Only Love – Nana Mouskouri in Holland 2006

b5In 1962, Nana Mouskouri released The Girl From Greece Sings. Now at age 85, she still does, in about as many languages as the United Nations officially recognizes. Mouskouri released her latest album Forever Young in 2018 and interviewed by phone with Globe and Mail about lessons learned and a farewell tour that wasn’t that.

In 2004 or so, I decided to do a final tour. I was getting older and should stop singing. I went around the world, going to all the places I thought I should go. The tour lasted four years. I finished in 2008 in Athens, at a beautiful, ancient theatre, the Herodes Atticus theatre. Before the final show, I felt as if I was going into my grave. It was a sad period after that. I spent three years without singing and trying to find another life. But it was not possible. I decided to sing again. Of course, I had to find an excuse, because I was ashamed to be coming back after saying I was retiring. The excuse was to celebrate the 50 years of The White Rose of Athens, which was my first international hit. This was in 2011. Then I did a tour for a while and it ended. In 2014, I found another excuse to tour, which was to go on a Happy Birthday Tour, which also ended. Since then, I haven’t been touring. Last year, I decided to record an album, Forever Young, based on the Bob Dylan song. I’m not saying it’s about me. It’s the songs that will be forever young. The songs I recorded for the album were ones I never did before, because they belonged to other people. To keep your voice, you have to keep on singing. I’ve been singing for 60 years. I’ve studied music. There is a discipline to my singing. Learning is important, whether it’s another style or singing in a new language. It’s work. It’s important for the voice to be more flexible.

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