‘Axion Esti’ concert to be celebrated in three Australian cities

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Composer Mikis Theodorakis’ stirring musical oratorio “Axion Esti” to lyrics by Nobel Prize-winning poet Odysseus Elytis will be presented in Australia in three upcoming concerts, in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The recital will be an amazing collaboration between the international singer Dimitris Basis, the famous Greek Australian conductor, George Ellis, the cantor George Karantonis, the producer-conductor of the Greek band, George Doukas, as well as a 30-person choir under the captivating narration of the Greek Australian actor, Tony Nikolakopoulos.

Starting in Sydney, Australian audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the first of the scheduled concerts at the City Recital Hall on Saturday, 11 May 2024 at 8.00pm. The second concert will take place at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday, 1 June 2024 at 8.00pm and the third and final presentation of Axion Esti will conclude with the concert at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane on Wednesday, 5 June 2024 at 7.00pm

The following renowned artists will participate in the above concerts:

  • Vocalist Dimitris Basis
  • Director and Conductor George Ellis
  • Greek Band Production Manager George Doukas
  • Cantor George Karantonis
  • Narrator Tony Nikolakopoulos
  • 30-piece Choir

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 1997, he released his first album, “Me tin Fora tou Anemou.” The winter of 1998–99 marked his collaboration with Haris Alexiou, and he embarked on a series of concerts with Yiannis Kotsiras. In 2001, Basis collaborated with Mikis Theodorakis, revising and performing “To Tragoudi tou Nekrou Adelfou.” The following years featured significant performances, including a dedication to poet Yiannis Ritsos and appearances with Dimitris Mitropanos and Themis Adamantidis. His contributions to celebrations honoring 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 Doukas has been a feature of the world music scene in Sydney for many years. In addition to touring with overseas artists, and performing regularly, George is always doing innovative projects, with his collaboration with the Hunters Hill Symphony orchestra and conductor George Ellis being the highlight of the Greek Festival calendar back in 2014. As a result of this performance the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW and its Greek Festival have developed a relationship with the Sydney Recital Hall and every year the Festival produces an orchestral production of the works of famous Greek composers such as Theodorakis, Hadjidakis etc.  

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. Today, George continues to perform for a broad audience with his diverse range of musical genres, seamlessly moving between rock, jazz, classical, byzantium, Greek, and pop music with unparalleled passion.

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.

1st Event Details:

  • WHAT: Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is’)

Presented by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW and the City Recital Hall

  • WHEN: Saturday 11 May 2024, 8pm

2nd Event Details:

  • WHAT: Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is’)

Presented by the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria and the Melbourne Recital Centre.

3rd Event Details:

  • WHAT: Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is’)

Presented by Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).  

  • WHEN: Wednesday 5 June 2024, 7pm
  • WHERE: Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cnr Grey and Melbourne Street, South Bank QLD 4101
  • BOOKINGS: 07 3516 3400, www.qpac.com.au
  • Ticketing link will go live for Brisbane on Wednesday 24th April 2024 at 9:00am

Ticketing Link: https://qpac.com.au/whats-on/2024/axion-esti-and-masterworks

For more information on the programme and to book tickets to selected Sydney events, please visit www.greekfestivalofsydney.com.au

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