Greek Tenor Mario Frangoulis--the Next Andrea Bocelli?

By Mary Papoutsy

Move over Bocelli and Groban. Here comes Mario Frangoulis, a Greek Orpheus capturing the hearts of listeners around the globe! When Sony offered Frangoulis a multi-CD exclusive contract, his stardom as a leading performer and recording artist worldwide were virtually guaranteed. Already an enormous celebrity in Greece, with multiple platinum recordings topping charts for over 4 years, Frangoulis was a sure-bet for the international music industry executives. His two releases through Sony Classical have earned rave reviews, with the latest one, Follow Your Heart, remaining at the top of the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart for more than 90 consecutive weeks.

Critics Rave About His First CD

His first CD, Sometimes I Dream, launched his international career in 2002 with a selection of songs that "infused elements of rock, pop, and film music, as well as opera," penned music critic
Jason Birchmeier of All Music Guide. According to Ed Vincent of the Oak Park Journal, his voice is "angelic" and his diverse selection of songs "will give your ears a feast." Interviewers for conducted a more in-depth interview of Frangoulis, searching for the elements in his life that have helped to create his unique style and forge a stellar career. They found many influences in the first CD from his Greek upbringing: "The melody, the rhythm, the poetry and the seductive atmosphere of the Mediterranean world define Mario's new recording, reflecting not only his childhood in Greece and Africa, but a remarkable young career in which he has crisscrossed southern Europe and absorbed its sounds and sensibilities." American Public Television has rendered a flattering, concise assessment of his talent that is representative of the wave of positive critics' reviews across the U.S.: a "sensuous tenor voice with an all-new soulful collection of smooth pop ballads and classically flavored songs."

Listen to Frangoulis' Songs Online

But listen for yourself and decide. has previews of each of the songs on this winning CD. You won't be disappointed. In fact, when you listen, you may become another Mario fan, wishing to download and learn the lyrics to some of his hit songs at any one of a number of sites such as HitsLyrics.

Frangoulis on U.S. Tour

Frangoulis has now begun to tour the U.S. with romantic classical pianist Jim Brickman as a guest performer,
helping to promote his recordings and to introduce himself to the American market. Reviews across the nation, from CNN's Music Room to Jazz Weekly have billed this handsome young man as a "heart-throb," with the potential to exceed the popularity of Andrea Boccelli and Josh Groban. Porter Anderson of CNN wrote: "Frangoulis is sharper-looking than Groban; younger by a decade than Italian Andrea Bocelli; and better-credentialed than England's Russell Watson. And can he sing his way to
that mountaintop? Yes he can." Read the entire review
by Anderson
How Mario Sees Himself

Frangoulis describes himself in an interview with Hello Magazine as a "classical opera singer with pop appeal"
and doesn't wish to put himself across as this "major opera star." Instead, he feels that he's "just being Mario, a simple guy who does good music." But reviewers have it right--he's a winning combination of talent, good looks, and rigorous training in music (violin and voice) as well as in acting. His lengthy professional resume reveals the full scope of his extensive efforts and talent: he has won prestigious international music competitions and numerous scholarships for study at the finest institutions worldwide.

About Frangoulis' Background

Born in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) to Greek parents from Corfu, Frangoulis went to live with his aunt in Athens at the age of four. His mother's sister introduced him to classical music and encouraged his musical training. He credits her love and support with helping him excel and develop as a professional vocalist and musician. Trained initially as a violinist in Athens, Frangoulis eventually became involved with acting and opera in England at the age of 17 where he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. And although he hadn't initially been interested in opera, feeling that it was an art form
that had little interest today among younger generations, he was willing to try it. Contemporary stage performances of La Boheme and of Carmen in Athens with Jose Carreras and Agnes Baltsa caused him to change his mind about opera, to believe that it could be brought to younger audiences. During his years of schooling, according to Jason Birchmeier of All Music Guide, he performed in such productions as Les Miserables. In 1991 Andrew Lloyd Webber gave him the part of Raul in The Phantom of the Opera performed at the Royal Theatre of London. He continued his studies at the Juilliard School of Music in New York with legendary tenor Alfredo Kraus, after he received an Onassis Foundation award in 1992. He was the only private student the late Kraus ever accepted. Frangoulis "flew all over the world to take lessons as the great tenor continued to perform, giving him
a solid vocal technique and good high notes, both hallmarks of Kraus's style," according to interviewers of Within the next few years he competed in the "Pavaroti" contest in Philadelphia and won a Maria Callas opera competition scholarship, enabling him to sing alongside many other distinguished figures such as Montserrat Caballe. Over the course of his multitalented career he has performed extensively in films, television, and theatrical productions. A lengthy
resume of his professional career can be found online in the Community Link
section of the

Performances of Frangoulis in Greece

But through it all, Frangoulis never forgot his roots. He continued to act and sing in Greece during the summer seasons, earning a cascade of accolades and developing a solid following. In Greece he undertook the roles of Bill Cracket in the Happy End by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, and of high-school hero Danny Zuko in Grease. He sang in a production of Aristophanes' Birds at Epidaurus featuring the songs of Hatzidakis.

