors at the Athens Concert Hall, opera at the National Opera, and Aristophanes’ «Birds» at the Theatro Technis, not to mention singing alongside Nana Mouskouri and Maria Farandouri. He has also participated in musicals («West Side Story» by the Oxford Symphonic Orchestra and «Grease» at the Vembo Theater), has performed songs by composer Mikis Theodorakis with the Russian Ossipov Balalaika Orchestra, and Hadjidakis’s «Era of Melissanthe» and «Magnus Eroticus» with the Hadjidakis ensemble. Finally, he has taken part in concerts by Nikos Kypourgos, Christos Leondis, Michalis Grigoriou, Dimitris Lagios and Michalis Christodoulidis, among others. «I am interested in all types of music, as long as they have some quality,» says Dimosthenous. «I am also interested in opera because, after all, I studied classical singing. My problem with opera is that it requires devotion, and I like variety. I am rather keen on singing when it includes other variants, namely theatrical songs, musicals and quality Greek songs.» Dimosthenous has already participated in albums by Christodoulidis («Ton Athanaton» and «I Kardia mou Pethimonda»), Lagios («Ina ti») and recently in Kypourgos’s «Mistika tou Kipou». «Everybody has been telling me I need to produce my own album, which is something I hadn’t realized all this time because I was so busy working with other people. I think that I am ready to produce an album now, because I feel more mature. It would include theatrical songs – in fact, I have already selected some – by Kypourgos, Dionysis Savvopoulos, Costas Vomvolos and Grigoriou among others. But nothing has been arranged so far, because I have yet to find out whether any recording company is actually interested. Singing today has become so commercialized that I don’t know whether recording such an album is feasible. To the extent that I can, I will try to sing songs that please me. I am not distracted by mainstream commercial music because I have been so lucky as to meet people like Kypourgos, Leondis, Grigoriou and Farandouri, who have taught me so much that I cannot just ignore.» Dimosthenous will soon appear at Athens Concert Hall once more this season, at Lena Platonos’s concert next month.