World Portrait


Nana begins her career in Greece. Her triumphs at Song Festivals make her famous and allow her to travel abroad. Her contract with the record company Philips leads her to record in several languages because they want to make of her a "national" singer throughout Europe. Germany is where she is more popular. Her international career takes shape at the turn of the year 1967. She then just completed four tours with the singer Harry Belafonte on the North American continent and starts to present her song recitals. Here is the World Portrait that follows the first ten years of her career.


Her visit to Quebec at the beginning of 1967 coincides with the end and the beginning of a new episode. At that point, Nana is back alone on tour with her band and chooses to present concerts while ensuring both parts of the evening. This is a premiere that will serve as an example for other countries. Her albums "Comme un soleil", "Une voix qui vient du cœur" and "Je chante avec toi liberté" are among the favorites of that French-speaking public.

Before long the English Canadians succumb to the charm of her voice and her songs. From 1975, Samuel Gesser, her impresario, produces her in the major theatres of the country. One year, Nana tours on the eastern coast and the other one on the western coast. No wonder that she gave more than 800 concerts in Canada. "British Concert", "Roses & Sunshine" and "Come with me" are the three albums that made her popular.


After winning the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros in 1967, everything goes on; TV Appearances, a summer tour and a serie of headlined concerts at the Olympia Theatre in Paris. From now she is considered as a French singer and she insures the followup of her carrer from the City of Lights. Beyond her recordings and her performances on stage, Nana is often on TV. In the 1970s, in particular, she presents her TV shows "Top à..." and "Numéro Un". Between 1973 and 1994, she’s the singer who receives the biggest number of golden records. Among her greatest hits, let’s mention "Quand tu chantes", "Je chante avec toi liberté" and "L’amour en héritage". Some of the greatest French Songs like "Le temps des cerises" and "Plaisir d'amour" are also part of her evergreens. Nana gave her farewell concert at the Opera Garnier in 2007.


Nana established her main residence in Geneva. It is there that her children are born and grow; Nicolas in 1968 and Hélène in 1970. And in 2003, she married André Chapelle, her producer. Nana meets with her loved ones and gives concerts in the context of her French and German tours. She does the same for her concerts in Belgium. During her mandate as Deputy of the European Parliament from 1994 to 1999, Nana regularly goes to Brussels to sit. In Switzerland, her records are imported from France and Germany. In Belgium, from France and from The Netherlands.


In September and October 1968, the English people discover the host-singer in six variety shows at the BBC. Every night during 45 minutes, Nana sings with her band The Athenians, presents and sings some duets with international stars. Very quickly, she becomes a settled star. The British and the Irish buy her records and demand her for concerts. In 1970 and 1971, Nana is the best albums-seller. Her British career is launched and until 1981, she returns to record new TV series that are also broadcasted throughout the Commonwealth. In 1986, the song "Only Love" taken from a TV serie reaches the first position in the UK charts. Her last gala at the Royal Albert Hall in 2007 will be immortalized on DVD.


The Netherlands are located at the crossroads of France, England and Germany. There comes out a tremendous number of records and some sales compete with the ones of the biggest markets. Moreover, theirs vinyls are among the most imported in the world. If during the early sixties, Nana is mostly known for her hits in Germany, later, her series at the BBC contribute to boost her popularity. Several of her songs, especially in English, become hits. Some of her French and German albums come out and she even records in Dutch. She receives several golden and platinum records, whose the album "Nana's Book of Songs" set with diamonds.


The Oceanians know her thanks to her TV series. From her first visit in 1974, Nana keeps wonderful memories. Upon her arrival in Sydney, she gets all the media attention. In Christchurch, she receives a telegram from scientists parked on the South Pole, at only two hours of flight. They cannot attend the concert but they listen to its radio broadcasting. From that trip, she leaves with 28 new Gold records, 19 from Australia and 9 from New Zealand. Altogether, Nana flew five times to Australia, a country where at one time, she sold more records per capita.


With the release of the album "Sieben schwarze Rosen" in 1975, Nana reconquers the Germans while singing in their own language. Other hits follow: "Adios", "Die Welt ist voll Licht", "Guten Morgen, Sonnenschein", "Lieder, die die Liebe schreibt", "La Provence" ... Even in periods when she has less new productions, she's invited in TV shows, she presents her concerts and the public is present. It's the same in Austria and in the German-speaking Switzerland. During all those years the impresario Fritz Rau organizes her tours. Germany is the country where there are more different records; more than 1,000 since her beginnings.


