NEW YORK – With a successful international career and nearly 30 years in the music business, Mario Frangoulis is now preparing for a New York-area concert. The world-renowned and talented singer spoke with the National Herald about his upcoming concert at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (Bergen PAC) in Englewood, NJ. Sure to thrill music-lovers, the concert will take place on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8PM. Frangoulis will perform songs from his latest album entitled Tales of Christmas.
The National Herald: What is it like for a Greek to build an international career in this time period? How has that impacted your own path, the picture presented by Greece internationally?
Mario Frangoulis: My international career started 28 years ago and still continues strong. Of course, I am personally and emotionally affected by what happens in Greece, because it’s my home, it’s my country, and I wish all the issues resolved soon because the people are suffering! I wish with my job and my voice to be able to give joy and hope to the world and to give a good example of how strong we are as Greeks wherever we are on the planet.
TNH: In the end, did Greece not fit into your artistic profile or did you feel trapped by your country, or that it limited your potential?
MF: Greece has always honored and loved me… our relationship is rare and will remain unique. The country does not trap, people do the trapping!
TNH: In the Internet era and the image, does the world appreciate good voices or do they go unnoticed?
MF: They always appreciate good voices, but classical voices are considered old… I think the opposite. I think the technology and the internet eventually help people discover the power of the voice and to deeply appreciate the work, technique, and the value of a timeless voice and interpretation.
TNH: New York or Athens? Generally Athens, or abroad?
MF: Abroad… and especially Manhattan in New York. In Greece and with all that we hear a deep depression and anger takes hold. We should have foreseen the harm that would happen in Greece, in our daily life. This situation has destroyed all hope and gave a negative image to the whole world. Greece must regain its wings, that is what it deserves, and we will fight for that with all our strength. Maybe from the outside we can further help Greece.
TNH: If you started your career today, what would you do differently?
MF: I would not change anything… I made many mistakes, but I learned from them and I became a better person. My “mistakes” gave me choices and my choices have made me who I am today.
TNH: In Greece, we now have a new Opera, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. What does it mean, not only for the artists of the Opera, but also for Greece in general?
MF: It means that there is progress and the need to be expressed, in more specific, difficult roads, and it honors us as Greeks of Greece, but also as citizens of the world.
TNH: Would you ever go into politics in Greece?
MF: I would never go into politics. But if I did, I would help ordinary people to find jobs, for young people to revive their spirits, increase pensions, and help hospitals and the sick. I would help the children, and help the refugees. I would support the development of programs on TV that had only pleasant news and I would talk about all the good things that happen.
TNH: Are there Greek artists, living today, that you appreciate?
MF: Of course. Alkistis Protopsalti, George Dalaras, Dimitra Galani, Agni Mpaltsa, Dimitri Kavrakos, Stavros Xarchakos, Mikis.
TNH: Is there any artistic dream you have not yet realized?
MF: To play roles in opera, Verdi’s Othello, the title role in the opera Andrea Chenier, and Rodolfo in La Bohème!
As mentioned above, the Mario Frangoulis concert will take place on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8 PM at the Bergen PAC Theater, 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, NJ. More information and tickets are available online at www.bergenpac.org