We are here to encourage the development of gifted young singers and to stimulate the growth of New York City's invaluable chamber opera companies. But we will not neglect the Metropolitan Opera either. Get ready for bouquets and brickbats.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Areti Giovanou, Georgios Argeratos, Emilia Diakopoulou, Stefanos Koroneos
It is always exciting to discover vocal music we haven't heard before especially if it's in a language unfamiliar to us.  Yesterday we had the good fortune to be invited to a recital of Greek music produced by Diphono which was easily understood to mean "two voices". The two voices belong to tenor Georgios Argeratos and baritone Stefanos Koroneos. They were joined by collaborative pianist Areti Giovanou and guest artist soprano Emilia Diakopoulou.

The program contained neither biographical information nor translations so the comments will be based solely on our own experience and what precious little we gleaned from Wikipedia.  Most of the songs on the program were composed by Manos Hatzidakis who is best known as a composer of movie music.  He himself is purported to have said that for himself he composes art songs and he composes popular music to survive.  "Never on Sunday" is arguably his best known work.  We would not wish to put a label on the songs we heard yesterday but they were gloriously melodic and convincingly sung by both tenor and baritone.  Our readers know how much we love duets and the one that opened the program was sung in gorgeous harmony by Mr. Argeratos and Mr. Koroneos.  We had never imagined that the Greek language was so singable with beautiful vowels.  Ms. Giovanou's piano matched the singers with appropriate dramatics or delicacy as called for.

Only one song by N. Hatziapostolou ("Poverty") was on the program and it was performed by Mr. A.; we were surprised by its syncopated rhythm and cheerful mood, rather different from the sadness of the earlier set.  We were reminded of the habaƱera or perhaps a tango.  Connection with the material was heard throughout but connection with the audience is also important and, for this song, Mr. A. stepped away from the music stand and formed that connection which we truly appreciated.

A song by N. Lambelet seemed to be in an exotic mode, not major or minor but something we could not quite identify.

The recital closed with some songs by Tosti.  His Sette Canzoni Popolari Abruzzesi are a collection of simple unpretentious songs meant to be performed at home; they were delightful.   Ms. Diakopoulou joined Mr. Argeratos for "L'Alba separa dala luce l'Ombra".  We also enjoyed Mr. K.'s delivery of "L'Ultima Canzone" in which he used considerable rubata to wring every ounce of emotion from the text.

The recital closed with some Christmas carols sung in Greek and in English.  It was a delightful afternoon and we consider it an introduction to Greek song, more of which we would like to hear.

© meche kroop


  1. I attended this performance and I enjoyed myself very much. This was my first exposure to Greek opera I'm looking forward to more

  2. I attended this concert on Sunday and I'm so happy that I did. The performers were wonderful and the music was beautiful. This was my first exposure to Greek opera and it was wonderful. I look forward to their next appearance.