23 & 25 May, Concert Hall
In association with The Greek Festival of Sydney
Greek pop goddess makes her Sydney Opera House debut
“She has a voice of extraordinary clarity and depth [and a] powerful stage presence.” The Times (UK)
Eleftheria Arvanitaki is the shining star of Greek roots music. Blessed with a voice that transcends musical boundaries, she has developed her own inimitable style that combines tradition and innovation.
Immersed in the rembetika* custom of popular urban song infused with Spanish and Latin rhythms, Eleftheria will close the 2009 Greek Festival of Sydney with two shows in the Concert Hall on May 23 and 25.
Not seen in Sydney for more than 10 years, Eleftheria will perform her greatest hits, including songs from her latest album Mirame, backed by an 8-piece band featuring some of Greece’s finest musicians on bouzouki, clarinet, keyboards, and percussion.
Starting her career in the early 1980s as the lead singer of Opisthodromiki Kompania, a fashionable group of rembetika revivalists, Eleftheria went solo in 1985 and quickly established herself as one of Greek’s most promising female voices for years to come.
Eleftheria's vocal qualities and her ability to combine the traditional and contemporary music of Greece have inspired distinguished composers, lyricists, and poets to write songs for her, epic songs that swell with emotion. Considered classics in Greek music, all 22 of her albums have gone platinum.
Twice named Best Female Singer of the Year at the Greek Music Awards, Eleftheria performs more than 120 performances in her country a year, almost a third during her much-awaited summer tours.
According to critics, her live concerts are legendary and a very important part of Greek music's history. But over the past 10 years Eleftheria’s career has crossed the borders and has met worldwide recognition for her artistic achievements.
Eleftheria is the first Greek singer since 1998 to be signed by iconic jazz label Verve and in 2004 she was invited to perform the traditional song Tzivaeri as part of Philip Glass's Olympic project Orion.
She has also collaborated with world-renowned artists such as the Caboverdians, Cesaria Evora and Teofilo Chantre, the Portuguese Dulce Pontes, the Spanish group of Amaral and Carlos Nunez, the Armenian Ara Dinkjian and Arto Tuncboyacian and the Senegalese Ismael Lo.
“Her voice has a clarity and emotional depth that registers whether or not you understand the words, and the music she sings has a lyricism and instrumental sophistication that sets it apart.” World Music Rough Guide
Distinguished by its high quality, Hemispheres 09 presents a collection of extraordinary artists who often verge on the legendary in their own cultures but may be revelations to Australian audiences.
The annual program at Sydney Opera House brims with virtuosity in styles and instruments that are not part of the mainstream. The world is full of fantastic music and Hemispheres will transport audiences to the most exotic sounds on the planet.
The Greek Festival of Sydney is one of Australia’s largest and longest running annual cultural events with attendance growing yearly since 1983. The most attended Greek-Australian community event in NSW, the festival celebrates arts, food, theatre, music, sport, comedy and culture through a myriad of high calibre events.
*Rembetika is a music idiom that developed in Greece among the lower classes in the early part of the 20th century and was particularly indebted to the refugees from Asia Minor.
SEASON DETAILS: Eleftheria Arvanitaki
Dates/Times: Saturday 23 and Monday 25 May at 8pm
Venue: Concert Hall
Tickets: $49 - $120
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or online at sydneyoperahouse.com
Duration: 120 minutes
Information: Online at arvanitaki.gr