Looking Back At Music Fit For A Queen in Lefkosa
By Chris Elliott……..
Margaret Sheard and I having to travel to the UK for a funeral were sadly unable to attend the Concerts Without Borders event MUSIC FIT FOR A QUEEN at the CVAR Centre, Nicosia which was a fine show of cultural sharing of music and song in order to help preserve this fine collection of Cyprus Heritage.
We are delighted to have received a further review and photographs of this wonderful occasion which we are sharing below.
MUSIC FIT FOR A QUEEN
A more perfect night in Nicosia you couldn’t ask for. A bright moon, balmy air, a breeze that eventually picked up on the lovely rooftop of CVAR, Center of Visual Arts and Research on Ermou Street.
CONCERTS WITHOUT BORDERS presented MUSIC FIT FOR A QUEEN starring a brilliant cast of 4 women and a junior diva. The queen being honored was Catherine Cornaro the last Queen of Cyprus who was forced to abdicate.
A most magnificent room is dedicated to her story in this little known gem of Greek and Turkish Cypriot art gathered by Dr. RIta and Costas Severis. The Concert Without Borders team decided it needed greater recognition and united in this endeavor. They have now become extended family!
The well-known Greek Cypriot soprano Lenia Kallis opened the concert in her sexy black gown and treated the audience to the Queen’s Aria from Donizetti’s opera Caterina Cornaro, Carmen’s Habanera in her antique red rose shawl, and her LA Academia award winning song En Aranguez Con Tu Amor.
Then Demetra George Mustafaoglu, Grammy List Nominee from Oklahoma in a satin long black coat, shared a quick version of the Traviata drinking song to make sure everyone was enjoying the lovely wine donated by Eliadis Limited. Then she revealed a gorgeous backless black and silver gown and grabbed a white boa and headed across the balcony playing mouse with the audience as she sang Musetta’s Waltz from La Boheme, moved center to portray Cio Cio San from Madama Butterfly and after, grabbed her tambourine to sing Meine Lippen from Lehar’s Giuditta.
As the wind picked up and papers flew on the wind, Lenia returned in her gorgeous white gown to spoil the audience with Schubert art song Standchen, the Gershwin Summertime, and Cole Porter trio of C’est Magnifique, I Love Paris and Wunderbar.
The group gave great thanks to the artist who by now had fought the wind off. Demetra returned and took a seat for Memory from Cats, Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera and a chilling Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from Evita as she pushed hair aside and the appreciative audience didn’t seem to care and Demetra’s songs were the hit of the night!
The junior diva now made an appearance! Attired in lace like a beautiful fairy, the true meaning of her name, Peri Sualp Bektasoglu was introduced by her teacher, Demetra and offered the group musical theater favorites of Castle on a Cloud from Les Miserables, donned a crown of sea shells as she presented Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid, and threw on her sailor hat to belt out Honey Bun from South Pacific. A burst of applause ensued and Demetra escorted Peri into the crowd to use a mini stage to offer My Favorite Things from The Sound Of Music dedicated to the original Liesl who passed away that day. They couldn’t stop cheering for this darling ten year old and wanted more! She was thrilled and even remembered her bows!
Next wonderful Greek mezzo soprano Katie Economidou who received the US State Department Cultural Diplomacy award last year alongside Demetra wowed the audience in her hot red gown to Greek and Turkish sing along songs. She even called Peri to the stage unplanned to join her in a song that had Greek and Turkish words as a little duet! Katie offered the Livaneli Kardesin Duymaz, My Stars, My Moon and Margarita by Theodorakis, and Do Not Ask the Sky by Hatzidakis! She spoke of unity in Cyprus and a bright future for all and how events like this can bring people together through music which she has been participating in for many years and hopes to continue to do.
Katie introduced the magnificent accompanist Agni Sacca clad in a lovely flowered long blue gown and begged her to share her amazing piano talents. She wowed the crowd with Chopin and they yelled for more. So, the three women shared Time To Say Goodbye with many of the guests joining in as they bid the audience adieu. The guests responded with an immediate standing lasting ovation that truly surprised the cast who offered no encores but promised to appear together again. So stay tuned for more magnificent music making from these 5 ladies!
‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with music’!
Dr Rita Severis, Katie Economidou, Demetra George Mustafaoglu, Lenia Kallis , Agni Sacca
Demetra George Mustafaoglu and Peri Sualp Bektasoglu