Rare moments with one of the few Great Greeks still alive. An exceptional concert. One thousand voices for Mikis Theodorakis. Choirs from thirty cities and thousands of people gathered in Panathenaic Stadium in Athens to pay tribute to the great composer.
Mikis Theodorakis directs the orchestra and the choir. Next to him President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis
Highlight of the evening the moment when 92-year-old Mikis directed two of his most famous songs sitting on a wheelchair.
video uploaded by actor Yiannis Stankoglou
The health problems did not hinder passionate Mikis to raise himself twice from the wheelchair and tell the audience “I love you”. A couple of days before the concert, Mikis said in an interview that his biggest wish was to stand up from the wheelchair and direct “To perigiali to kryfo” [the secret beach].
The Athens Mandolinata Orchestra, dozens of musicians, soloists, opera singers and actors under director Panagis Berbatis gave the best performance of their life to honor the “music conscience of Greece.”
Young and old, 50,000 people, flocked to the emblematic stadium to attend an exceptional performance. Again and again, the loud applause shook the ancient marbles. People sang together with choristers and singers the famous songs, the classic songs that have left indelible traces in the political history of Greece and keep touching the Greeks deep in their hearts.
They glorified Mikis again and again, between the songs, people were heard to chant loud “We love you!” and “thank you!”
Video: the Grand finale
In his rare interview before the concert, Theodorakis stressed that the concert is of great importance for him because it satisfies his symphonic self. “One song sang by 1000 voices that’s the ultimate happiness. That’s historic!” he said.
He reportedly did not want ‘big names’ of the Greek music scene to perform in this historical concert. He wanted to send the message of ‘unification which is absent in Greece.’
The concert “The Whole Greece for Mikis – 1000 Voices” was sponsored by the Greek Parliament.
When Greeks say ‘Mikis’ they always mean ‘Mikis Theodorakis’.
He has written more than 1,000 songs and given more than 2,500 concerts.
Generations of Greeks grew up with his songs and keep singing them at every occasion, independently from their political affiliation.
Mikis Theodorakis has been always associated with the Greek Left becasue of his long-standing ties with the Communist Party – and even though he served as government minister under right-wing Konstantinos Mitsotakis in the early 1990’s.
He was jailed and sent to prisoner’s camps by the colonels’ junta, he was allowed to go to exile under the pressure of intellectuals and politicians worldwide.
The colonels had banned playing and even listening to Theodorakis’ music.
An old joke from that period: A man is walking down a street following another man who is humming a Theodorakis’ song. Suddenly the singer turns around and tells the listener “I’m police, you’re arrested for Theodorakis.” “But I haven’t been singing,” the guy replies. “No, but you were listening!”, the secret policeman says.