It is summer time! And summer time is great for giving concerts in open theatres, especially in Greece and Cyprus!
Following a rehearsal during a hot day in June (an adventure that I described here) I flied to Cyprus for three scheduled concerts with MandolinARTE & Alkistis Protopsalti, to mark the beginning of our summer tour!
The team consisting of MandolinARTE, Thomas Kontogeorgis, Aggelos Tzamarias , Alexis Kostas and Mania Danou (from the production team) met at the airport, ready to have a great time!
Travelling with a double bass, two cellos, two guitars and a liuto cantabile can be an adventure, especially for the airliner that needs to find a way to fit everything inside the airplane. I am happy to report that everything went well:
- The two cellos were very comfortable, having their own seats in the plane!
- My liuto cantabile took comfort in the overhead compartment, together with my octave mandolin and the two guitars.
- The double bass, went with the luggage, but secured in its heavy, oversized hard wooden case – the other luggage must have been terrified, ha!
Here is the double bass, in the ancient theater of Kourio, ready for the big life! (Photo by Mania Danou)
The flight was short, just over one hour, and we found the rest of the team at our hotel at Limassol Cyprus, waiting for us. What a great surprise to see the wonderful job of the production team (thank you Tonia Dragouni, you are amazing!!!). The Alasia boutique hotel was just gorgeous, recommended for staying in Cyprus. We were amazed to see at our breakfast table a special setup waiting for the team, flowers together with a picture of the orchestra!
Anastasios Pizanides, always smiling and a perfect gentleman made sure we had a good time at this lovely hotel. Thank you Tassos, can’t wait to see you again in the future!
Alexis Kostas, our drummer, made sure you identify Tassos when you visit Cyprus!
After a short rest at the hotel, we were ready for the real fun, the ancient Kourio. What a setting! With the open sea at our backs and this great stone theatre in front of us, big enough to seat 1400 people to attend the concerts, we were ecstatic!.
And … soundcheck! The girls from our orchestra are checking how they sound!
Before these performances with MandolinARTE & Alkistis Protopsalti in big theaters and concert halls, I had no idea how time consuming a sound check can be. But now I know! And I have a lot of patience. Especially if it is hot and humid. (Not!)
Thomas Kontogeorgis, our pianist and talented arranger was very happy to check his piano for the concert, a great instrument! Unfortunately it was tuned at 443KHz, a bit high for our stringed instruments (Ouch!).
Surprisingly, we had no broken strings (Ha!)
Some hours later … soundcheck was over, and it was time to relax and gaze at the sea… Yannis Rizos and singer George Karadimos are enjoying the view…
Instruments are tuned and we are getting ready for the concert! Really happy to be performing in Cyprus, with such a great team!
This MandolinARTE & Alkistis Protopsalti concert would not be possible without hard work from the producer, Tonia Dragouni. A true professional but also an amazing person, she is someone I admire. Here she is, between Yannis Rizos and Dora Tsilika, the two members of MandolinARTE.
The audience is waiting, and we are ready for the stage! What a crowd! And among them, the current and former Presidents of Cyprus, together with ministers and other members of the parliament. What an honour!
That’s it! Time to perform with our mandolins, mandolas, cellos, double basses, liuto cantabile, guitars, piano, trombone, drums and of course with the real star, the great singer Alkistis Protopsalti!
What a great theater! This is the view from the stage, what we see. Alkistis Protopsalti is singing with the audience, it’s magic!
And here is the whole team. I feel so lucky and grateful to be a member of the great orchestra MandolinARTE, and to be performing together with the most famous and beloved singer in Greece, Alkistis Protopsalti that happens to be one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Thank you so much MandolinARTE & Alkistis Protopsalti for everything!