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Axion Esti: Melbourne concert to celebrate Mikis Theodorakis and Odysseas Elytis

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In 1964, Axion Esti made its debut, marking the beginning of an enduring journey that transcends place and time. Six decades later, the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) proudly announces the concert Axion Esti: Worthy it is, commemorating the profound contributions of legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis and Nobel laureate poet Odysseas Elytis.

Taking place on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Axion Esti: Worthy it is will see internationally acclaimed vocalist Dimitris Basis lend his powerful voice to the evening’s proceedings. Joining Basis will be Conductor George Ellis accompanied by a 30-piece choir, Chanter George Karantonis and Tony Nikolakopoulos, who will bring Elytis’ poetry to life through narration.

Attendees will have the pleasure of experiencing renditions of Theodorakis’ masterpieces including “Ena To Helidoni” (A Solitary Swallow) and “Tis Dikeosinis Ilie” (Sun of Justice), capturing the essence of Greek heritage and spirit.

This special event pays homage to Theodorakis’ enduring legacy, celebrating the timeless beauty and cultural significance of his masterful compositions.

Axion Esti: Worthy It is promises to be an unforgettable cultural experience, celebrating a turning point in Greece’s history of Greek music and poetry. Join the GCM for a momentous evening.

Mikis Theodorakis

To book tickets, visit the website: https://www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/2024/axion-esti/

Bios:

Mikis Theodorakis, renowned as the composer behind the legendary “Zorba’s Dance,” stands as Greece’s foremost musical figure. With a repertoire comprising over 1,000 songs and song-cycles, his melodies have become synonymous with the essence of Greek musical heritage.

Odysseas Elytis’ groundbreaking work, “Axion Esti” (1959), was immortalized through its musical adaptation by Mikis Theodorakis, emerging as a widely celebrated anthem. Revered as Elytis’ masterpiece, this fusion of suffering, passion, spiritual wisdom, and poetic prowess earned him the prestigious National Book Award for Poetry in 1960. In October 1979, Elytis was honoured with the Nobel Prize for Literature, with the Swedish Academy praising his poetry for vividly portraying modern humanity’s quest for freedom and creativity, rooted in the rich traditions of Greek culture.

The poster

Dimitris Basis is a Greek artist, gained recognition for his musical performances in collaboration with Alkistis Protopsalti, Stamatis Kraounakis, and Lina Nikolakopoulou for three consecutive seasons. His professional debut included participation in Stamatis Kraounakis’ works and the soundtrack of the TV series “To Trito Stefani.” In 2001, Basis collaborated with Mikis Theodorakis, revising and performing “To Tragoudi tou Nekrou Adelfou.” His contributions to celebrations honouring Mikis Theodorakis in 2005 showcased his enduring impact on the Greek music scene.

George Ellis is an orchestral conductor, composer and arranger based in Sydney. His extensive academic training in conducting, composition and arranging and a wide range of experience has enabled Ellis to develop the unique talent essential for sensitively traversing a broad range of musical genres. He conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Millennium Choir at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and was Musical Director and Conductor for the Athens Olympics. He has presented concerts conducting in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Athens, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta and performed in every capital city in Australia.

George Ellis

George Karantonis is a highly acclaimed and esteemed singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist who first rose to prominence in his teens. Predominantly a self-taught musician, George captivated Greece with his music as the front man of Moda Blue, a beloved band among Greek Australians. George has lectured in musical composition at Forte School of Music, written songs for various artists, and composed music for the poetry of the late Archbishop of Australia, His Eminence Stylianos. His performances with the Millennium Heritage Choir at the Sydney Olympic Games and as a soloist at the Sydney Paralympic Games have solidified his reputation as a versatile and accomplished musician.

Tony Nikolakopoulos is a Greek Australian film, television and theatre actor. He is best known for his work in the films of Nick Giannopoulos (The Wog Boy and The Wannabes) and for his role as Attilio in the television series Scooter: Secret Agent. He has also performed in Underbelly and stage plays, including Cafe Rebetika in 2009.

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