Athens - 19 June 2001 - Odeion Of Herodus Atticus - Greece - Akropolis
June 19th, 2001 by Robin
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
20:00 - All Ages
Odeion Of Herodus Atticus (map)
Venue Capacity: 5,000
Visitors: 5,000 per day
Cost of project: 410 Million Greek Drachmae
Ticket cost: 15,000; 50,000; 60,000; 80,000; 100,000 Greek Drachmae
Length of concert: 2hrs approx. split into 2 parts with interval
In 1993, Jean Michel was invited by the Greek singer, Minister for the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, and personal friend, Melina Mercouri to perform a concert in Athens as part of their Hellenic Festival, which is an annual event celebrating local Athens culture and music, aswell as Contemporary music, in order to generate tourism to the city (and does a fine job of it too). This was to be part of the (at that time) proposed Tolerance World Tour, which were in aid of UNESCO (this of course never happened, with the exception of the 1995 performance of Concert for Tolerance in Paris).
Jean Michel Jarre welcomed her invitation, but because of the problems with organizing the tour, the plans were scrapped, although Melina's invitation was still open to Jean Michel for him to perform when he could. Unfortunately though, in 1994, Melina died. This, of course, devastated Jean Michel, but he vowed to keep his promise and to perform a concert in tribute to her when he was able to do so.
In the Autumn of 2000, UNESCO Ambassador, President of ELPIDA (Association of Friends of Children with Cancer), and personal friend of Jean Michel's, Marianna Vardinoyannis, invited Jean Michel to perform in Athens, with the Odeion of Herodus Atticus Amphitheater (which is situated beneath the world-famous Acropolis) being chosen as the location for the concerts. The concerts were to be held in aid of the ELPIDA Charity, with the proceeds from the ticket sales going to the construction of a new Hospital specially for children with Cancer.
Because of the nature of the concerts though, Jean Michel took a pay cut, with the remainder of his usual fee for performing (currently unknown) to also go towards the charity. The Odeion was also rented out for free due to the concerts being in aid of charity.
Also, the organizers of the Hellenic Festival (with which the Akropolis concerts were part of) asked Jean Michel to compose a new song which would be known as the theme to the Acropolis - this new track was 'Akropolis', or to give it's full name 'The Hymn to Acropolis & The Ancient Greek Spirit', which was described by Jean Michel as "an artistic, poetic tribute to the place." (Note: Vangelis was originally in talks with Jean Michel to perform a track at the concerts, but this fell through - it was believed that the Akropolis track was the track to be performed with him.)
Jean Michel stated during the Press Conference "I'm really interested in trying to match the past and future. What is interesting is to put this kind of area in a contemporary context, almost futuristic context... the best way of respecting monuments and our history is to make them alive in our times." And so because of this, and because of the archeological status of the venue, plus the culture and mythology of Athens, it made sense that the scenography for the concert would be based on ancient Greece, with Mark Fisher's studio creating new projections, aswell as reusing projection slides from previous concerts, such as from La Defense, Europe in Concert, and even some projections and animations that were used for the Rendezvous in Space 2001 concert in Okinawa. These were mixed together with some new graphics and animations specially created for the concerts, and will not be used at any other concert.
The Akropolis concerts also marked the return of Patrick Rondat, who had not performed alongside Jean Michel since Concert for Tolerance in 1995. Also, the Greek singer Mando was also going to perform live on 'C'est La Vie' (the Greek version of the track that she had made for her album), but unfortunately due to problems during rehearsals, and some 3rd party "involvement", she didn't appear, and C'est La Vie was not performed.
* "Oxygene 4"
* "Oxygene 2"
* "Equinoxe 4"
* "Magnetic Fields 2"
* "Je Me Souviens"
* "Chronologie 3"
* "Oxygene 8"
* "Magnetic Fields 1"
* "Ethnicolor" (was dropped for the televised concert due to time constraints of the live tv broadcast)
* "Four Seasons" Vivaldi Tribute
* "Gloria Lonely Boy"
* "Oxygene 13"
* "Souvenir of China"
* "Equinoxe 7"
* "Chronologie 6"
* "Rendez-Vous 2"
* "Oxygene 12"
* "Rendez-Vous 4"
* Jean Michel Jarre - Keyboards, Laser Harp, Vocals
* Francis Rimbert - Keyboards and Synthesizers
* Christopher Papendieck - Bass & Keyboards
* Patrick Rondat - Electric Guitar
* Laurent Faucheux - Drums
* Vasiliki Karagianni - Soprano on Chronologie 3
* The Hellenic Festival Choir - directed by Stavros Beris and D. Kanaris
* Enarmonia Orchestra - conducted by Chrisanthos Alisafis
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