Internationally rising star singer Aliki joins Malta's own Red Electrick in Cyprus concert

Aliki, the internationally acclaimed soprano and classical crossover singer dazzled both Britain and Cyprus after her success on Britain’s Got Talent. In the coming days, Aliki will be performing in Maestro & Friends 2016 featuring Malta’s own Red Electrick. She spoke to MaltaToday about her journey so far

8 September 2016, 10:00am
Crossover charm: Aliki
Crossover charm: Aliki
What have you been up to lately?

After completing what was a great year 2015 with performances in Liverpool, Canada, Cyprus, concerts touring with the Sound of Music, and other projects with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, I began the recordings of my debut album Reflections with The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague. 2016 has found me with the touring of Reflections, after its release in April this year. Also in mid-2016, we launched a series of new projects such as the special concert, accompanied by the Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra, for the 10th anniversary of the New Larnaca Airport, Hermes which was broadcasted worldwide.

Tell us a bit about the recording process of your debut album Reflections? 

Reflections is my debut album, which was produced by my husband Alexis Lontos Leonidou and recorded at Smecky Studios with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Miriam Nemcova. Robin Hoffmann made all the re-orchestrations and arrangements of the album songs .  Also on Reflections, I was delighted to have a collaboration duet with one of Greece’s legendary voices, Mixalis Xatzigiannis, on the song Falling Slowly, from Once. 

How would you describe your album Reflections? How did the title Reflections come up? 

Reflections is a journey. A gathering of memories and influences. It’s important for me to sing melodies that have the power to move me. So this album reflects a part of my journey. Each song was chosen carefully, each one marked a part in my life, made me grow  and is a reflection of a thought, a moment. The album features works by Puccini, Gounod, Dvorak, Webber, Lara, Rota, and more. It covers a vast repertoire of opera, musical theatre and popular songs in order to appeal to lovers of both classical and contemporary music.  

What is your favourite song? Why?

It’s really hard to pick a favorite song as the 13 on the album were on the short list of very many till we made the final selection. If I had to choose, my top three would have to be Lascia Ch’Io Pianga, Granada, and Young and Beautiful. Lascia ch’io pianga because of its simplicity, and yet very powerful way to move you. I choose Granada as it makes me happy – the orchestration and music make me want to dance every time and, last but not least, Young and Beautiful, the haunting music and the lyrics we all secretly sing to our loved one “will you still love me when I’m not young and beautiful”?

How can people get your album? 

Reflections is available for digital download on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and many other sources on the net. But fans can also purchase a signed hard copy of Reflections from my website www.alikimusic.com 

You are an Ambassador for the Encephalitis Society. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with this charity, and about your involvement?

I am honored and proud to be an Ambassador of The Encephalitis Society. Their work is extraordinary. They strive hard as a team to better the lives not only of the people affected by this terrible illness, but also their families and loved ones who have to deal with this. As one of the individuals affected by Encephalitis, I was deeply touched when asked to be one of their Ambassadors. I feel it is my duty to help others in times like this, so I try to be as involved as I can. Last year alone we did a big concert in Liverpool, celebrating World Encephalitis Day, on February 22, which was broadcast over the net worldwide and two months later I ran the 42km London Marathon to help raise awareness in this regard. 

What was the highlight of your career so far? 

Every time I am on stage, with great musicians accompanying me, I think to myself that “this is the highlight”. Soon after, I am always in search for the next great thing that will come up. The fact is that I feel blessed to be living, doing the thing that I love the most.

Future plans? 

My next collaboration is with Maestro & Friends 2016 in Kourion, the ancient amphitheatre in Cyprus, with the pop/rock band from Malta Red Electrick on September 11. This year’s edition is organised by Maestro Yiannis Hadjiloizou from Cyprus and BPC International from Malta, which also operates in Cyprus. There are other projects and collaborations on the plate for the remaining of 2016 and the year 2017. All which need to be put down and thought carefully to make the right choices. Once they are set in stone they shall be announced. 

What is a typical day like before you go on stage?

When I am between concerts, I try to spend my time alone. I avoid drinking alcohol and coffee and lots of talking. I try to follow a dairy-free diet especially on the day of performance, and I try to keep as concentrated as possible. For the whole day of the concert, I usually try and stay in silence, which is not easy to carry out, but also challenging for the people around me. But it’s part of our job and it is in respect to the public that will come and hear me perform. I study, and prepare myself, and try to offer the best that I can. 

Who are your musical inspirations?

I grew up in a family where music was everywhere. From the melodies played on the piano, guitar, harmonica, accordion, and from the radio Greek folk music on one end and classical music on the other. Everything I have listened to has influenced and helped me direct the style I have in my performance today. Certainly, Maria Callas, Anna Netrebko, Kristin Chenoweth, Sarah Brightman, Montserrat Caballe, Diana Damrau, Renée Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa and Barbra Streisand, Edith Piaf are amongst my biggest influences and many more. 

Where would you most like to perform?

Where there is a stage and an orchestra…I will sing. But if I had to say one place, I would definitely say Royal Albert Hall. 

Who would your dream duet be?

Who to start with… Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and many more.

Of all the songs you sing, do you have a favorite verse or line?

“Somewhere over the rainbow…” 

The ‘Maestro & Friends 2016’ will be held on September 11 at 20:30 at the Ancient Amphitheatre of Kourion in Cyprus. Supported by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), Emirates, and Cyprus Villages Traditional Houses, the concert is being jointly organised by the Cyprus Academy of Music and Malta’s principal marketing communications agency BPC International.  Incorporating Red Electrick’s concert at Kourion, Enrico Travel (www.facebook.com/EnricoTravel) is offering travel packages to Cyprus from September 7 to 12.On Mondays and Wednesdays, Emirates flies between Malta and Larnaca on a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft