Fotini Darra was born in Zakynthos and is a singer and an actress. As a singer she has participated in big concerts in Greece and abroad. As an actress she has played leading parts in big productions of the National Theater as well as for the State Theater of North Greece. Songs of the great composer Dimitri Papadimitriou based on poems of Greek and foreign poets are included in her first cd album. She has sung great hits, which were themes for TV series as Fevga and Leni, Smyrna’s Witches, etc. OST of the movie Fading Light is also performed by her. She has performed in cd’s of Nikos Mamagakis and in the last work of Dimitri Papadimitriou on K. P. Kavafi’s poems.  


This interview was taken by Filoumena Zlatanou


Singer and actress, one of the most beautiful voices of contemporary Greek music scene, muse of Dimitris Papadimitriou, living proof that Greek music industry can still “produce” art, even nowadays. Just before her scheduled performances in Ianos, together with Christos Thivaios, Maria Farantouri and Dimitris Papadimitriou and shortly after the presentation of her first personal album, Fotini Darra talks to In2Life about the sacrifices art demands, about lifestyle and what this is imposing on music production, as well as the difference between ambition and vanity.


What does an artist has to sacrifice, so as to promote himself?
Too much work, to such an extend, that someone has to give so much of his/her private time that he/she might not have a personal life. A performer has to always “be there” no matter what is going on in his personal life at the moment. “The show must go on”.


How does it feel when you have, standing by you, an already established and well known composer, than starting all alone?
You have someone to be a mentor, in this field, someone who looks after you, a guardian angel. At the same time you are burdened with the responsibility that someone is, so as to be adequately worthy next to the fame and the status of this person.


How do you choose your songs and your repertoire in general? Personal preferences, consultations or following what lifestyle imposes?
Well I think we define our lifestyle. I do not agree with the fact that when someone has to create an artistic work, is obliged to follow lifestyle images or trends in any type of creative work, made by anyone, famous or not. The only safe way for the repertoire’s selection is strictly artistic criteria.


Do you feel anxious about the sales figures and about success?
For anyone who presents a work and performs artistically in any way, it would be a lie to say that he/she is not interested in the audience’s opinion. However the reason that would make me really anxious about is how adequately good the result is. 


What is your relationship with the audience and what do you think of the fanatic audience?
Well it is a love relationship.


How would you comment on the following phrase: “music is a means of communication which unites persons and people”.
Art is one of the elements that make the difference between us and animals. I do believe that music brings people closer to each other, however I do not agree with the globalisation of music. People have their own musical identity.


What do you think about music in contemporary Greece?
It is a tough world… 


Is it easy for an established artist to manage his/her vanity?
First of all we have to make a distinction between ambition and vanity. Ambition for me is to be able to set a goal and to be able to get it successfully. Vanity is when you constantly try to accomplish something to no effect. Thus, the issue is how easy it is to put boundaries to your vanity, via patience, persistence and consistency.


The interview was published on May 16th, 2008