The United States is a country where Nana has worked a lot even without settling there. Harold Leventhal, Folk Music Manager, in collaboration with her Canadian tour manager, Samuel Gesser, take her under their wings. During the most intense period between 1977 and 1984, she participates in the major TV talk-shows and she performs annually on tour. In the 1990s, Nana is at the top of her popularity. Polygram, the ancestor of Universal, publishes her records and imports them in several countries. Her new impresario, Ed Kasses, produces her in packed halls. "Only Love" is her most famous song.


From 1980, Scandinavia is added to her itinerary. As for Canada and Germany, her tour organization starts out quickly. In Denmark, to each of her visits, she gives a dozen concerts. To thank the Danish public, Nana learned two of their songs that she sings on stage. The Scandinavian countries press few records; most of their 33 rpm come from the Netherlands and her CDs from Germany. As in Ireland and in the Netherlands, her repertory is not in the national language but there are many admirers. Some countries would be right to envy the Scandinavians for all the opportunities they had to see her in concert.


Between 1967 and 1985, Nana leads a worldwide carreer and records almost exclusively in French, in English, in German and in Greek. Following the success of her album "Libertad / Liberdade", in Spanish and in Portuguese, Nana returns to the artistic landscape of the Iberian Peninsula. In October 1987, she presents a tour. Several TV Appearances, especially in Spain, update her presence and highlight the release of her albums. She also records in Catalan and her new productions contribute to develop her success in Latin America. Altogether, from 1986 to 2003, she makes about twenty round trips.

When her French and English career takes off, between 1967 and 1969, Nana focuses on these two languages. In Italy, during years, especially her French albums are pressed. Then, her records are imported from various countries. After the spontaneous success of her return to Spain, a similar market, Nana makes new recordings in Italian. However, her absence in that country is a mystery, especially because she knows the language and the culture. In the 1990s, three compagnies release their version of her first and unique Italian album on CD.


It is in the Middle East that Nana knows her first Asian audience. In Israel, among others, many of her Greek songs become hits. Nana loves the folklore of that country and a few times, on stage and on TV, she sings in Hebrew. She is also very familiar with Turkey, the immediate neighbour of Greece. She will notably give private concerts for the Patriarch Bartholomew I. However, her first contact with Asia dates back to the late sixties during galas in Lebanon.

In 1974, the Far East welcomes her. Indeed, she flies to Japan to make some TV recordings and to give concerts. In that country, about a hundred LPs and a hundred CDs are released. In 1987, a promotional tour leads her to visit Southeast Asia. In South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, her popularity doesn't fail. In Indonesia, where she has never been, hundreds of cassettes are produced by local companies. In 2005, during her farewell tour, she's awarded with the "Award multimillion Sales" to underline her sales. Over the years, she recorded a few songs in Japanese, Mandarin and Korean. If it wasn't for the distance, Nana would have a lot to do on that continent.


Nana is awarded by several golden records in South Africa and she gives two concerts in 1983. In Botswana, the discography is similar. During the vinyl period, several African countries press her records while most of the CDs are imported from Europe. A few times, the King of Morocco invites her to sing in Rabat. In 1989, Nana does a tour in the francophone countries of West Africa. In 1998 and 1999, she flies to Kenya as ambassador for UNICEF. And in 2015, she gives a benefit concert in Madagascar.


Her first two visits in Mexico, in 1972 and 1973, take place in the context of her American tours. In 1994 and 1996, thanks to her albums in Spanish, she's able to present concerts in that language. In Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and in the Dominican Republic, her fans also have the chance to see her in concert. Despite a moderate promotion, Nana sings in packed houses and her records are selling well. Only in Chile, she gets six golden and platinum discs. A more intense presence in those countries would probably have contributed to enrich more her repertoire of their beautiful melodies.


While her career is rapidly growing, from 1967 to 1974, Greece suffers from the Greek military junta. "Spiti mou spitaki mou" is the only Greek album released during that period. Then Nana flies back a couple of times a year to visit her family and her friends. However it's only in 1984 that she makes her artistic return with two concerts at the Herod Atticus theatre. The reunion with her nation is so touching and sublime that the moment would have been perfect for her to leave the stage. But Nikos Gatsos, the lyric writer of her beginnings, writes new texts for her. The composer Hadjidakis contacts her again and other great musicians such as Hadjinassios, Moutsis and Xarchakos offer to work with her. So Nana returns regularly to perform for her compatriots and records new albums in her native language. She chooses to end her farewell tour in her own country during the summer of 2008.


That World Portrait completes the one of the ten years when Nana established her first roots. Although basic, it bears witness of a rich and nuanced career. In each place, a distinct history and bounds bind her to her public. Among the most influential countries, there are France, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Greece and Spain where she promotes her discs. But also Canada and United States where she did a lot of tours. We must also mention the 40 countries where Nana has performed and of course her dozens of albums distributed worldwide during all those years.

The three Integrals: the French, the English and the Spanish ones.