I have many names, mom among them but I have been Debbie Giannopoulos, Mrs. Mustafoglu and am professionally known througout the world as Demetra George now, but I answer to Debbie G. still.
My family is composed of Mike Mustafoglu, a businessman, Hon. Consul General from N. Cyprus to the US and the first Turkish American to be awarded the congressional Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Our daughters are Devran, 24 who just completed her Masters in Communications Management and Marketing from the University of Southern California ‘s Annenberg School for Communication, and Deniz, 22, completed her undergrad in Psychology at Pepperdine, both in May. Immediately after, Deniz started grad school to become a Therapist at USC also. So now after being big OCU fans, we root for USC.
I have just returned from Las Vegas where I have been the resident soprano for Nevvada Opera Theatre for 20 years. I was the soprano lead in OPERA AT THE RITZ, my 7th year on the beautiful Lake Las Vegas. I am preparing to present the maiden concert at Herb Alpert’s VIBRATO Grill Jazz performing the great Heroines of Opera along with a baritone in November after which I catch a plane to sing a private gala in Istanbul, Turkey, several concerts between, a Mimi in La Boheme, and the list keeps running until 2011 just now.I am grateful to my wonderful OCU teachers over the years for this long and wondrous career.
We reside in Beverly Hills, CA, a place I never thought we’d call home but it is exciting for a girl from OKC. My next door neighbors are Charlie Sheen and Vanna White and Paris Hilton and Tom Jones live just down the street. They call me DIVA as they can’t remember Demetra, but they know I’m a singer and often ask my advice for their voices and they wait every year for my special MISS OKLAHOMA BAKLAVA, low cal recipe!!!
Mike and I are active in world politics and are often found hosting champagne brunches and cocktail parties for politicians in our garden. It’s a lot of work but quite educational. I’m waiting to have OCU back on a lovely Spring day! I founded a charity 7 years ago called TALL which raises money for blind and underprivileged children in LA and abroad and that keeps me pretty busy too. I sing for the children in our adopted blind school every Christmas and bake baklava for them as our charity donates funds for them to have special equipement and outings. We are also involed in some diplomatic events where I sing for the dignitaries and it’s been a joy to meet so many wonderful people from around the world. I also volunteer for ALS Lou Gehrig’s Disease and am their official anthem singer at events when the Laker Girls participate and act as emcee at some events.
When I’m not on stage or cooking, I teach and have had 14 students on Broadway in lead roles under the age of 14. My recent joy is student Asher Book singing the lead role in the new film version of FAME playing at theaters now.
Our girls keep us busy as Devran djs events for pay and charity in LA and sister Deniz is her photographer for the night. It’s great that they are such a good and close team. Of course, they donate their services to our events at the house!!! Both girls continue to sing and dance and they perform on my Christmas and Spring recitals every year. where we have up to 20 students perform in prep for auditions and performances. I still fly to S. Florida to teach my students for about 4 weeks a year and see 50-80 students in that time period. It remains a joy to me to teach and impart what I have to share.