A Musical Odyssey brings sounds of Greece to Australian shores

Find community and connection in poetry and power of the Greek Classics Australian three-piece A Musical Odyssey will take audiences on a journey through the music of Greece, creating a sense of community and cultural connection when they present much-loved music by well-known Greek composers at shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Touring through June as part of The Songs of Greece concert series, A Musical Odyssey showcases the voice of classically trained mezzo-soprano Katerini Manolatos, classical guitarist Paul Chantrill and bouzouki player Costa Vasili.

Katerini taps into her Australian-Greek heritage to present music by world world-renowned Greek composers Mikis Theodorakis and Manos Hadjidakis (plus more).

The music of both composers is well-known and loved among generations of Greek-Australians, and even those less familiar with their traditional works will likely know the sounds of Nana Mouskouri, whose work was composed by Hadjidakis.

Katerini said the show would appeal to a broad audience of discerning music lovers who are eager to learn about different cultures and cultural expression – Greek music is more than just sounds from the Taverna and Zorba.

In Greece during the late 1950s a rich tradition of art song (Éntekhno) emerged, drawing on Greek and international poets, to create a rich musical tapestry. Mikis Theodorakis and Manos Hadjidakis were the prime movers in this genre and music expanded from being just about wine and love to reflect on social issues, hardship and hope.

“What’s so powerful about the poetry in Greek music is the hardship experienced by Greek people throughout history and still today. Yet, they still managed to write music and poetry that celebrates life and the hope of something better to come.”

With the addition of Chantrill’s guitar, A Musical Odyssey re-interprets the classics in subtle ways that respect the traditions while allowing the experiences of new generations to be explored.

“We like to look a bit deeper into the circumstances of the poetry and even where the composer was when the piece was written to influence our arrangements and present the music in a way that reflects our context and experience.

“At the same time, it’s still steeped in Greek culture. The bouzouki is just so reminiscent of Greece and will sweep you away to Greece when you hear it.”

Katerini was born and raised in Brisbane by her Greek migrant family and developed a love for music from a young age. She studied classical voice at the prestigious Queensland Conservatorium of Music and later her Master of Music Therapy at the University of Queensland.

Her yearning to connect with her Greek heritage brought her back to the traditional music she heard her parents play and sing and her experiences visiting Greece throughout her childhood. A Musical Odyssey is the ultimate expression of her classical voice training with her love of Greek music and culture.

“I love the feeling of unifying people when I’m singing,” she said. “It’s so powerful to experience that with the audience. I feel that I am part of my culture when I perform this music. I know that many in the audience have their own experiences to reflect on that will stir that feeling of connection and nostalgia to their culture.”

Katerini and Paul recently returned from their tour of the Ionian Islands where they launched their first album, ‘A Musical Odyssey: Songs from Greece’.

Songs from Greece dates and venues:

  • Brisbane, 9 June, Brisbane Greek Club, South Brisbane
  • Sydney, 22 June, St George Bank Auditorium Kogarah
  • Melbourne, 29 June, Renaissance Theatre, Kew

For tickets and

/Public Release.