New Greek TV's featured Greek of the Week is internationally acclaimed tenor Mario Frangoulis.
A complete on-air interview conducted by New Greek TV President Yanna Darilis with Frangoulis, can be seen by scrolling to the very bottom of the article. The world renowned vocalist sings in English, Greek, French, Italian, and Spanish, and is also fluent in all five dialects.
The award-winning Greek-African tenor, who has performed all over the globe, began his musical career at the age of six. Frangoulis studied the violin at the Athens Conservatorium, before enrolling at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama for acting. The singing sensation's international career took off from there.
In New Greek TV's interview below, the worldwide singing star discusses his unique background, singing talents, Hellenic spirit, heavy involvements in charity work, and more.
Yanna Darilis: Can you tell us about how you started?
Mario Frangoulis: It sounds like a lifetime, but it's a part of my life that was very important in nurturing me; my early years in the theatre, which was eight shows a week on the London stage. This shaped me for the rest of my life.
Yanna Darilis: From the age of 14 you were performing; did you always know you were going to be an opera singer and actor?
Mario Frangoulis: I have been acting ever since I can remember, since the age of two or three-years-old. I always went one step further, I entertained my family on all the great holidays and used all my cousins to act and perform. I never thought I was going to be a singer, I thought I would be more of an actor who sang. I never knew I had a very good voice.
Yanna Darilis: When did you discover that you had a talent for opera?
Mario Frangoulis: Not so young, I was already in my second year of drama school in London at the age of nineteen-years-old. I went from Greece to London to audition at the great drama schools, with a great level of competition.
Yanna Darilis: Can you tell us about your background?
Mario Frangoulis: I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. We call ourselves Greek-Africans. I was born in Africa and my first language was mainly English, rather than Greek. But I made sure I knew the Greek language at a young age.
Yanna Darilis: Was your family supportive of your career?
Mario Frangoulis: I am one of the lucky ones in a sense, because I have two sets of parents. I was born in Africa, but because of the difficult political situations and social unrest, it unfortunately parted our family in half at the time. My mother went back to Africa with my father, and I was raised by my aunt in Athens, Greece. I was introduced to classical music at six-years-old.
Yanna Darilis: What is your favorite instrument that you like to play?
Mario Frangoulis: The violin. I had some great teachers. I studied the violin until I was 17-years-old, when I enrolled in drama school. The violin made me a better singer in so many ways, because I learned how to read music very well.
Yanna Darilis: Your Hellenic spirit shows in your work and you represent all the Greeks abroad. Can you elaborate on this?
Mario Frangoulis: I never forget where I come from and what makes me different from other performers in so many ways. This is what makes us different; this energy and the sun that we carry within us. It makes us who were are.
Yanna Darilis: Can you tell us about the youth-based charity initiatives that you work with?
Mario Frangoulis: I have two major charities that I am mostly involved with. The first one is the European based WCCCI, World Centers of Compassion for Children International. These are the cities of peace, as we call them.
The second major charity which is very important for me is the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. They give scholarships for students in hardship situations. They find young talented people that go into higher education, who want to better their lives and change their circumstances.
To watch NGTV President Yanna Darilis interview international tenor Mario Frangoulis in full, scroll down to the video at the very bottom of this page.
(Photo Source: Mario Frangoulis)