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While the Vancouver Peace Summit was very much about spoken dialogue, that’s not to say there was no room for different forms of communication, including music. Before each dialogue, Summit attendees were treated to some incredible musical interludes, including the work of Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis.
Mario, who has been known to sing everything from hard-rock anthems to operatic arias, gave audience members a stunning version of The Impossible Dream before the Nobel Laureates in Dialogue session.
(Watch Mario, accompanied by pianist Rena Sharon, perform the song that he dedicated to His Holiness here).
Mario was not at the Summit just to perform, however. He was invited by Nobel Laureate Betty Williams because of his role as the Global Ambassador for Peace for the World Centers of Compassion for Children International (WCCCI). He attended with what he calls “the hope of being a catalyst or force for bringing people together.”
Mario shared a story with us about the moments before he took the stage at the Summit in which he had a special moment with the Dalai Lama.
“It was a great experience to be with people who are the spiritual, intellectual and humanitarian leaders of our time. I was very touched when, backstage, we talked and His Holiness placed his forehead on mine, sharing his good energy and wisdom. It was one of the few moments in my life when I felt absolute security and love. And I brought this with me so that in turn, I could share this same energy with the audience whilst performing on stage.”
For Mario, the Summit was about connecting.
"The Peace Summit brought people together to think collectively and act both as individuals and as a collective. There is something very important and powerful about creating a shared experience or space where people can be together. Love is the greatest gift anyone can give to another human being, but compassion is what keeps us together."
Love is part of the three "L"s, along with learning and listening, that Mario believes are prerequisites for peace.
"That was one of the accomplishments of the Vancouver Peace Summit in my mind. Unless people are gathered in the same room, they can be confused as to what they should and want to stand for alone. The work of peace doesn't happen with just an individual. It is something that requires the collective. A compassionate collective that is open to learning and loving and listening."
To watch a previous interview with Mario Frangoulis, you can find it in our knowledge resources.
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