CULTURE

Tribute to a great lady of Greek song

Marinella, a veteran performer, has a solid reputation as having one of the best voices in Greece. Despite the fact that she was among the first to present a truly visual as well as vocal performance, thus setting the standard for the present, she today prefers to avoid the limelight. She was the first and foremost show-woman in Greece at a time when other performers just stood on stage, hiding behind their microphones. In a tribute to this great lady of Greek song, record label Minos-EMI has recently released a four-CD box containing 83 songs that made history in Greece, as performed by Marinella. Among them are songs by Tsitsanis, Papaioannou, Hadjidakis, Theodorakis, Markopoulos, Hiotis, Zabetas, Kaldaras, Plessas, Savvopoulos and Kraounakis. The red velvet box, produced by Vassilis Constantoulakis and Eleni Dimitrellou, contains an introduction by Iasonas Triandafyllidis and a booklet on Marinella’s history. It relates the story of her life from her first steps, performing at the age of 12 in Thessaloniki, where she sang in commercials, and her first tour with a children’s theater – a trying experience for a child, especially one that came from a very strict family. «Make sure you never lie, never step on others to reach the top and never slip morally,» her father advised her in her early years. Marinella later appeared on stage in musical theater productions alongside actors such as Costas Voutsas, Martha Karayianni and Depi Philosophou, among others. Her role models were actresses with strong character, such as Sofia Vembo and Rena Vlachopoulou. The booklet also contains photographs of Marinella and the important people in her life, such as rebetika composer Stelios Kazantzidis, her partner from 1957 to 1966. Marinella became a musical establishment of her own following her breakup with Kazantzidis, establishing a model of performance based on her voice and stage appearance.