Anna Vissi (Άννα Βίσση) Bookmark and Share


20 December 1957

Anna was born in Pyla, Cyprus. Singing from a young age Anna entered a talent competition at the age of 12 and won first prize. Two years later, she was the main singer at Y. Kotsonis opus 'Ayia Tilliria', which was also her first TV appearance. In 1973, her family moved to Athens, Greece where she was able to pursue her studies at the National Conservatory. She would eventually appear with a number of well-known Greek singers, such as George Dalaras, Haris Alexiou, and Vasilis Papakonstantinou, in the famous nightclubs of Plaka, in Athens. During this time she also studied law at the University of Athens. Her first important collaboration, alongside Georgios Dalaras, was with composer Stavros Koujioumtzis who composed two songs for Vissi, 'S' Agapo' and 'Sta chronia tis ypomonis'.

In 1977 she went on tour with Georgios Dalaras and Haris Alexiou. In 1978 she was proposed by ERT (Greek National Television) to represent Greece at the 23rd Eurovision Song Contest. There were two songs to select from - 'Poso s'agapo' and 'O kyrios nobel'. Finally, due to controversies between the composers of the songs, her participation was disqualified and Tania Tsanaklidou went to the contest. In 1980, Anna got a second chance to enter the contest with 'Autostop', finishing 13th with 30 points. Two years later, she again entered, this time for Cyprus with 'Mono i agapi', which ended 5th.

In 1983 she married Nikos Karvelas, a composer, with whom she collaborated in 1975. Some of their most successful albums include 'I epomeni kinisi', 'Tora', 'Empnefsi!'. In 1988 she made her debut as a radio producer on ANT1 Radio. In the early 1990s, she staged spectacular shows in Greece (along with her husband Nikos Karvelas), starting with her appearances at Diogenis Pallace and then at Rex (presenting the 'Anna Vissi Show'). In November 1991, Karvelas and Vissi started a huge projecht, the first Greek rock opera under the title 'Diamones' (Demons). It was based on a libretto by Stavros Sideras and staged at Atticon Theatre in Athens for two years. Roger Williams was the director and Anna Vissi (Queen, Rozanne), Yannis Samsiaris (Daniel), and John Modinos (Inquisitor) were the leading actors.

Her role in 'Demons' was followed by the leading role of Aphrodite, in the one act opera 'Ode to the Gods' in 1993. It show was held only once during the celebrations for the Commonwealth Day. In 1998, she released a new Greek album called 'Antidoto', which sold more than 80,000 copies in just a week. The success was also translated into a mini tour in the U.S. In April 2000, Anna Vissi performed at London's Royal Albert Hall, at the so-called 'millennium show', singing in front of people from Sony International, marketing managers from Europe, and fans from the UK.

At the start of the millenium Anna spend a lot of time on the road with a live album as result (released in 2004). In July 2005 Anna returned to Greece and released 'Call me' as a cd single by Sony BMG, along with a new English song titled 'Lie'. In September of that year, Anna released a new Greek album titled 'Nylon'. The album went platinum with in 24 hours and peaked at number 1 on the IFPI Greek Top 50 charts. In 2006 Greek national broadcaster ERT chose Anna Vissi (again) to represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. Everything was selected as the representative song of Greece. It won 47.79% of the local televotes. She ended on the 9th place at the night of the final. In 2012 she releases an EP solely distributed with magazine Tiletheatis. In 2013 she plans to dust off the Rockopera 'Diamones' to perform live at the Pallas Theatre.

On the web:

- Anna's website: http://www.annavissi.net
- Fansite: http://fannatics.gr

What do we think:

DB: Anna is like a ball of energy once on stage. She dances and sings for hours and hours. Although over 50 when we caught up with her in Amsterdam she still has a far better condition then most of the girls or boys half her age. She is considered the Madonna of Greece and rightly so. But were la Ciccone re-invents herself each album Anna Vissi always works something of her cultural roots into her music. This is more obvious in her old work then in her later when she starts winking towards an international career. The greek queen of pop music.

PR: Altough I have always apprecieated Anna´s output on records, I always considderd her to be in the B-league of Greek female artists. After seeing her perform in Amsterdam together with DOUBLE BASS, I had to change my opinion. What a woman, what an artist, what a great performer! This lady is a born performer and just loves the stage and the audience. It must be in her dna! Being a top-selling artist in Greece for decades, she did not care at all that there were just a few hundred people in the Milky Way concert hall in Amsterdam. From start to finish (after several hours) she just gave it 200%. Respect and praise for Anna! Interested in buying some Vissi-records? Start with 'Antidoto'.

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

Sylvie Vartan (France)

Kayah (Poland)

Recommended abums:

♪♪ - Anna Vissi - 1981

♪♪♪- Travma (Wound) - 1997

♪♪♪♪- Antidoto (Antidote) - 1998

♪♪♪- Nylon - 2005

♪♪♪ - Apagorevmeno - 2009

Further listening:

As kanoume apopse mian arhi - 1978; Kitrino galazio - 1979; Nai - 1980; Eimai to simera kai eisai to chthes - 1982; Na 'hes kardia - 1984; Kati simveni - 1985; I epomeni kinisi - 1986; Empnefsi! - 1988; Tora - 1988; Fotia - 1989; Eimai - 1990; Lambo - 1992; Live! - 1993; Re! - 1994; Klima tropiko - 1996; Kravgi - 2000; Paraksenes eikones - 2003; Anna Vissi live - 2004

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