Melbourne’s audience warmly welcomed the production of ‘Romiosini and Beyond’ at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Friday. Many came to enjoy the ‘giants’ perform the work by Mikis Theodorakis with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with internationally acclaimed George Ellis at the podium while singer Dimitris Basis filled the stage with his presence.

A Greek music troupe also performed with the bouzouki holding an honoured position. The result met all expectations.

The first part of the concert saw a performance of Theodorakis’ cycle of songs from ‘Romiosini’, performed for the first time in full concert version. The atmosphere was emotionally charged, which was to be expected from the nature of the works that are choral masterpieces based on the poetry of Yannis Ritsos – an ode to the struggles for freedom.

READ MORE: Romiosini And Beyond: A musical event celebrating Greekness and Mikis Theodorakis’ oeuvre

The second part of the presentation, a dedication to the most popular songs of the great composer included works such as ‘Vrehei sti ftohogeitonia’ and ‘Margarita margaro’ that generations of Greeks have grown up with and did not fail to move those present.

The resounding cheers at the end seemed like they would not stop.

Dimitris Basis thanked the crowd. “I’d like to thank you… for all our experiences these days in Australia which are unbelievable,” she said.

“With this concert we have risen a little higher as Greeks,” she said, and she did not neglect to thank the Greek Community and Australian Institute of Macedonian Studies for their support.

READ MORE: Dimitris Basis: ‘Concert with Newtown school is a career highlight’

There were three encores: ‘Tis dikaiosynis ilie noite’, ‘Zorba’ and ‘Otan simainoun oi kambanes’ and the crowd could not hide their enthusiasm with the hall shaking with cheers.

The concert is the second on Dimitris Basis’ tour. The music presentation will continue in Brisbane (22 May), Sydney (24 May) and Darwin (1 June).