Frangoulis celebrating 20-year career

The first Athens Arena International Music Festival will kick off tonight, with two days of jazz, rock, Greek entechno and foreign easy-listening music. The events at the Athens Arena venue (166 Pireos) will celebrate the 20th anniversary of tenor Mario Frangoulis’s career. The Greek vocalist was present at a recent press conference held at the venue, along with the three other singers that he has personally invited to share the stage with him tonight and tomorrow: They are Madeleine Peyroux, Steve Balsamo and Giorgos Perris. Frangoulis has a personal relationship with all three of them. He worked with Peyroux on the recording of an album as part of a project to help the homeless in the USA, in which other acclaimed artists had also participated. He shared the stage with Balsamo in 1993, during a production of «Les Miserables» in Dublin. As Balsamo explained at the press conference, they were reunited through MySpace and are now getting ready for duets on the Athens Arena stage. Frangoulis will also perform duets with Giorgos Perris, who is well-known from his hit «Erotas» (Love) from the popular television series of the same name. Frangoulis participated on Perris’s debut album and the latter will also present his latest work. Madeleine Peyroux, who was voted top jazz singer last year, said she will perform some of the songs she has written over the past few years. She added that she found this festival an amazing idea, since it will be the first time that she will share the stage with other international artists. Balsamo will play songs with his band, the Storys, and will further interpret a dramatic monologue from the musical «Jesus Christ Superstar,» a great success when he played the title role in London. Balsamo said that after going through the crucifixion about 400 times, it was a role that defined him. Athens Arena, 166 Pireos, tel 210.347.1111. Tickets can be purchased at Metropolis music stores on Panepistimiou St and on tel 210.336.2888.

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