NEW YORK – Kyrenia Opera with Artistic Director Constantinos Yiannoudes presented The Art of Greek Song with Georgia Dagaki and her lyre at Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan on October 20. Special guest for the concert was soprano Zoe Nicolaidou. The celebration of Hellenism featured the iconic music of Greece from Tsitsanis and Zambetas to Hatzidakis and Theodorakis, as well as the mystical sounds of traditional music from Cyprus and Crete.
Along with the talented musicians of the Kyrenia Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the lyrical stylings of Dagaki with her exceptional technique and artistry made the concert an unforgettable event for the audience members. The magical sound of the lyre transports the listener with its evocative sound to the shores of Cyprus and Crete, effortlessly conveying the powerful emotion of the traditional, beloved music, as well as a dynamic, modern sensibility.
Dagaki was born in Athens to Cretan parents and began studying the lyra at age 12, according to her biography. She also studied piano, vocals, and music theory, and by age 16 was already renowned on the Cretan folk music scene. With a firm knowledge of traditional music, Dagaki experiments with her music, from contemporary folk to rock and jazz, creating her distinctive sound.
Listen below to the one of Georgia Dagaki’s wonderful songs:
Among the artists with whom she has collaborated, Eric Burdon and the Animals invited Dagaki to join them on their world tour to 27 cities. She has also collaborated with many great Greek musicians including Nikos Xydakis, Vassilis Papakonstantinou, Orfeas Peridis, Vassilis Lekas, Yiannis Spathas, Yiannis Koutras, Goran Bregovic, Μanolis Lidakis, the actor Nikos Kalogeropoulos, Evanthia Remboutsika, Panagiotis Kalantzopoulos, Antonis Mitzelos, and Nikos Zoudiaris. She participated in the 2009 European Tour of the legendary Eric Burdon, who incorporated her lyra in his “Athens Traffic Live” album.
The gifted Cypriot soprano Zoe Nicolaidou added her beautiful voice to the concert, impressing the audience with her range and the lyrical, expressiveness of her performance. Many are looking forward to her next concert. She studied at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and was a member of the Opera de Paris Young Artists Program. Nicolaidou was awarded ‘Le Prix Lyrique du cercle Carpeaux’ that rewards the most noticeable young singer during a season. She is also a first prize winner of the Kyrenia Opera Competition and Schlossoper Haldenstein Competition.
Nicolaidou made her debut at the Opera National de Paris as Prima Sorella in Suor Angelica and returned for Kathe in Fenelon’s Faust, Barbarina Le Nozze di Figaro alongside Erwin Schrott and Isabel Leonard, Amor in Orpheus und Eurydike, Soprano solo in Mahler’s 4th Symphony. Upcoming performances for Nicolaidou include the Opera Gala, Arias and Duetts, Mimi/Fiordiligi at the Musikverein Wien with the Cyprus Youth Orchestra on November 24 and Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan on December 15. More information is available online: zoenicolaidou.com.
Kyrenia Opera is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to forging an artistic connection between New York and Cyprus. Donations help provide support for outstanding performances, educational outreach, scholarships and artistic exchange between New York and Cyprus. More information is available online: kyreniaopera.org.