Πέμπτη, 18 Μαΐου 2017

Award-Winning Porphyra Performance to Debut in Queens on June 2nd & 3rd at Flushing Town Hall

Flushing, NY – The Club for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands which is under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today recognized the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce for their cross-cultural presentation of Porphyra’s Grecian Rock Opera: “Anna & Vladimir: the love that ROCKED the World.”  The awards were presented at the announcement of Porphyra’s Queens Debut performance on Friday, June 2nd, and Saturday, June 3rd, at historic Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard in Flushing NY 11354.  The presenter was Mr. Billy Chrissochos who is the Director of Modern Music in NY for The Club for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands. Awards were also given to the local press who have been instrumental in helping promote Porphyra throughout the years.
Tickets are available online at porphyra.eventbrite.com.
To learn more about the show please visit http://porphyraband.com/rock-opera/
 “The Chamber is pleased to present this wonderful cross-cultural performance of Anna & Vladimir.  We hope this collaboration with Porphyra will strengthen our relationship between the Greek community and the many New Yorkers from around the world who now live and work in Flushing,” stated Taehoon Kim, the President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “We invite you to join us in this unique celebration of New York’s most diverse and dynamic community!”
The Chamber was joined by Councilman Peter Koo and members of Porphyra for a preview of “Anna & Vladimir,” which features Greek folk music, belly dancing, theatre, and a full rock orchestra performance based on the real-life romance between the 10th Century Byzantine Princess Anna Porphyrogenita and Russian Grand Prince Vladimir. 
Mr. Ioannis Maronitis, President of the Club for UNESCO Piraeus and Islands and Member of the Board of the World Federation of Associations and Club Centers for UNESCO, stated “My small country, Greece, which is going through troubled times now, has a very strong weapon; its culture, history and the arts. Byzantine History is a most attractive history and the way Porphyra has worked to create this very important show, has breathed new life to the pivotal story of Anna and Vladimir."

From Billy Chrissochos, Director of Modern Music of the club for UNESCO Piraeus and Islands and Creator and Producer of Porphyra, a Grecian Rock Opera, stated: "I set out with Porphyra to create the first ever Greek inspired Rock Opera based on themes from Greek and Russian History. The love story of Anna Porphyrogenita and Vladimir the Great is a universal one and I am thrilled that we can now share it with the greater Asian Community. The Silk Road is a binding thread in all of our shared histories."

Elaine Tuttle, Lead vocalist/Princess Anna Porphyrogenita, stated: “I'm thrilled to reprise the role of Anna, which I performed in our debut of the rock opera at Carnegie Hall in 2015.  This year's production includes more new songs, all of which are on Porphyra's upcoming album, “The Starmaker’s Prophecy.” Aside from Billy, Mike, me, and our fabulous dancers, we have a new cast and musicians as well.  I'm very excited the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce has sponsored our new show!”

Christina Stavrou, Lead vocalist/Princess Olga, stated “I am thrilled to be a part of this production taking on the role of Princess Olga alongside an amazingly talented cast of individuals. Billy has created such a wonderful story and I'm anxious to see it all unfold on stage!"

Lead vocalist/Prince Vladimir Tommy Von Voigt stated: “Getting cast in Porphyra as Prince Vladimir is a rare treat. It isn't often you get to discover a really exciting chapter of European history while rocking out with a tight metal band!" 
Porphyra, a Grecian Rock Opera is a thrilling, historical, cultural journey through music, dance and theater and the first Rock Opera to triumphantly debut at the prestigious Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on May 3, 2015. It was also the first Greek themed Rock Opera to debut Off Broadway at The Players Theatre for a three day limited run last May13-15th, 2016. And now for the first time Queens, NY is getting ready to be electrified for three shows this coming June 2-3rd at the historic Flushing Town Hall. These shows are proudly sponsored by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. Where the Silk Road ends, a romance begins. 

