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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 April 2015
NEWS 2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 APRIL 2015 Nana, still the whitest of roses Following her announced retirement, after ten years off the circuit, Nana Mouskouri returns with her commanding presence and pure vocals to find her fans as dedicated as ever ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS This week saw the world's second best-selling female singer return to the stage at Melbourne Art Centre's Hamer Hall as part of her world tour. Performing on the night of Tuesday 14 April, Nana graced the stage in a red flowing frock, wearing her trademark black thick rimmed glasses, the audience no doubt in awe not only of her presence and vocal ability, but the fountain of youth which the 81-year-old has tapped into. Opened with a video compilation celebrating the longspanning career of the artist, Nana approached the stage to boisterous applause, along with her backing band looking dapper in their suits - a sophistication that some would say has been lost in today's mainstream music scene. The artist played a number of early Greek favourites, including Gilekaki, Aspri mera kai gia mas, Ta paidia tou Peiraia and Odos Oneiron, along with Song for Liberty, Ave Maria, The White Rose of Athens, Smoke Gets in you Eyes and Scarborough Fair. Although the Cretan-born star retains a youthful nervousness about her, there is an ease and comfort she presents on stage, a presence that can only be attributed to her years of experience. Amazed at the versatility of her vocal range, jumping from classical to jazz, and from one language to another (she sang in Greek, English, Italian, French and German on the night), one of her performances was slightly interrupted due to a sore throat, with Mouskouri needing to reach for a glass of water. Though she didn't allow this slight intermission to frazzle her, she was extremely apologetic, but her fans did not seem to mind in the slightest, just happy to have the chance to see their white rose perform once again. While she is on the stage, one can't help but note that Nana engages her audience in an honest and uncensored dialogue, as though conversing with them over a cup of tea. She admits to many personal truths, one of which is the Neos Kosmos journalists Anastasia Tsirtsakis (L) and Nelly Skoufatoglou with the star herself, Nana Mouskouri. claim to her true talent being an ability to listen to music and others, in a way that she is able to constantly learn, evolve and be inspired. A strong and inspirational woman herself, in a moving tribute she gave recognition to the late Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse, whose great talents she acknowledged, mourning that they didn't have the chance to make it to her age and continue to share their gift with the world, performing the song Love is A Losing Game. Although the centre of attention, Nana remains humble, going out of her way to recognise the contributions of those on stage with her, including the sound engineers and the lighting team, who did an impressive job in capturing and enhancing the mood of the performance. As Nana Mouskouri has grown older, so too has her audience, the three tiers of Hamer Hall brimming in a sea of white and greying hair; however, age was no factor on the night, with fans showing their enthusiasm and support for the artist by joining in with clapping, cheering and the occasional 'opa', as though transported for one night only back to their youth. Stamoulis’ $70m house revealed Property developer Harry Stamoulis' palatial $70 million mansion is nearing completion. Scaffolding has been re- moved from the two-storey residence that boasts five bedrooms, nine bathrooms, live-in staff quarters and a ballroom. Mr Stamoulis bought the Toorak address for $24 million in 2010 and has since spent more than $50 million building and furnishing his brand new residence. The price tag could make it Australia's most expensive residence. Mr Stamoulis has included a number of Greek motifs in the build like the meandros that snakes across the façade and a number of handcarved sculptures. The ballroom is said to have been modelled on the Plaza Hotel, with an imposing skylight situated in an eight-metre high ceiling. BRW estimates the Stamoulis family's wealth to be $540 million. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Steen gets Barry Award nod Comedian Steen Raskopoulos named as one of six finalists for the presigious Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Comedian Steen Raskopoulos has capped a hugely successful Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a nomination for the prestigious Barry Award. The 27-year-old is one of six acts to be nominated, and one of three Australians to be selected. Lawrence Mooney, Sam Simmons, Damien Power, the UK's Luisa Omielan and John Kearns join Raskopoulos in the line up. In his third year at the Comedy Festival, Steen wowed audiences with his sketch show Character Assassin. Known for his expert use of audience participation, Steen created a lot of humour and heart with his skits. A few of his famous characters made a comeback, including the hilarious Greek Orthodox Priest Yianni Kostopopoulos, who reviewed Disney's Frozen, all in hymn. Raskopoulos is no stranger to top nods despite his recent foray into comedy. He won the Sydney Comedy Festival's best newcomer award in 2013 and was nominated for both the Melbourne Comedy Festival's and Edinburgh Fringe Festival's best newcomer. The Greek community might recognise the Raskopoulos name. Steen's father is former Socceroo Peter Raskopoulos and his brother Jordan is a member of comedy trio Axis of Awesome. The Barry Award winners will be announced on Saturday night at Melbourne's Hi Fi Bar. Steen Raskopoulos as Greek Orthodox priest Yianni Kostopoulos. More women to become barristers in SA Stamoulis’ Toorak residence is almost complete. The Courts Administration Authority has been given an exemption from equal opportunity legislation to run a program aimed at increasing the number of women barristers in South Australia. The Step Up To The Bar program has been told by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal it can advertise exclusively to women over the next three years. The annual program will give an experienced female legal practitioner exposure to complex Su- preme Court cases before she seeks admission to the independent bar of SA. Chief Justice Chris Kourakis said he hoped the program could be among many steps taken to overcome a gender imbalance at the highest levels of the state's legal profession. He said a growing pool of female barristers should lead to more women seeking to become senior counsel and judges.
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