Cirque Du Soleil Chanteuse Eirini Tornesaki Talks Circus Life Role

September 25, 2016

NEW YORK – Cirque Du Soleil is famous for its unique shows and Kurios Cabinet of Curiosities is no exception. This show is currently touring North America and will open in New York on September 29 on Randall’s Island.

Among the talented performers in the show, Greek singer Eirini Tornesaki will make her New York debut as the Chanteuse de Rue or street singer of the early 20th Century.

Tornesaki,  who was born and raised in Heraklion, Crete spoke with The National Herald about her role and the creative process of Cirque Du Soleil.

She has been with the company for two and a half years participating in the creation of the show from January 2014 as is typical for Cirque Du Soleil at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

The shows are often developed around the talents of a specific individual performer with parts and costumes being tailored to fit the remarkable artists who make Cirque Du Soleil such an extraordinary company.

Tornesaki told TNH there are eighteen Cirque Du Soleil shows currently running around the world.

The North American tour of Kurios spends two months in each city and is currently wrapping up the Washington, DC leg of the tour and getting ready for the New York opening later this month.

When asked about rehearsal process, Tornesaki noted that they are always rehearsing because of the technical and physical nature of the show, if a new actor comes in, or if someone is injured, rehearsals continue throughout the tour, though for some, the performers can expect to stay in their role for as long as the show continues which could be years.

Some have been with the company for twenty years, Tornesaki said, because their unique skills as acrobats especially take years to perfect.

In this way, the show maintains the same artistic vision and a consistent artistic integrity audiences have come to expect from Cirque Du Soleil.

In her role as the Chanteuse, Tornesaki sings in different languages, English, French, Greek, and the two distinct languages created by Cirque Du Soleil which add to the mysterious quality of the show.

She told TNH that she always wanted to be a singer. At age 6, Tornesaki started classical piano lessons with Alena Rendzejova, while studying music theory at AR Music Conservatory. She later studied cello with Soren Lyng Hansen and was a member of the Youth Choir and String Orchestra of the Municipality of Heraklion.

After high school, Tornesaki moved to the UK to study modern vocals at Brighton Institute of Modern Music, graduating in June 2012 with a First Class (1:1) BA Honors.

While living in the UK for four years, she sang and collaborated with British, Greek and international artists, including Barry Manilow, James Bay, Jona Lewie, Saw Doctors, Amy Winehouse’s backing band, Yannis Economides, and Dimitri Vassilakis, as noted in her online biography.

Her clear-toned voice and soulful delivery will undoubtedly bring her continued success in the music industry.

Originating the role of the Chanteuse de Rue, she is the only singer in Kurios, and recorded the vocals for the soundtrack album of the show which was released in November 2014 and is available in CD, vinyl, and digital formats.

When asked about her costume, Tornesaki noted how the designers created the authentic early 20th Century look and developed it with the performer through trial and error.

The unusual headpiece, a gramophone, was at first too heavy, causing tension in the singer’s neck which is not helpful when there are eight to ten shows a week to perform.

The gramophone was made lighter and as Tornesaki observed, they always adjust things to make the performers more comfortable, and always keep improving since the show could go on for fifteen years and tour the world.

Of course, other performers will come in and then adjustments are made for the individual performer.

Kurios Cabinet of Curiosities follows an inventor as he defies the laws of time, space and dimension to reinvent the world around him.

The show continues its run in Washington, DC at Lerner Town Square at Tysons II through Sept. 18.

The show at Randall’s Island runs through November 27. The tour continues in Miami in December, with dates to be announced for Dallas and Houston, TX.


WHITESTONE, NY – Athanasios Kousountidis, October 28, 1934-January 7, 2022.

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