Angélique Ionatos

Born in Athens, Angélique Ionatos left Greece in 1969 for Belgium, then France. In 1972 her first album, Resurrection, with her brother Photis, won the Gustavo Beytelmann Prize. That marked the beginning of her career in France. She went on to make a second recording with her brother, this time of songs in French which they had composed. Their duo broke up in 1976 and Angélique Ionatos decided to turn to setting texts by contemporary Greek poets to music. Her first solo recording, I Palami sou, won the Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros. Two years later La Forêt des hommes was released, with compositions based on poems by Greek Nobel Prize winner Odysseus Elytis. The album O Hélios O Hélatoras followed the same path.

After meeting fellow Greek singer Nena Venetsanou she had the idea of composing a work for two female voices. Encouraged by Odysseus Elytis, she set poems by Sappho (7th century BCE) to music, which were sung in classical Greek and in a modern translation by Odysseus Elytis. The result was Sappho de Mytilène (orchestration, Christian Boissel; staging, Joël Jouanneau), which was presented at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris in 1992. The album was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros.

2009 sees the release of the album Comme un jardin la nuit, a duo for two voices and two guitars with the young Greek singer Katerina Fotinaki. The show of the same name will be on the bill for two weeks in Paris at the Café de la Danse.

Angélique Ionatos


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