Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera Triumphs and Enthralls Audiences!
Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera, Anna and Vladimir: The love that ROCKED the world, thrilled audiences this past June with a historical and cultural journey into Greece’s past at Flushing Town Hall “Where the Silk Road ends, a romance begins..” The Rock Opera was hosted by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and audiences got to experience for the first time in one of Queens’ most revered landmark theaters three shows.
First came Anthony and Cleopatra then, there was the drama-drenched Byzantine duo Anna and Vladimir. “Porphyra” is the rock opera that captures all the history, grandeur and power struggles behind their love story. Set in the year 988AD, the production chronicles the world-rocking marriage of Princess Anna Porphyrogenita of Greece to Grand Prince Vladimir the Great of the medieval Kievan Rus. Their tale of love, war and peace is brought to life through hard rock, melodic metal, and Greek folk music, all churned out by a rock orchestra. Based on the epic albums “Faith, Struggle, Victory” and “The Starmaker’s Prophecy” (due to come out this summer), the performance weaves together theater, dance and visuals.
The Director, Production/Stage Manager, Costume stylist, Prop Master and Narrator was Despina Chrissochos (married to Billy Chrissochos), who masterfully helmed the production while seven months pregnant with the couple’s second baby.
The protagonists were four of NYC’s most versatile and powerful Hard Rock/Heavy Metal vocalists; the charismatic and powerhouse vocalist Elaine Tuttle who portrayed the role of Princess Anna Porphyrogenita, the delightful Tommy Von Voigt who slayed as Prince Vladimir, the majestic vocal stylings of Ron Iglesias as Emperor Basil II, and the heavenly vocals of Christina Stavrou as Princess Olga. “Rock of Ages” has nothing on this group. And to boot it’s all original music!
The band was composed of Billy Chrissochos on guitar, Mike “Risko” Savvas on guitar and tzoura (the smaller cousin of the bouzouki instrument), who enthralled the audiences with his unique instrument, Jose A. Navia on bass, Richard Khuzami on percussion and what is a tour de force on drums, Mr. Tracey “Tre Boogie” Beavers, holding the entire ship together. The production was graced with three beautiful dancers from the Dena Stevens Shazadi Dance Project; Choreographer and Principal Dancer Dena Stevens, Principal Dancer and show’s Associate Producer Peishan Lo, and Principal Dancer Alicia Kubeck. The dancers marveled the audiences with sword balancing acts, beautiful costumes and all the right moves.
Recognized and awarded by UNESCO, “Porphyra, a Grecian Rock Opera,” made its smash debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in May 2015 and triumphant Off Broadway debut at the famed West Village Players Theatre in may 2016. Porphyra’s album, “Faith, Struggle, Victory” also won the 2016 Best Rock Album in the Akademia Music Awards.
Porphyra Foundation Inc, is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 and every donation (is tax deductable) and purchase of merchandise will go towards helping this production on its way to Broadway.