Greek International recording artist, Mario Frangoulis will be on tour in the US, Canada, and Europe beginning this November. His only New York area appearance will be at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in Frederick P. Rose Hall, on November 6.

Mario the opera star

Frangoulis was born in Africa and raised in Greece. He studied at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Producer, Sir Cameron Mackintosh cast him as Marius in “Les Miserables,”’ on London’s West End. He was also invited to play Raoul in “Phantom of the Opera.”

Immediately, he knew he had the talent to become one of the world’s finest opera stars.

He was awarded the Maria Callas scholarship for a Pavarotti competition and studied with the late tenor, Carlo Bergonzi, while he was in Italy. He even played Tony in “West Side Story” and performed in Milan at La Scala. He played roles from “The King and I” with Barbara Cook and also with Alfred Drake in the film, “De Lovely” and performed the song, “So in Love” with famous singer, Lara Fabian. Being a fan of Moody Blues lead singer, Justin Hayward, he even performed The Moody Blues classic song, “Nights in White Satin” on the 2008 CD, “Mario and Friends.

Mario Frangoulis opens up

In an interview with Suzanne Rothberg, Mario Frangoulis opens up about his life and career.

Here are the excerpts:

Suzanne Rothberg: Are you and Justin Hayward working together again at some point?

Mario Frangoulis: I am always ready to work with my great friend Justin Hayward! We have never "stopped" working together over the years. We have sung together in many live shows and TV presentations. “Nights in White Satin" and our combined version of that song really created a whole new sound that brought both of our audiences together.

He is an incredible artist and a true friend and such a generous colleague.

Suzanne Rothberg: Do you have a new album out now?

Mario Frangoulis: I am in the process of working on several new projects simultaneously. My most recent international project was "Tales of Christmas" which we released at the end of 2015. This year "Tales of Christmas" will be released in Mexico by Sony Music.

I am in the process of putting together my next incredible international album. The newest project I have in circulation in the US and Canada, is my current public television special "Sing Me an Angel" which is out on DVD as well. The reaction so far has been incredible and it has aired to over 80 million people.

Suzanne Rothberg: While in Greece, did you play a show there?

Mario Frangoulis: I finished a complete summer tour (I do this every year) throughout Greece and Cyprus from June-August! I also sang in Turkey with the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra in the ancient castle in Bodrum, went three times to Hungary at the Budapest Opera House and the Budapest Convention Center; and then in September I performed an incredible concert at the Acropolis (Herod Atticus Theatre) in Athens with the renowned soprano Angela Giorghiu, Maestro Eugene Kohn, (who played for Maria Callas at her master classes at Julliard and who is Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli's maestro).

To round things out, my dear friend Hungarian virtuoso violinist Zoltan Maga joined us for that incredible performance. With over 5,000 people in attendance, in a 3,000 year old amphitheater we truly experienced magic.

Suzanne Rothberg: Your latest album 'Kivotos,' was released in May 2016 and you produced a couple of live albums

Mario Frangoulis: "Kivotos" was a very special album which featured a re-invention of some of the most famous Greek songs from the 80’s and 90’s that we made into duets! I was very happy to make "Kivotos" with an incredible young singer, George Perris. We were lucky to have it reach #1 in Greece. All those familiar with Greek music will recognize songs by the Oscar-winning composer, Manos Hadjidakis, Stavros Xarhakos, Eleni Karaindrou, Evanthia Reboutsika, Dimitra Galani, Stamatis Kraounakis and the poetry of some of Greece's most prolific poets/writers such as Nikos Gatsos, Lina Nikolakopoulou, Kavvadias, and Karasoulos.

We re-invented these great songs to re-introduce them with a fresh approach to younger generations.

Suzanne Rothberg: In June 2011, you were invited to take part in the opening ceremony of The Special Olympics and gave a compassionate, warmhearted performance. How was that experience for you?

Mario Frangoulis: That was the premiere/first performance of the title track of my last international Classical Crossover album "Beautiful Things." Thank you for the compliment! That experience was incredible for so many reasons— the symbolism of the Olympics, supporting the tenacity and human spirit of those inspiring athletes, performing with Vanessa Williams and Vittorio Grigolo (who both sang duets with me on "Beautiful Things") and meeting the legendary Stevie Wonder in my homeland.

It was incredible. It was also inspiring to be in the presence of the Kennedy/Shriver family who have made the Special Olympics their mission— and in so many ways symbolize the ethos of democratic ideals and human rights. That event took place during a period of tremendous turmoil in Greece -- so the contrasts were stark and moving—so many emotions at once.

Suzanne Rothberg: You worked with Sarah Brightman, Placido Domingo, Montserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras in the operatic music industry and had a very successful appearance with the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart. At the concert in New York, is the New York Symphony orchestra backing you this time?

Mario Frangoulis: Sarah and I have now done 3 tours together— 69 concerts!

We have a wonderful chemistry on stage. Our tours have been incredible experiences all over the world especially last year's tour in Asia where we traveled to China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. In New York, my band and I are taking a whole different approach. We called the show "An Intimate Evening with Mario Frangoulis" for a reason; it's just me with my 5 best musicians. They are excellent, and the idea behind this was that the great songs I have performed so many times over the years are so well written they can stand on their own. You don’t need a big orchestra, and huge production. Here, it will be all about the music and the voice! Pure sound and pure art! The songs are so powerful, they maintain their power and expressive dynamics but will have a more intimate and acoustic feel.

This will allow me to truly share a special and intimate moment with the audience and my fans. I am so excited to share this experience with all my fans.

Right now, we are in final rehearsals, preparing for shows in Sydney, Australia on the 20th and 22nd. Obviously, New York at The Rose Theatre on November 6th at Jazz at Lincoln Center, in Montreal on November 9th at an incredible venue, Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts, and finally in Los Angeles on November 11th at the Willshire Ebell Theatre. I know people are going to love the show! One thing I would like to share with my audience; which is that these performances are being presented by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, founded in 1947 -- 60 years ago -- honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded—despite adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education.

The Association has awarded more than $125 million in college scholarships to 25,000 deserving young people.

Suzanne Rothberg: Your label is Sony Classical and EMI in Greece. Your music is available on ITunes, Spotify, and Pandora.

Mario Frangoulis: Yes, it is available everywhere—Amazon as well.

Suzanne Rothberg: Anything else you want to say to your fans?

Mario Frangoulis: I want to say to my fans that without them, none of my work over the decades would have been possible. Being able to do what you love and make a living doing it is all because of my hard work and my fans' love and loyalty. I want them to know that I have designed this concert with them in mind. They are going to experience me and my music in a fresh, new interpretation that will bring them closer to me and me closer to them. Can't wait to see everyone again!