Ask JS Uberoi, chairman of the executive committee of Bangkok’s 16th International Festival of Dance and Music, what programme he is most looking forward to at this year’s event and he doesn’t hesitate for even a moment. “The concert by Mario Frangoulis and George Perris,” he enthuses.
Zeynep Ozlem Bas who worked with Uberoi at the festival two years ago and now represents Frangoulis and Perris is pleased at the choice. “This is indeed a special occasion. They will remind you how great real music is. These amazing artists will present a versatile repertoire, which they will sing in five languages. Mario and George will steal your hearts.”
Discovered by Sir Cameron Macintosh who offered him the role of Marius in “Les Miserables” in West End, Frangoulis was voted “Best Male Classical Crossover Artist” a few years back.
“The audience can expect a classical crossover concert with songs from my country Greece as well as Spain, Italy and France. We will also present works by such great international film score composers as John Barry and Nicola Piovani and incredible talents such as Steve Wood and David Foster,” Frangoulis says.
“My goal is always to inspire my audiences to find love, compassion, peace and inspiration in their hearts and to take the feelings and experiences we share together with them into their own lives.
“I truly believe in people and the value of life. It doesn't matter what part of the world you come from, we’re all human beings and we share the same planet. We breathe the same air and we give life to all that is beautiful and meaningful. Our songs are about the joy and celebration of life itself. What a great way to share the values and traditions of our cultures on stage – and to dance with our hearts together!”
He has nothing but compliments about his compatriot.
“George is a truly great singer who represents a new ‘type’ of voice. He’s not the ‘new’ Josh Groban or the ‘new’ Michael Buble. He is George Perris with his own fun and smart personality, very expressive vocal style and energy,” Frangoulis says. “He’s a great colleague on stage and a very good and loyal friend in real life. I trust him with my audience and this is one of the many reasons we chose to share the stage in Bangkok.
Perris, whose show “George Perris Live at Jazz at Lincoln Centre” was broadcast on US television a few months ago, regards Frangoulis as one of his mentors.
“I discovered Mario when I was 17 and he instantly became one of my favourite singers. I admired him for his unbelievable voice, of course, and also for his repertoire and the kindness that he expressed on stage.
“Little did I know that six years later I would meet him at a charity event in Athens and he would take me with him on tour all over Greece. It was an incredible experience and I will never forget Mario’s ‘demand ’– to only sing the repertoire that lifts you and your audience higher and always trust your instincts. Through Mario I’ve learned how important it is to be generous on and off stage and, of course, to always show respect to my audience.”
While Frangoulis has delighted his audiences in Asia many times, this upcoming concert will be Perris’s Asian premiere. And he’s excited at the thought.
“We’ll present some great duets – some of them even new for us. Of course, I’ll perform songs from my new album ‘Picture This’ which will be released on August 8.”
Mario Frangoulis and George Perris will perform at 7.30pm on October 4 at the Thailand Cultural Centre.
Tickets cost Bt800 to Bt3,000 at ThaiTicketMajor.
Find out more at www.BangkokFestivals.com, www.MarioFrangoulis.com and www.GeorgePerris.com.
Bangkok’s 16th International Festival of Dance and Music is made possible though the support of Bangkok Bank, Crown Property Bureau, BMW, B Grimm, Bangkok Hospital, Dusit Thani Bangkok, Indorama Ventures, Nation Multimedia, Beiersdorf, PTT Group, Singha Corporation, Thai Airways, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Ministry of Culture.