Throughout his career, however, he has continued to perform the works of legendary Greek composers Theodorakis, Hatzidakis, Savvopoulos, Loizos and Xarhakos. In May 2004 he performed at the Herodeion (Theater of Herod Atticus) with a cast of international stars on behalf of the "Great School of the Nation" in Constantinople, having been invited by Patriarch Bartholomaios I. It was the first time in 550 years that such an event had been held in Athens. He joined together with legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis and noted Greek actor Constantinos Markoulakis on that eventful evening. Read more about this historic event reported by Kathimerini, Greece's largest daily newspaper.

Mario Fans

Devoted fans are springing up everywhere he appears. Sony has a Mario Frangoulis chat forum on which fans post info and queries about Mario, while his own official site carries a fine set of publicity photos and discography information. Fan sites have developed on the Internet; one of these posts brief comments, two edited versions of which we reproduce for readers: "Mario's voice is incredible beyond belief. He can sing all genres and in all languages to perfection. His stage presence is polished yet genuine. A true class-act artist" and "I have followed him to just about every concert for six years. I will no doubt continue to follow him until I grow old."

Current Concert Schedule (as of March 16, 2005)

For his many current fans and those interested in hearing his voice, we have listed as many upcoming concert performances as we could glean from several Internet locations:

19 March, Seattle, WA, Paramount Theatre, guest performer with Brickman
20 March, Spokane, WA, Spokane Opera House, guest performer with Brickman
31 March, Wilkesboro, NC, Walker Community Center, guest performer with Brickman
1 April, High Point, NC, High Point Theatre, guest performer with Brickman
2 April, Clayton, NC, Clayton Center, guest performer with Brickman
3 April, Durham, NC, Caroline Theatre of Durham, guest performer with Brickman
5 April, Greenville, SC, Peace Center for the Performing Arts, guest performer with Brickman
7 April, Harrisonburg, VA, Wilson Hall Auditorium, guest performer with Brickman
8 April, Clinton, NC, Sampson Center, guest performer with Brickman
9 April, Wilmington, NC, Thalian Hall Center, guest performer with Brickman
10 April, Charlottesville, VA, The Paramount, guest performer with Brickman
11--13 April, Vienna, VA, The Barns at Wolf Trap, guest performer with Brickman
5 May, Peekskill, NY, Paramount Center for the Arts, guest performer with Brickman
6 May, New York City, Carnegie Hall [updated April 14, 2005 by publicist for Jim Brickman--Mario Frangoulis won't be appearing with Brickman at this performance--HCS editors]
7 May, Hartford, CT, Bushnell Memorial Hall
8 May, Manchester, NH, Palace Theatre
20 May, New York City, City Center [updated April 21, 2005 by publicist for Mario Frangoulis--this is a new listing, debut of a solo US tour]
28 May, Baltimore, MD, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (solo concert)
1 June, St. Louis, Missouri, Sheldon Concert Hall (solo concert?)

Ticket Information

Ticket information for all guest appearances with Jim Brickman can be found on the Brickman website. For those concerts listed as solo (May 28 and 1 June), the ticket information is as follows:

28 May, tickets available through Baltimore Symphony at 410.783.8000 or Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Cathedral at 410.244.1009 and, prices range $50-$100, with more info at or 410.727.1831, concert is 1st U.S. solo performance, benefit of Centennial of Christian Orthodoxy in Maryland.

1 June, tickets offered via pledges in support of PBS in St. Louis, available through KETC/ Channel 9 Pledge Line, 1.800.568.9099 or 1.314.512.9199.

For more information, visit the official website of Mario Frangoulis at or contact Brian Feit of BMF Media, Entertainment & Lifestyle Marketing/Management,
at 343 West 12th Street | Suite 2B, New York, NY 10014; (917) 523-8181, or HCS readers may wish to read,"The New Album by Greek Tenor Mario Frangoulis Titled 'Follow Your Heart,'" submitted by BMF Media.

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