The story of Anna and Vladimir is akin to Anthony and Cleopatra’s and the musical merges hard rock and melodic metal with Greek folk music. Porphyra, a Grecian Rock Opera, is based on Billy Chrissochos’ band Porphyra’s epic albums “Faith, Struggle, Victory” and “The Starmaker’s Prophecy”. If you are a fan of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Rock of Ages and the Phantom of the Opera then our musical is for you. It is lovingly dedicated to the Peoples of Greece, who having passed the torch of civilization to the world, now need the support from all of us in these most troubling of times. It is time to remember those heroes and heroines that helped shape the world around us.
Porphyra will take the audience on an epic musical journey from the triumphs of Alexander the Great to the glories of Byzantium. The electric guitar, in joyous harmony with the tzoura (the bouzouki’s smaller cousin) and Greek percussion, sings the lives of the dreams and ambitions of two lovers who made their own fate and altered the course of history. The opera tells the story of Grand Prince Vladimir of Kievan Rus, the first Russian Empire, and Princess Anna Porphyrogenita of Constantinople, princess of Byzantium, the cultural beacon of the Mediterranean during Western Europe’s Dark Ages.

The year is 988AD. Emperor Basil II rules over Byzantium. His reign will usher in a second Golden Age for Greece. But, civil war threatens to destroy Constantinople from within. On the northern front, Russian Grand Prince Vladimir, begins the unification of the Kievan Rus.  Ambitious to attain more glory, he marches towards the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. Embattled by the Bulgarians, a civil war and other enemies, Basil dispatches his sister Anna to negotiate a treaty with Vladimir. A smitten Vladimir seeks truce only if he can marry the Porphyrogenita, a princess “born of the royal purple.” Anna refuses to marry a pagan barbarian. Unwaivered, Vladimir keeps his eyes on the prize, Princess Anna and the City of Gold. He sends his fabled six thousand strong Varangian Guard, to aid Basil in the civil wars. Most importantly, Vladimir converts his nation to Greek Orthodox Christianity in order to marry Anna.

But, will love be strong enough to overcome that which sword and shield cannot? Will Greece survive these unprecedented obstacles?  This is the story of Anna and Vladimir.
The love that ROCKED the world!

Porphyra's album "Faith, Struggle,Victory" has won best ROCK ALBUM 2016 for The Akademia Music Awards and our production is now awarded by the UNESCO world heritage organization. Learn how to support our effort. Our illustrated brochure and promotional video are on our website http://porphyraband.com/rock-opera/

