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Alkistis Protopsalti (Αλκηστις Πρωτοψάλτη) Bookmark and Share

About:

18 October 1957

Alkistis was born Alexandria , Egypt as daughter of a dental surgeon and a school teacher. The  family moved to Athens  in 1963 due to the political events in that country.  During  adolescence she was very dedicated to sport and more specifically the Track. While it seemed to follow a career in sport, a friend of her encouraged her to do a singing audition for Dimos Moutsis . Despite her parents objections she recorded her first record ‘Tetralogia’, based poetry by Kavafis, Seferis, Ritsos and Kariotakis, with him. Convinced of his prtege talents he took her to a grand show at the Thessaloniki Palais des Sport in 1974. Alkistis got stagefright and lost her voice that evening. Not a convincing start. In 1975 she took steps much smaller by performing in a small theatre ‘Pappa’ in Athens.  This started a period of releasing albums, collaborating with other artists and performing in several musical revue’s in Plaka, Athens.

Her 1979 album ‘Γράμματα στο Μακρυγιάννη κι άλλα λαϊκά’ (Letters to Makriyannis and other folk) would be her breakthrough to the main audience. In 1981 she undertook a national tour with Dimitra Galani and George Dalaras. In 1984 she started recording an album that would turn out be a personal as well as a critics favourite. ‘Exodus Kindinou’ (Emergency exit) was recorded with  Yiannis Spanos at his house in Eretria. The combination of love songs and music would turn out to fit perfectly with Alkistis’ voice. The album establishes her name even more as a top-singer and in 1985 she teams up with songwriter Lina Nikolakopoulou. A relationship that would last for years. Another long lasting friendship is with Galani with who she tours again in 1986, doing even some shows in the U.S., and in 1989 with Haris Alexiou.  A 1989 project turned out to be another milestone. Inspired by the soundtrack Emil Kusturitsa’s film “the time of the gypsies” she seeks out Bosnian composer Goran Bregovic. This experience had an effect on her Zoom-project.  In 1989 she also contributes a song sung in Arabic for the movie "il colore del odio".  In 1993 she collaborates in the "People Projects" together with Litsa Diamanti and Stamatis Kraounakis. Build up huge credibility with the record company Alkistis is allowed to start up a very expensive musical project in 1997. ‘San ifaisto pou xipna’ (As the volcano wakes) was collaboration with composer Nikos Antypas and Lina. Recorded in Athens, Paris and Prague (with The Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague) it was a daring but artistic valued project and selling double platinum.  The tour around the album was a minimalized version of the album performed in churches around Europe.

From 1998 to 2001 Alkistis was continuingly touring. In the summer of 2001 she participated on the solo album Mario Reyes of the Gipsy Kings with the song s ‘ Ya Habibi’and ‘Da Mela’.  The same summer she performs a specials show in the Roman Agora (at the foot of the Acropolis).  Her 2002 album “Pes mou thalassa” (Tell me the sea) went platinum in three months. .In the summer of 2004 she performs at the closing ceremony of the Olympics. In the winter of 2004 an extensive world tour even takes her to Russia. In 2007 she gives a recital in Beijing, at the Forbidden City, during the celebrations for the 35th anniversary of the Greek-Chinese friendship. In 2009 a retrospective boxset celebrates her 30th anniversary in music. In 2010 (three years after her last studio album) ‘Φανερά Μυστικά’ is released.

On the web:

- Alkistis' website: http://www.alkistisprotopsalti.com/

What do we think:

DB: It's weird to conclude that my entire opinion on Protopsalti is based on her work after 1995. I actually don't know how the albums sound before that time. But her musical output from the last 15 years is of such impeccable quality that i cannot imagine much wrong with her old work. Mind you, Protopsalti is a typical production artist. Meaning that the one producing her can make the difference between good and brilliant. Teaming up with men like Antypas or Korkolis creates pure magic.

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

 

Recommended abums:

♪♪♪♪♪ - Σαν ηφαίστειο που ξυπνά (As the volcano awakes) - 1997

- Σαν ηφαίστειο που ξυπνά live (As the volcano awakes, live) - 1999

- Υδρόγειες σφαίρες (Globes) - 2000

- Πες μου θάλασσα (Tell me sea) - 2002

- Να σε βλέπω να γελάς (Be seeing you laugh) - 2004

- Live στο VOX - Dimitra Galani, Protopsalti - 2005

♪♪♪♪♪ - Στο ωραιότερο σημείο (In the most beautiful spot) - 2007

♪♪♪ - Φανερά Μυστικά (Obvious Secrets) - 2010

Further listening: Απλά τραγούδια (Simple songs) - 1977 ; Γράμματα στο Μακρυγιάννη κι άλλα λαϊκά (Letters to Makriyannis and other folk) - 1979 ; Μανιάτικα (Mani) - 1980 ; Άλκηστις Πρωτοψάλτη – 1981; Έξοδος κινδύνου (Emergency exit) – 1984; Προσανατολισμοί  (Guidelines) – 1984; Κυκλοφορώ κι οπλοφορώ (Circulate and bear arm) – 1985; Πάει η αγάπη μου (There goes my love) - 1986 ; Λεωφόρος (Avenue) - 1987 ;Δικαίωμα (Right) – 1988; Δύο βήματα από την άμμο (Two steps from the sand ) - 1989 ; Λεωφόρος Β' (Avenue B) - 1990 ; Παραδέχτηκα (Admitted) - 1991 ; Zoom '91 - '92 (1992) ; Ανθρώπων έργα (Human projects) - 1993 ; Το τρίτο στεφάνι (The 3rd ring) - 1995 ; Η Άλκηστις Πρωτοψάλτη σε έργα του Ηλία Ανδριόπουλου (1996)

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♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided



 

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