CULTURE

Vicky Leandros: Triumphant return for a good cause

Vicky Leandros and the charity Epistrofi attracted 1,800 fans to the Friends of Music auditorium at the Athens Concert Hall to hear the songs from Greece and abroad that she has sung on best-selling records in many languages. The crowd clapped in time and gave her a 10-minute ovation. It was like entering a time machine with the beautiful Leandros, her jazz singer’s voice and her special accent that we have grown to love. A Eurovision contestant for Luxembourg in the past, Leandros came fourth with «L’amour est bleu» but the song went on to become a success worldwide. Later she won first prize for Luxembourg with «Apres toi.» She charmed her audience at the concert hall with old favorites, taking them back to the days of their youth, and she managed to link the stage and the audience as many sang along with her. She went down among them, the spotlight following her. In a magical moment, popular singer George Dalaras sang, unaccompanied, «Omorfi poli,» lyrics by Yiannis Theodorakis, music by Mikis Theodorakis. Then he and Leandros sang «Hartino fengaraki.» Alexandre Myrat conducted the musicians that always accompany Leandros. The proceeds of the concert went to Epistrofi, a hostel that provides lodging to 11 residents in a family environment and 12-Step programs to help young substance abusers reintegrate into society. The evening began with a moving address by Geli Angelopoulou who, with the assistance of her husband Constantinos, founded the Association for the Reintegration of People with Addictions in 2003. In 2004, the group’s first hostel, Epistrofi, opened. The next goal is Epistrofi II, for 20-30 people.