ATHENS – This was a Valentine’s Day like no other, but the dynamic and beloved singer Sakis Rouvas could not be parted from his fans, or suppress his lifelong urge to give of himself – expressed though many philanthropic endeavors – so he opened his heart and his home near Athens on February 14 for a heartwarming virtual holiday concert.
“Welcome to my home” Rouvas said, as the camera revealed the glow of a fireplace and the soft light of candles strewn everywhere. Rouvas sang of love, and spoke of love, Greek spice blended with warm songs and smooth jazz on a snowy Sunday in much of Greece, lifting the spirits of thousands on what was a cold and, due to COVID, often lonely Valentines night.
Rouvas, recording artist; model; film and television actor; businessman and former pole vaulter, the very definition of high energy, was on Valentines night the essence of smooth and mellow and warm for ‘Sakis Rouvas at Home – The Love Concert.”
“I am happy that we are celebrating together,” he said before offering ‘Σ'έχω ερωτευτεί – Ι Have Fallen in Love with You’ that began like a prayer and continued with bursts of passion.
The next song was a version in Greek of Madonna’s hymn-like Like a Prayer: ‘Mια Zωή Mαζι – One Life Together’.
Sitting on a stool next to the harp – evoking more a sense of resting on cloud than a dwelling in a house – Rouvas slowly poured out his passion for the music and love for his fans for an hour-and-a-half.
Through the magic of world-class videography, the gifted director Eva Nathena, and the fine musicians Rouvas transcended what is an inherently cold medium, drawing viewers into his songs. Closing his eyes, he conveyed the image of a lover seeing bright and clear his beloved before him – perhaps evoking in his viewers the image of their own socially distanced lovers.
Rouvas and company turned an internet convenience into a sublime experience, his songs including ‘Υπήρχες πάντα – You Existed Always,’ the lyric continuing: “μέσα στην ψυχή μου συγκατοικούσαμε μες το κορμί μου – in my soul, in my body, we cohabited.”
The sea of candles evoked clouds sailing through the starlit heavens and the presentation was so well executed that the cameraman’s silver tracks surrounded by candles seemed like streams of light in the milky way.
Indeed, Light was a theme permeating the evening’s words and music. “Love is a light that shines for people who offer “the all,” Rouvas said during a musical pause. “Love is a power – because it multiplies the good within us. It helps humanity to not disappear into its blind egoism.”
After intoning “we live with love, we die with love … Love is a God … and God is love,” Rouvas sang ‘Εμένα θες – It’s me that you want.’
His movements accentuating the driving rhythms of some songs, dancing even while sitting, then rising to interact with the others, Rouvas poured his ‘guests’ one musical drink after another.
The second to last was a delightful surprise. Turning the often insipid English lyrics of the song ‘Feelings’ into a song that is more poignant in Greek: ‘Φιλε! – Oh Friend!’ Rouvas sang of a man telling a companion of his pain: “File, I worship her, but I don’t want to live for her anymore/tell her, her hugs burn. I’m leaving before I am consumed/Tell her – anything you want, truth or lies/File, her love is a trap – a cliff/File my voyage is inside her, but she is a burning flame, and I can’t take it anymore.”
Before the finale, he introduced the musicians, the masked men – his COVID-era partners in musical crime – and then offered a touching farewell: “Eros is the desire for the divine –I wish you to always be in love. And I love you all. Ναστε καλα. Καλο σας βραδι – be well and good night.”
Born and raised on the island of Corfu, Sakis Rouvas started his music career in 1991, at the Thessaloniki Song Festival. Since then, he has steadily been at the top of the Greek music scene, winning many national and international awards.
He has had roles in cinema and ancient drama and participates on popular TV shows and large-scale events, including the 2004 Athens Olympics Closing Ceremony.
Parallel to his career, Sakis has participated in several initiatives that aim to raise awareness for the protection of the environment and has demonstrated a long-term commitment to supporting children in need, while being himself a caring father of four.