Hundreds of Greeks in Melbourne stood and sang, “Mi parakalo sas, Mi, Lismonate ti chora mou” (Please, I beg you, do not forget my country) during the much anticipated ‘Axion Esti’ concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre last night.

The venue was filled to capacity as the Greek community enjoyed one of its favourite Hellenic musical experiences this year.

The concert, organised by the Greek Community of Melbourne, featured distinguished artists Dimitris Basis, conductor George Ellis with orchestra and 30-member choir, songwriter Giorgos Karantonis, and Tony Nikolakopoulos, who brought the poetry of Odysseas Elytis to life with his narration.

The ‘Axion Esti’ concert was more than just a musical performance; it was a testament to the enduring cultural bonds and the vibrant spirit of the Greek community in Melbourne.

The engaged audience came to their feet towards the end of the concert when the bouzouki of Zorba filled the auditorium and demanded multiple encore performances with loud cheering and applauding.

The atmosphere was electric as everyone sang along to masterpieces like ‘Ena to Helidoni’ and ‘Tis Dikaiosynis Ilie Noite’ creating an immense sense of emotion and communal pride.

Tony Nikolakopoulos recites.

The concert not only highlighted the remarkable work of Mikis Theodorakis but also showcased the connection the audience had with Elytis’s poetry as they sang along.

As the evening came to a close, many members of the audience expressed the hope that similar cultural celebrations would continue to be held, enriching the community and keeping the spirit of Hellenic culture alive.

George Ellis conducting.

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