Podcast with ALEXANDER KARIOTIS
The amazing ALEXANDER KARIOTIS discusses his brilliant new album ‘ALEXANDER KARIOTIS AND THE ROCK OPERA ORCHESTA’, which mixes classic opera arias with vibrant new rock anthems. For more information visit AlexanderKariotis.com
Weaving timeless operatic arias amid soaring rock melodies, with a powerhouse rock rhythm section, with strings, woodwinds, brass and backing vocals, Alexander’s music leaves you exhilarated and breathless.
His self-titled debut CD, for release February of 2014 (SONY/Red), is the culmination of an incredible career, both as one of the most distinctive operatic tenor voices on the international music scene, and as a powerful and searing rock voice in the grand tradition of Steve Perry and Freddie Mercury.
An accomplished multi-instrumentalist and linguist, Alexander enlisted the exceptional talents of the iconic jazz saxophonist David Sanborn who joins Alexander in a beautiful jazz/opera fusion song called Ho Bisogno Di Te. Darryl “DMC” McDaniels from the super rap group RUN DMC also joins Alexander in a hip hop/opera collaboration of a remix of Alexander’s original composition called Vesti la Giubba – Hide the tears.
Classically trained in Opera, Alexander has studied with a Who’s Who of vocal masters, from Arrigo Pola (the late Luciano Pavarotti’s voice teacher, Modena, Italy), Gianni Raimondi (La Scala, Italy), as well as Dan Marek, John Wustman and Nico Castel(Metropolitan Opera).
Alexander is a full scholarship graduate of the Mannes School of Music in New York City (B.M.), and Northwestern University (M.M.). As a lyric tenor, Alexander has performed internationally, with appearances at Avery Fisher Hall, The Berlin Philharmonic and has perform alongside Tony Award winning actress Elizabeth Ashley in the Columbia Artists/Broadway tour of “Master Class” by Terrence McNally.
The recording is rounded out by keyboardist/orchestrator and music director John Conte(Stewart Copeland, Manhattan School of Music, Banff), engineer Roy Hendrickson (Paul McCartney, Roberta Flack, George Michael), top-tier NYC musicians including The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Ethel (the progressive classical string quartet), Alan Michaels (Drums, Broadway -West Side Story, Chorus Line), Kevin Brown (Bass), Aimee Willis (backing vocals, Deustch Oper Berlin), guitarists Ben Butler (Rod Stewart, Bono, George Michael) and Michael Aarons (Paul McCartney, Elton John, Placido Domingo, Ray Charles).
The CD was recorded and mixed at; Avatar Studios and MSR in New York City, and St. Claire Recording Company in Lexington, Kentucky.
The recording is mastered by legendary Ted Jensen, of Sterling Sound in NYC.
When people think of great rock voices, Steve Perry (Journey) and Freddie Mercury (Queen) are some of the names that come to mind. Take their vocal styles, add to them the sublime sounds of great operatic composers such as Puccini and Verdi, and “Voilà” you have Alexander Kariotis, breathing new life into the rock opera-genre.
“There’s room for both rock and opera, even in the same song”
“There’s room for both rock and opera, even in the same song,” Kariotis explains. And this phenomenal singer does just that throughout his debut album, Alexander Kariotis and the Rock Opera Orchestra (VMG – SONY/Red), released in June 2014, exclusively on Amazon.com.
The iconic jazz saxophonist David Sanborn joins Alexander in a beautiful jazz/opera fusion song Ho Bisogno Di Te. Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of RUN DMC joins Kariotis in a hip hop/opera collaboration of a remix of Alexander’s original composition called Vesti la Giubba – Hide the tears.
Growing up in Chicago, he quickly found his escape through music and was inspired by his older brother, Tony, the front man of Gambler (EMI Records). Only 13 years old at the time, Kariotis thought he was meant to be a rocker, but his brother had another path in mind for him. Tony’s instincts were proven correct when he took Alexander to see opera star Luciano Pavarotti in concert, and saw how fascinated he became with Pavarotti’s voice.
Determined to excel in classical music, he began studying at the prestigious Mannes Conservatory of Music in New York with Metropolitan Opera tenor Dan Marek and also Pavarotti’s teacher Arrigo Pola in Italy.
He performed alongside Tony Award-winning actress Elizabeth Ashley in the Broadway tour of Terrence McNally’s Master Class; had a starring role in the one‐man Off‐Broadway show, Holdin’ On, sang at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall, and at the Berlin Philharmonic.
Kariotis’ success was shattered when his brother Tony, the person who had brought music into his life, was diagnosed withLou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). After his brother’s death, Alexander realized he needed to achieve both of their dreams by combining their passions and becoming a rock‐opera artist.
“When I am singing in both genres, I feel my brother Tony there with me.”