Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 March 2011: Happy Birthday to Global Greek Vangelis Papathanassiou!!!

Vangelis playing at the Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony... 

Happy Birthday to one of our most acclaimed Global Greeks, Academy Award winning composer Vangelis Papathanassiou.

In the picture above we see Vangelis playing at the Opening Ceremony of the 1997 World Athletics Championships at Athens' magnificent Kallimarmaro Stadium, the stadium built specially for the 1896 Olympics. The music was a mix of original compositions created just for the ceremony along with some of his most well-known pieces.

For those of us who were there on August 1, 1997, it was a memorable experience- a beautiful, inspiring and emotionally-charged ceremony in a marvellous setting... a showcase for Greece's unique history and legacy to the world.

Vangelis' music, sometimes gentle, sometimes powerful, sometimes haunting but always so evocative and compelling,  was the perfect background for the events unfolding on the stadium ground. When he took his seat to perform live and fill the stadium with his music, the 90 000 plus crowd went crazy but the high point of the evening for us was not the brilliant laser show or fireworks display, it was Vangeli's literally electrifying rendition of Greece's National Anthem, his rendition left no-one unmoved - goosebump material.... something we had seen before at a charity performance at Athens' Herodus Atticus Theatre.

The successful organisation of the championships clinched Greece's 2004 Olympic Games nomination and this simply superb ceremony is what set the whole thing going for Athens ...

As a tribute to Vangelis, we thought we would share with you our collection of his works  - his collaboration with Sean Connery for Cavafy's Ithaca, his Oscar winning Chariots of Fire, the incredible Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony,

Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony

Mythodeia at the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Odes from the collaboration of Vangelis with Irene Papas - two of our most famous Global Greeks, Alexander the Great, Blade Runner, Missing and more!!

Just click on it to get the music going!

Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony

Vangeli, on behalf of all of us in the Global Greek World, we cannot thank you enough for the magnificent music you have given us!

Χρόνια Πολλά και Καλά! 

Nα μας ζήσεις  - πάντα γερός και δημιουργηκός!

Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony

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