Sunday, April 20, 2008

Maria for President! **updated**

Greek channel "skai" hosts a poll -something like
"Vote for the new 7 Miracles of the World"-
only, this time,

people have to vote for
the most important Greek ever
It seems that this is a co-production of skai and the BBC and there will be a series of documentaries regarding the Top Ten on the List.

We all know that in the Top 10 there will be Alexander the Great, Homer, Pericles etc etc.

Do you think we should try so that someone else also makes it to the Top 10?
Not that she "needs" it, but you know...


Name, surname and email adress are optional.

You 'll be asked for name, surname and a valid email adress.
There's no validation of these data whatsoever.
You can vote for 5 personalities max in the 5 fields given.
Please write first the surname and then the name (Callas Maria).

Closing day, the 7th of May.


*** Voting for IL MAESTRO, the great
Dimitri Mitropoulos is also recommended***


Ιλάρια said...

Το Έκανα! ;)

derwanderer said...

There is no limitation of votes whatsoever, as far as the vote proceeds from DIFFERENT IP ADDRESSES, that is, for the common mortal and not an internet geek, from different computers. You can vote 5 names at a time.

Voting for Maria Callas is an obvious choice for many reasons, and a very justifiable candidate for contemporary greek grandeur:

She was, IS, the century's most acclaimed singer, perhaps not the GREATEST (this is a personnal taste after all) but certainly the most infuential after Caruso. She, with the help of able contemporaries, transformed the way people listen and perceive opera, revolutionized interpretation and introduced and made popular long time forgotten works and composers.

And then she IS internationnaly and permanently associated with her art AND her counrty of origin, thanks to her talent and achievement.

CAN YOU SAY THE SAME FOR ANY OTHER CONTEMPORARY GREEK? The next name, could, arguably, be Cavafi and Cavafi only (the other "national poets" are almost not read and translated wheresoever any more)

Yes, Plato, Aristoteles, Alexander are major greek figures but any CONTEMPORARY greeks, for the (12) gods' sake? Unless you admire folcloric figures , Manos, Mikis etc, with some international stardust but with no impact internationaly, local divas like Melina (more succesfull as a caracter that actress, singer or politician) or, even worse, some dope-dripping athlete or an uncurably balkanic politician like Uncle Karamanlis, A. Papandreou or "ethnarch" Venizelos with 2 coups'd'etat in his CV etc etc

MC is a true exponent of international, immortal grandeur, the most known and admired contemporary greek, even to people alien to her art or completely ignorant of Greece, and an obvious candidate for anyone's shortlist of great greeks ever


Parsifal said...

Greeks can also vote via SMS. It's not that difficult to change IP adress and to erase your cookies though.

Anyway, i think another obvious choice would be Dimitri Mitropoulos (Troyanos and Stratas were of greek origin only).

I wont bother for politicians or ancient greeks, and of course i would definitely NOT vote for Nana Mouskouri, Demis Roussos, Vangelis, Yanni, but i would go for Katina Paxinou and Melina Merkouri.

Parsifal said...

Ilaria cara, grazie, era facile???

derwanderer said...

Of course, Dimitri Mitropoulos is another very great greek/international artist, unjustly treated during his lifetime by greek collegues (Remember the notorious statement by fellow greek musicians when he was elected member of the Athens Accademy, in 1933: "Unjustifiable choice, mediocre composer, musical output not destined to live in posterity, especially since it has been inspired by Cavafis' "particular" erotic verses, Accademy wrongs itself by shunning other ilustrious composers, blinded by DM autopromition" etc etc: Signed Kalomiris, Lavrangas, Varvoglis (ok, ok) AND Spathis ? Prokopiou ? Labelet !!!)
Of course mr Manoli, of course! Whithout many hands of help by venizelism and your National Conservatory lobby WHO would listen to your own compositions now? (Vyron Fidedjis excepted)

He was also wronged by his one-time protege Bernstein who, when DM was to take over the Boston Symphony from ailing Koussevitzky, he just "outed" him to that severe puritain.. Yes Lenny, from all people, outed DM! And then he crucified him in 1956 by inspiring nasty, mean, vitriolic critics to oust him from the NYPO. He got his prize in 6 months and send DM to the grave many years earlier then scheduled...

Unfortunately DM didn't care for PR nor recordings in a country where those 2 things were paramount to maestro grandeur... Luckily he is in the process of rehabilitation.

And what a great, adamant, volcanic opera conductor he was...(not always "just" in the Toscaninian sense though..)
Nobody should be without his Forza or his Ernani from Florence, his NY Wozzek (world premiere recording!) his Salomes and Elektras! He even made Samuel Barber sound fabulous (Vanessa).

Rudolf Bing, intendant of the NY Metropolitan Opera, well known misanthrope and ruthless carrierist, who never paid easily compliments writes in his crapy autobiography "5000 nights at the Opera":
..." providential...honest, decent,helpfull, a wonderfull person, saint-like, the tough orchestra was devoted to him as perhaps to no one else during my time there...for 5 years he was my senior adviser (SIC! Rudolf Bing writing!)... too many people in NY took him for granted; his death was a terrific loss to the met me (sic)..." (of course sir Rudolf, YOU were the Met and the Met was YOU!)


derwanderer said...

And don't get me wrong, I do admire Melina Mercouri and Katina Paxinou (I have been fortunate -or old ;-) - enough to see them both on stage, Melina as Pirate Jenny in Brechts 3 Penny Opera and Klytemnaestra, and Katina in her very last appearence as the Mother in Brechts "Mother Courage"... in 1972-1973: she was dying of cancer and I was 5 yeras old: I rememeber having an awfull time, seeing and listening to a very old, very ugly woman, dressed in rugs and screaming as she pushed a cart during 2 hours!But it had an indeniable impact on me!
I thouroughly admire both those two "Caryatides" of greek theatre but
I don't consider them as "that" great to be in a all time great list: Both were awfully talented, had an international career and were influential and great as far as greek standards are concearned.

I do think that for the great greeks ever, a trully international everlasting (artistic if artists are considered)impact is a crucial criterium: Maria, Dimitri are certainly in that very special category, as is Cavafi, who's star is still rising, with translations, studies, symposiums and PhD's in growing numbers every year. (this is not the case any more for Seferis, even less Elytis or Ritsos)
The same I would say about El Greco (forget the horrendous, unhistorical and absurd recent patriotic-telenovela film): As a painter he was and still is one of the most admired and influential plastic artists ever.

What makes those 4 greeks so unique is that there are not professional "hellenism" salespersons: They are great artists AND greeks, greeks that have hellenism as a starting point: They reach their "trade's" absolute summit by blending hellenism with talent, work, original inspiration and no folcloric nonsense. People worldwide perceive them as great ARTISTS, not as great GREEKS, their art is international in the sense that it touches and moves and inspires people that have not even heard of Greece.

And, of course, all this is ONLY A GAME! It is also a question of presonnal taste. Do we seriously think that Maria, Dimitri, Domenicos or Katina need any poll to become and stay great?

Ilaria said...

Sì sì, anche io ho votato Maria, Mitropoulos, Melina Merkouri (ho visto pote thn kuriakh proprio l'altro giorno! ;)) e Alexandros Panagoulis! ;) Filakia!

malibran said...

aaa parsi mu ego idi to ekana edo ke meres ke fisika afu diabazo ti skepsi su se prolaba ke ton psifisa idi amesos meta tin callas mas!!!!