(L to R) Leadership 100 Chairman Constantine G. Caras and Archbishop Demetrios present Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence to Mario Frangoulis, along with Leadership 100 Executive Director Paulette Poulos and Chair of the 21st Annual Leadership 100 Conference,
Internationally acclaimed Greek tenor, Mario Frangoulis, performed before more than 400 member of leadership 100 and their guests at a full house at a special at The Harriet Himmel Theater in West Palm Beach, Friday, February 10, 2012, the highlight of the 21st Annual Leadership 100 Conference that concluded Sunday, February 12, 2012, at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach in Manalapan, Florida. He was presented with the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence.
Frangoulis, who is often referred to as one of Greece’s “national treasures”, is a dedicated Hellene who thinks of himself as an ambassador for Greece all over the world sang selections in Italian, Spanish, English, French and Greek. He has had the honor of performing with some of the world’s greatest artists, including Placido Domingo, Lara Fabian, Sarah Brightman, Justin Hayward, and Natalie Merchant, in addition to collaborating with Greece’s most famous composers, Mikis Theodorakis and Yannis Markopoulos, and world-acclaimed singers, George Dalaras, Alkistis Protopsalti, and Glykeria, to name a few.
Born in what is now the Republic of Zimbabwe to Greek parents, Frangoulis was raised in Athens, Greece. At the age of 17, he attended London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study acting and singing. While at Guildhall he was discovered by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who is referred to by The New York Times as “the most successful, influential and powerful producer of our time.” Upon his graduation, he was hired to play the character Marius in Les Miserables in London’s West End. Soon thereafter, he was invited by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to play the role of Raoul in Phantom of the Opera and performed to great critical acclaim.
During this time, Frangoulis discovered the operatic side of his voice. He won the Maria Callas Prize and, juggling this newfound opportunity in opera with an emerging stage career, he studied in Italy with the world-famous tenor Carlo Bergonzi. Upon the recommendation of one of his mentors, the legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, he also studied with the acclaimed Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus, becoming the only private student the late Kraus ever accepted. He continued his studies at the Julliard School of Music in New York under the guidance of Dodi Protero, solidifying his skill as a vocalist and musician. Anything but a conventional opera singer, he won the role of Tony in West Side Story at Milan’s La Scala for the New Millennium and appeared in films such as De Lovely with Kevin Kline, on television, and even in epic presentations of ancient Greek plays such as The Birds, Prometheus, and The Bacchae.
A true humanitarian, Frangoulis is recognized all over the world for his charity work, supporting events and organizations such as: Voices for Darfur, José Carreras’ Leukemia Foundation, and organizations addressing AIDS issues, as well as homelessness prevention and intervention. He is most passionate, however, about any cause pertaining to the protection of “at risk” children. In 2008, he was invited by Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams to be a Global Ambassador for Peace for her organization, The World Centers of Compassion for Children International, and as a result, was invited by the Dalai Lama to sing at his 2009 Peace Summit in Vancouver, Canada. Simultaneously, he became an Ambassador for the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in support of its goal to provide college scholarships for high-risk, high-potential youth throughout the United States.