CULTURE

Two voices sing for a noble cause

Two well-known artists join forces this week to perform in two concerts that could not be more timely. Giorgos Dalaras, the celebrated Greek vocalist, and Emma Shapplin, a rising French singing star, will appear together on stage in a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and the UNHCR, the two concerts aim at raising public awareness of refugee problems. They will take place at the Herod Atticus Theater tomorrow and Friday. It was Dalaras – a member of the UNHCR’s personalities council, whose mother, a refugee from Asia Minor, spent her first years in Greece living in refugee camp near Piraeus – who extended the invitation to Shapplin. Born Marie-Ange Chapelain in 1974, Shapplin grew up in a Paris suburb, developing tomboyish attitudes rather than her artistic talents. It was thanks to a singing teacher, however, that at the age of 14 she began demonstrating a passion for music, and she began developing an impressive soprano voice. Four years later she joined a local hard rock group, North Wind. When the young singer released her first solo singles Spente le Stelle and Cuor Senza Sangue, a star was born. Soon after, the album Carmine Meo, a lyrical take on classical and preclassical opera with a modern spin, where contemporary drum-and-bass mixes with 14th-century Latin lyrics, sold 100,000 copies in just three months. At the Herod Atticus, Dalaras will be interpreting Misa Criolla and Navidad Nuestra, both works by Ariel Ramirez, while Shapplin will perform pieces from the Carmine Meo album. But the two artists are also planning to perform duets, in order to interpret various songs especially arranged for this tribute. Accompanying them are the Camerata Orchestra, under the direction of Alexandros Myrat, while the Fons Musicalis Choir, directed by Costis Konstandaras, will offer additional vocals. Besides the Adeios Choros (Empty Space) program, initiated by Livathinos’s predecessor, this year the Experimental will be active in two main areas: the creation of an acting and directing workshop, which is a first step in the creation of the directors school; and secondly, the staging of only two productions.