Greek composer inspired by C.P. Cavafy’s ‘dark’ poems to write ‘The Last Voyage’

“The Last Voyage,» a liturgy on the cycle of death and regeneration by composer Leo Cottakis, to poetry by C.P. Cavafy sung in the original Greek and in English, has its world premiere on Wednesday March 31 at the Egyptian Embassy in Athens. In aid of the restoration of the manuscripts of the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai, it will be performed by Angelika Tousmanoli (soprano, for the Greek), and Majka Kaiser (mezzo-soprano, for the English), with Mirian Kramer on violin, Emma Denton on cello, Claire Hawkes on clarinet and Gwyneth Wentink on harp. «The idea concerning the cycle of death and regeneration is central to this work, but not from the time of its inception. I began work on this project while having already started sketches for a Requiem. When I came into contact with the work of Cavafy, an aspect of the poetry that stuck me most was the sense of finality that permeated some of the ‘dark’ poems, a stark sense of foreboding which, however, carries within it a seed, an element of hope,» said Cottakis, who began his musical education in Athens before moving to London in 1986, where he has established his own recording studio.

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