Nana's universal appeal stays strong

Nana Mouskouri @ Theatre Royal, Norwich

Nana Mouskouri @ Theatre Royal, Norwich

By MICHAEL DRAKE

Her fans are legion worldwide and last night's uninhibited full-house audience showed that many of them are East Anglian.

The programme described Nana Mouskouri as a “timeless singer”. It is 20 years since I last saw this international star live and she seems to have changed little in her universal appeal. Now the voice is perhaps a little more husky and of course after four decades on stage there is a lot of nostalgia for her audiences, to go with plenty of Grecian-type clapping. She takes more liberties with the tunes – in Scarboro' Fair, for instance – while Love Changes Everything is given her own mark, followed by a very individual touch to Bridge over Troubled Waters where her microphone technique is brilliant.

The six-piece backing group is integral to the performance as individual instrumentalists and adding harmonies – Jimmy Brown being particularly fine. Collectively they are superb, obviously enjoying themselves too and giving the impression that when this 25-concert two-month tour finishes they will be just as fresh. As, I am sure, will Mouskouri, whose versatility in ballads, jazz and operatic pieces is applied without the slightest sign of vocal fatigue.

The segment of her “dreaming days of youth” is itself a dreamy melange and the epitome of her unique style. Old favourites Try To Remember, Turn On The Sun, Plaisir d'amour took us back and the standing ovation was testament to a true artiste of song.