Music: Mikis Theodorakis: Romiosini & Beyond

5 April 2019

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10 May @ The Octagon Theatre, UWA ·
Presented by George Georgiu ·

A performance of Mikis Theodorakis’ classic anthem of Greek identity and other well-loved works. In a coup for Western Australia, George Georgiou has secured the highlight event of the 2019 Greek Festival of Sydney, Romiosini and Beyond, to tour to Perth for one performance only at The Octagon.

Featuring the music of Mikis Theodorakis, Greece’s most popular and best known living composer, Romiosini and Beyond includes, for the first time in Perth, a performance of his masterpiece, Romiosini, the well-loved  song cycle based on the poetry of Yannis Ritsos.

Romiosini describes the feelings of oppression and suffering endured by the poet and his Greek compatriots while their country was under foreign occupation. It so influenced Mikis Theodorakis that he subsequently immortalised the work in evocative music of power and supplication, especially in songs such as ‘When They Squeeze the Hand’ which have particularly captivated the nation.

Internationally-renowned Greek singer and musician, Dimitris Basis, will also travel to Perth for this landmark performance. Basis has been a frequent collaborator with Mikis Theodorakis and has developed an intimate affinity with his music across several decades. Together with his critically-acclaimed interpretations of Yannis Ritsos’ work, Basis was a natural choice for this production.

Sydney conductor, George Ellis, will lead an orchestra of some of Australia’s best musicians in this performance. Ellis works nationally and internationally across a variety of styles including symphonic music, choral, opera, music theatre, jazz and pop. He conducted at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and was Musical Director and Conductor for the Athens Olympics.

Outside his home country, Mikis Theodorakis is probably most widely known for his film scores including”Zorba the Greek” (1964), “Z” (1969) and “Serpico” (1973). Romiosini and Beyond provides a unique opportunity  for Perth audiences to experience the wider oeuvre of one of the most important musical composers of our age.

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Maureen Levy

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