Dimitris Basis leads music collaboration that brought ‘Axion Esti’ to life in Sydney

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The works of composer, Mikis Theodorakis and Nobel Prize-winning poet, Odysseas Elytis were celebrated at a music concert titled ‘Axion Esti’ on Saturday, May 11 at the City Recital Hall as part of the 42nd Greek Festival of Sydney.

This extraordinary collaboration showcased the immense talent of international vocalist Dimitris Basis, renowned Greek Australian conductor George Ellis, cantor George Karantonis, a 30-piece Choir, and narration by Greek Australian actor Tony Nikolakopoulos.

The focal point of the event was Elytis’ landmark work, Axion Esti. Published in 1959, this poem was set to music by Theodorakis and quickly became a celebrated anthem. Combining suffering, passion, spiritual lessons, and poetic power, Axion Esti is widely regarded as Elytis’ masterpiece and won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1960.

All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Mikis Theodorakis, the acclaimed composer of the famous Zorba’s Dance, is Greece’s most celebrated composer. With more than 1,000 songs and song-cycles to his name, Theodorakis has become synonymous with the rich musical heritage of Greece. This event paid tribute to his legacy and showcased the timeless beauty of his masterful compositions.

As part of the ‘Axion Esti’ concert, the audience was treated to Theodorakis’ most famous melodies, including Ena To Helidoni (A Solitary Swallow) and Tis Dikeosinis Ilie (Sun of Justice).

The captivating performances were the Australian premiere of this special collaboration between the Sydney-based 30-piece Choir, a symphony orchestra, and an array of musicians performing on traditional Greek instruments.

*All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

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