The Australian Hellenic Choir blew everyone away on Sunday at Beta Events in Sydney with their much-anticipated ‘Journey to the New Lands and Yiannis Poulopoulos Tribute’ concert.
The soiree was attended by about 300 people, including a number of prominent members of the Greek community such as Konstantinos Giannakodimos, representing the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Christos Karras, the President of the Australian Hellenic Choir, James Tsolakis and the President of the Kytherian Association of Australia, Emmanuel Alfieris, among many others.
Everyone sat down to enjoy a succulent Greek meal, while both Mr Tsolakis and Mr Giannakodimos gave small speeches.
In his speech, Mr Tsolakis spoke about the Choir’s establishment and said that its goal is “to bring to the community more innovation in music.” From there, he expressed his hopes of forming the Australian Hellenic Orchestra by 2023 and the Australian Hellenic Conservatorium of Music by 2026.
“Ambitious? Yes. But we can do it as a community because we all want to preserve the music of Greece because it has significant benefits for our future generations. It has significant benefits for people today because it’s such a good tool to teach people to speak Greek and to understand the Greek language,” Mr Tsolakis said.
“But Greek music also does more than that. It teaches us the history of our culture. It’s an amazing tool.”
Following the speech, the Choir, guided by new musical director Leon Vitogiannis, began to fill the room with the sounds of the Rebetes, delivering a powerful narrative about the sorrow of immigration. Songs such as ‘The Star of the North’ by Manos Hadjidakis and ‘My Sorrow’ by Mikis Theodorakis were performed.
The second part of the programme was dedicated to Yiannis Poulopoulos, with a medley of his greatest hits. Poulopoulos is best known for his collaboration with Mimis Plessas and Lefteris Papadopoulos on the album O Dromos, which became the best selling album in Greek music history.
All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon enjoyed by all who attended.