CULTURE

Three landmark concerts to raise money for charity organizations

This coming Wednesday and Thursday, September 17 and 18, singers Marinella and George Dalaras will be appearing on stage together once more with the same program that was so warmly applauded at the Athens Concert Hall in March and which they then took to Cyprus, the USA and more recently, to Thessaloniki. For those of you who could not get tickets then, now is your chance. Our foreign visitors really should avail themselves of the opportunity to hear these great voices that have been part of Greece’s music scene for so many years. Marinella first appeared on stage with her husband at the time, Stelios Kazantzidis, in the Athens district of Tzitzifies and went on to become «queen of the singing stage» with many hit songs. She first met Dalaras when he was doing his military service and just beginning his singing career. Now he too is a star, having released many gold and platinum discs, and is a tireless performer for Greeks overseas. At the open-air Lycabettus Theater, they will hold a benefit performance for Greece’s Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA Hellas). In the three years since it was founded, MDA Hellas has set up a special unit for the diagnosis and support of patients and their families at the Aghia Sophia Hospital. Its president is Vana Lavida; its vice president Katy G. David and honorary president Elizabeth Baylies-Burns, the wife of former US Ambassador to Greece Nicholas Burns. Proceeds from the concert will go toward setting up a second unit. Then, on September 29, Nana Mouskouri will be lending her famous voice to support the Greek Program against the Stigma of Mental Illness, whose scientific director is Professor Marina Lalioti-Economou, of Athens University’s School of Psychiatry. It was Health Minister Costas Stefanis, former president of the International Psychiatric Association, who set up this program, implemented in Greece by the University Research Institute for Mental Health. Nana Mouskouri, a former Eurodeputy who is always willing to contribute to humanitarian and philanthropic causes, accepted the appeal to sing at the Herod Atticus Theater once more. Three voices, two causes, at concerts filled with music underneath the starry September sky.