Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stars gone out at the Herodeion

The Herodeion , on the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece, is a stone theatre that has hosted many musical concerts and famous artists throughout the years. Here's one of the most intriguing musical events: George Dalaras , the popular greek singer ,and Emma Shaplin, the young french Diva, in a....surprising duet with "Spente le Stelle" ("The stars are gone out").

(I must confess, I take seriously any performance of this particular song as I have very deep, traumatic feelings for it.. I was in the middle of listening to this song , when I got the news of the untimely sudden death of my brother. Later on, I 'stole' its music for a poem I wrote in his memory and I worked very hard on my voice (in the shower) to be able to sing it, at the memorial ceremony. I didn't do it in the end as it would have been a Fiasco.).

Orchestra. The guy with the bandanna should have definitely changed his outfit into something more appropriate to the nature and atmosphere of the 'Spente le Stelle". The drummer is cute and energetic, but that's not the kind of drum beat that usually comes with this kind of song. I'm interested in the Choir which is of utmost importance here ,echoing the events like in an ancient tragedy. We are, however, not offered a decent close-up of the choir, and that's a pity.

Dalaras opens. Oh ,my God, he looks and sounds distracted. Maybe he's had a glass of ouzo before the concert. I then take a look at Emma. I don't believe it! She's smiling, that's pure blasphemy! The song is a tragic one, it's about a betrayed, broken heart, bitter tears, despair, hopeless dreams, empty night, crying love... Perhaps she also had a glass of ouzo. Two orchestra players sitting right behind the singing couple, are engaged in intensive chatting. How dare they ?in the middle of the concert? They should be fired ! What instruments are they playing anyway, I see no instruments. Ah,well I remember now the two faces from another concert, they're bouzouki players, and there's probably no part for bouzouki in this piece, so they are jobless and feel free to chat.

The two guys seem to do more than just chatting, they are gossiping. Since I like a bit of gossip myself, I follow their glances . Oh, oh , I see... Emma and George are now holding hands. That explains it all; the distraction, the smiling, the loving eyes. Emma, poor Emma, He's got a reputation, He''ll break her heart. I must admit, however, they look lovely together and their kiss when leaving the stage made me forget all about the weeping song.

Oh well, I wish the diva, Good Luck with the charming greek prince, and forgive her for not delivering the song (which brought her big fame some ten years ago ) in a proper manner. I can understand.


  1. I didn't notice any of this the first time around, I just listened. But after I read your comments I HAD to go back and watch. I agree with you! But what a marvelous song and a wonder voice on George.

    Thank you for sharing this with me.

  2. Sandy aka Doris the Great
    Hi. Thanks for visiting.

    Although the song is ten years old , it's still one of the best dramatic songs and Emma's voice is unique. There are several youtube videos where she performs alone, and it's all amazing.

  3. I think I must have seen this open air theatre, because we visited the Acropolis (which was a disappointment to us, because they're merely ruins.) Wow, you do take things seriously, trying to sing that piece of music. But like you said, probably a good decision you didn't - to try something new in a time of grieving:)

  4. jeannette stgermain,
    yes, and the acoustics here is dissappointing.

    Indeed 'Spente Le Stelle" is not an easy vocal piece of music and it's only for a professional singer. But I was devastated by grief , I wanted to bring everyone else in tears and you can't do this by just reading a poem. Anyway, I took the right decision not to ry something that would spoil the whole ceremony.

  5. It amazes me the ways music touches us. Losing a brother is a painful thing.

  6. PeacefulWmn9,

    Thanks Karen for your kind words.
    My brother used to play the violin and he loved almost every genre of music. There's nohing more touchy in life than music.

  7. My first glimpse of you website. It's excellent. Re songs and singers. A highly personal topic of course and sometimes one stumbles onto something new and great - like this discovery here.

    A couple of years ago I found, on Youtube, Jacques Brel singing Ne Me Quitte Pas. It blew me away. The sheer intensity of his performance is unbelievable, imo.

    Regards, Phil

  8. Thanks for introducing me to these performers. Your comments are very funny, too.

  9. Hi PhillipH,
    Welcome to my little blog. Thanks for yourkind comment. Jaques Brel and Ne Me Quie Pas "blew me away" too.

  10. Hi TallTchr,

    You're welcome. This concert was rather funny, and I reccommend watching a youtube video in which Emma Shaplin is the only vocal performer.It's a great song and a great singer.

  11. Omigosh, I'm so sorry about the loss of your brother!

    I'm at work right now, and I can't open the YouTube video, but I'm going to listen to it when I get home.

    I have always wanted to go to Athens.

  12. Thanks JO. The loss of a brother is a big tragedy. I hope it never ever happens to you or your family.
    The song "Spente Le Stelle"(italian lyrics) 'goes well' with tragedies, but in this video it's rather funny.

  13. Even though I don't understand a word of it, its very beautiful. I googled the translation and you're right, they did not sing it appopriately. Very beautiful music however.

  14. Lisa,
    I like it that you googled the translation; you're a thorough person, you check things.
    Well, the beautiful song was not performed in a respectful way. We forgive them, hoping they'll learn the lesson.

  15. The song will never be just a song for you, it is so much more, and I agree with your commentary.

  16. Ruth D
    Welcome to my little blog. Indeed, "the song will never be just a song for me".