The Hellenic-American Center of the Arts
Panagiotis Karousos & Billy Chrissochos

Philo4Thought – Greek Legacies: Dynamic Narratives in Film & Performance Arts

Since 2009 the Philo4Thought Hellenic Mentoring Initiative has set out to highlight the accomplishments of our wonderful young Hellenes and to help connect up-and-coming professionals with seasoned mentors in a variety of fields. We have strived to help teach those skills that help build confident networking, expand horizons and find jobs and training opportunities that are fulfilling to the members of our ever-expanding community. As our own academic and professional network and initiative continues to grow (from the original 12-person “think tank” to over 176,000 online participants), we would like to thank those who have made every moment possible, from our dedicated Committee members to our wonderful array of mentors and sponsors. We are extremely grateful for the constant support we have received from the greater Hellenic community both in NYC and around the world, and to the many Philhellenes who have contributed their time and effort to helping us connect young people to solid professional opportunities. This level of unity and support makes us confident that our community will continue to thrive, moving forward to develop professional and social networks to create an impact as bright, strong, capable Hellenes.
The Board would like to offer its gratitude to our past and present members and sponsors for lending your keen advisement and enthusiastic involvement in each of our initiatives. We also welcome all new members and first-time attendees from all communities and hope you will enjoy the talks and activities scheduled for the day.
Our 4th Annual Spring Conference is a celebration of a precious gift that is such an inherent part of our culture: Storytelling. We are honored to have collaborated with various organizations and individuals whose aim is to promote this rich Greek legacy, which is the key to our education and progress.
The program began with the WELCOME ADDRESS by Prof. Christina Salboudis who is the Founding Director of Philo4Thought. She is also Adj. Prof. of Philosophy & Literature at St. John’s University and Student Coordinator at Columbia University.
The OPENING REMARKS were given by Prof. James Demetro who is the Founding Director of the NYC Greek Film Festival and is a Professor Emeritus of Composition & Literature at Bronx Community College.
There was a live MUSICAL PERFORMANCE by Prof. Mike “Risko” Savvas who is a Musician with the band Porphyra and Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera. Mike is also a professor and a coach. He performedexcerpts from Porphyra’s new album “The Starmaker’s Prophecy” and Rock Opera on the Tzoura and Guitar.
The PERFORMANCE ARTS PANEL was moderated by Prof. Anthony Michaelidis who is an Adj. Lecturer at St. John’s University, Discover New York Program Guidance Counselor at Frank Sinatra High School. The Panelists were Nikolaos Markakis, BFA, MFA. Independent Performer, Designer & Choreographer, Faculty, York University, in Ontario Canada and Vassilios “Billy” Chrissochos who has a B.A., Political Science & History with a Minor in Education from Queens College.
Billy is the primary Composer, Historical Consultant and Producer of Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera which debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2015 – visit www.porphyrarockopera.com for details. He is an awarded music video Editor, Director of Modern Music for Club for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands and founded the Greek Artists Guild, the Hellenic American Center of the Arts and the Alexander the Great Living History Society. Billy has served as an educator in the NYC Dept. of Education and is a member of ASCAP, AHEPA (Delphi 25 Chapter) and several other organizations dedicated to the support and education of the Hellenic community and culture. Billy is also currently a realtor at Keller Williams Realty and has extensive financial experience from his years as Asst. Manager at Marathon Bank and various institutions.
Billy spoke in detail about his production “Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera” and the current show “Anna and Vladimir: The love that ROCKED the world.” He told the excited audience the next performance will take place at the historic Flushing Town Hall in Queens June 2nd-3rd for three shows and is proudly sponsored by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. You can get your tickets right here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rock-opera-experience-history-through-music-dance-and-romance-tickets-33533282952
The KEYNOTE ADDRESS was given by George Elias Stephanopoulos, Esq. Attorney, Stephanopoulos Consulting. George is the Creative Producer of the motion picture “Swing Away”.
The ACADEMIC PANEL featured Moderator George Zapantis, Esq., Vice President of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, Attorney, Zapantis Law. The panelists were Constantine Sirigos Director of Outreach and Development, American Community Schools (Athens) and Prof. Perry Giuseppe Rizopoulos Author & Adj. Professor, St. John’s University, Manhattan College.
The BUSINESS PANEL featured Moderator John Metekidis, M.S. Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, New York University and panelist Ariadne Panagopoulou, Esq. Associate, Pardalis & Nohavicka, LLP. Closing Remarks were given by Mr. Ilias “Lou” Katsos who is the president of the Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA) and Vice President of AHEPA Delphi 25 chapter.
The awards were given out by Mr. Peter Giakoumis from the NY Chapter for Modern Music for Club For UNESCO Piraeus and Islands. Mr. Billy Chrissochos is the Director. Organized in collaboration with the National Hellenic Students Association, the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, and with the help of our additional event Sponsors & Affiliates.
Under the Auspices of Club For UNESCO Piraeus and Islands and The NY chapter of Modern Music.
As a 501(c)3 philanthropic educational foundation, we depend on the generosity of our annual and seasonal sponsors to help run our site, our monthly workshops and our seasonal annual events. Many
thanks to all those who believe in our initiatives and contribute funds, supplies and assistance in a philanthropic show of support. Evxaristoume. www.philo4thought.org/

The Hellenic-American Center of the Arts
Panagiotis Karousos and Billy Chrissochos