Mario Frangoulis is a vocalist and theatre actor, famous for his refined tenor vocals. Frangoulis was born in Rhodesia in 1967 but moved to Greece when he was 4 years old, to be raised by his aunt and uncle.
From a young age (8 years old) he took part in choirs as a leading tenor and when he was only 11 he recorded the part of Isaac in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. When Mario was 15 he was the Master of Ceremonies in the musical theater production Cabaret and one year later, at 16, he played Tony in the well-known musical West Side Story. In addition to all this, he took part in many school plays and for 11 years he studied the violin at the Athens Conservatorium and graduated in 1984.
Frangoulis moved to London in 1985 where he did a three-year acting course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1988, he played Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream with great critical acclaim in his final year drama school production in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company for the Arundel Festival. While in England, Cameron Mackintosh, an acclaimed British theatrical producer, saw him in a musical and, after an audition, offered him the young romantic lead Marius in the West End production of Les Miserables (musical) at the Palace Theatre, where he performed for a year, in 1988-89. The musical was directed by Trevor Nunn, at the time the director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Frangoulis won the coveted Maria Callas Scholarship for Opera in 1988 and after the successful run of Les Miserables, he went to Italy where he studied with tenor Carlo Bergonzi in the Verdi Academy in Busseto, Verdi’s birthplace, graduating six months later.
In Italy, he studied with famous tenor Alfredo Kraus accompanying him all over the world to take lessons from him for more than a year. In 1991, he was invited by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to star as the young lead Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End, directed by Harold Prince.
In 1992 he moved to New York (where he stayed until 1995) to continue his operatic studies with soprano Dodi Protero, at the introduction of his mentor Marilyn Horne, in a three-year part-time course at the Juilliard School. In 1992, he won the Onassis Scholarship, which enabled him to continue his studies in New York. In 1993, he sang at the Athens Music Concert hall in an opera gala dedicated to the memory of Maria Callas. In 1994, he was a distinguished finalist of the Luciano Pavarotti International Competition. On his return to London in 1995, Mario Frangoulis was invited to play the young lead Lun-Tha in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I for a few performances during the Covent Garden Festival and won critical acclaim from The Times, The Guardian and other newspapers.
“Follow your heart wherever it takes you.
Nobody knows where the wind blows. No one can say.”
In recent years Frangoulis has chosen to focus on traditional and pop music from around the world, as he can sing in Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, and English, in an effort to bridge the gap between “popular” and operatic music and attract younger audiences to operatic productions.