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article imageInterview with rock opera singer Alexander Kariotis Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 10, 2013 in Entertainment
On August 7, I interviewed rock opera singer Alexander Kariotis about his new album “Alexander Kariotis and The Rock Opera Orchestra,” as well as his new single “Nessun Dorma – No One Sleeps.”
“It is the first single off of our upcoming album which is being distributed through RED/Sony. The song has become the quintessential opera aria of our time, largely because Luciano Pavarotti sang it at the World Cup. It is an aria that people instantly love, because the melody is one of the most beautiful in opera. My version uses the opera chorus, but is wrapped in an original Rock Opera Orchestra rock song. It was an easy choice for me to use this song as our first single, because I am really happy with the way the song turned out, sonically on the album, as well as compositionally. As a lyric tenor, ‘Nessun Dorma’ is the aria that one must conquer before being able to call oneself a lyric tenor,” he said.
Alexander added, “I am extremely excited for our album to come out this fall. It has been a labor of love and commitment, not only mine, but also on the part of my musical director and right hand man, John Conte. I have been very fortunate to have my record company, the Venue Media Group, give us the freedom to record this album in a way that this music really deserves. There were no shortcuts used while we were recording. All of the musicians on the album are known studio and stage players who are well respected in both rock and classical genres. We didn't use any midi instruments on this album, and I was honored to have the Metropolitan Opera Woodwinds and Brass join our group in the studio. Roy Hendrickson engineered and mixed the album at Avatar Studios, where Roy has been when it was still the iconic Power Station, as well as in the great MSR studios. It was also a privilege to have the great Ted Jensen at Sterling master our album, and it was a thrill to sit in the studio with a man whose music I have been listing to my entire life.”
On his future plans, “First up for us is shooting the video for our single. The concept for the video is very cool, and I am anxious to get in front of the camera and make it all come alive. After that, the real fun begins as we hit the road. Initially, we will stay close to home, and do some New York City warm-up shows, before hitting the tri-state area. The tour is shaping up, and we will be announcing dates for a fall run of shows to coincide with the album release.”
He added, “I am doing a remix of one of my songs with Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels, from the rap group RUN DMC. We have collaborated on the last track of my album, called ‘Vesti la Giubba’ remix. Darryl really brings some cool rhymes to the tune, and like all the other songs on the album, we stay true to the rich story lines of the original opera, I Pagliacci.”
As a performer, Alexander noted that he has had a vast array of “moments” in his career. “As a young tenor, I had the great opportunity to meet, and later hang out with, Luciano Pavarotti, and watch him work. Later on in my studies, I had the opportunity to go to Pavarotti's hometown of Modena, Italy, and study with his teacher, Arrigo Pola. When I moved to Berlin, Germany with my wife, Aimee Willis, who was singing with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, I was able to perform at the Berlin Philharmonic. When we moved back to the United States, I sang at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, an important venue for classical music, and I just recently got to sing the national anthem at Wrigley Field, in my hometown of Chicago. For this project, I have been blessed to have had a vast amount of memorable moments, like working with all of the great artists on the album, who have shared the stage with musicians like Paul McCartney, Sting, George Michael and Placido Domingo. I know I have many more great moments coming up as we get ready to shoot our first video and release our first single,” he said.
Alexander concluded, “I am a lover of both of these genres, opera and rock ‘n roll. I grew up studying and working very hard on my voice, so that I could do them both justice, and combining opera and rock in an authentic way is something that I take very seriously. I hope everyone enjoys the album as much as we have enjoyed making it, and when you come see Alexander Kariotis and The Rock Opera Orchestra in our live show, you will be given a musical experience that you have never had before.”
To learn more about singer Alexander Kariotis, visit his website.
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