CULTURE

Memory of Greek composer Vassilis Tsitsanis celebrated

The Athens Concert Hall welcomes the new year with a tribute to Greek composer Vassilis Tsitsanis. This is the second tribute held in the composer’s honor at the Athens Concert Hall; the first took place in February 2001. Twenty years since Tsitsanis’s death, singer Giorgos Dalaras is once more headlining the tribute concert, joined by a highly credible cast. Few tickets remain for the show, which kicked off yesterday and will be repeated tonight, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. «I adore Tsitsanis,» said Dalaras at a recent press conference. «I do not see this production just as part of my job, but as a mental procedure. We never ask ourselves whether we need to listen to Tsitsanis’s songs. They are our identity, our language, our soul and our memory. I will not stop singing them as long as I live.» The show is directed by Stamatis Fasoulis, as was the tribute in 2001. «We wanted this production to have everything, without showing off, just as Tsitsanis himself was. Everything, from the film material to the dance parts, maintains the austerity of the great folk composer and singer.» «Who was this sensitive yet tough man, a true representative of the rebetika spirit? Hadjidakis once said that Tsitsanis was great at a time when he didn’t suspect he was. I believe that Tsitsanis, who remained acutely modest to his death, was aware of his greatness but didn’t want to show off. Today’s mentality is different, artists now push themselves forward before achieving anything important,» said Dalaras. The tribute includes songs like «Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki,» «I Magissa tis Arapias» and «Gerakina.» Dalaras is joined by singers Eleni Tsaligopoulou, Gerasimos Andreatos and Iota Drakia, cantor Grigorios Daravanoglou and members of the Typaldos Choir. The sets are by Giorgos Patsas with costumes by Tota Pritsa. The texts are by Yiannis Kontos, Thanassis Niarchos and Stamatis Fasoulis. Dalaras was in charge of selecting the material and adapting the music and Leonidas Depian choreographed the dance segments. On January 19, just a day before the 20-year anniversary of Tsitsanis’s death, the four-part album «O,ti Ki an Po Den se Xehno» will be released by Minos-EMI. Among other things, the album includes the live recording of the Athens Concert Hall February 2001 shows and a CD titled «I Magissa Tis Arapias kai Alla Paramythia,» in which Tsitsanis shared some of his greatest songs with Dalaras, as well as the previously unreleased «Pera sta Kastra tou Yendi.» Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333.