Voices from Russia

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Kuban Cossack Choir Shall Perform at NATO Headquarters

Filed under: music,patriotic,performing arts,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00


The distinguished Kuban Cossack Choir shall perform at NATO headquarters in Belgium for the first time. The concert is scheduled for the end of March, and it is part of a jubilee tour to mark the 70th birthday of its artistic director, the composer and folklorist Viktor Zakharchenko. The tour shall begin on 18 March in the capital of the Kuban region, Krasnodar. Later, the choir will give concerts in cities in the Ukraine and Byelorussia, and, finally, they shall perform in Brussels.

The history of the Kuban Cossack Choir can be traced back to 1811, making this one of the oldest folklore groups in Russia. Collector and researcher Viktor Zakharchenko has headed it for almost 35 years. The choir has a large and varied repertoire: church music, works by classical and contemporary composers, and, certainly, folk songs, not only Cossack songs, but, also songs of other Russian and Ukrainian regions. Maestro Zakharchenko said that they try to ensure that every programme they perform is unlike the previous one. The singers of the choir have such clear and beautiful voices that any composition they perform is raised to a higher plane.

The Kuban Cossack Choir is the second Russian choir to give a concert at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Last May, a performance of the renowned Alexandrov Russian Army Ensemble (the former Red Army Chorus) was a great success there.

URL of the Kuban Cossack Choir website: http://www.kkx.ru

22 February 2008

Tatiana Zavyalova

Tatiana Kaperkina

Voice of Russia World Service



Mariinsky Theatre Celebrates its 225th Anniversary

Filed under: ballet,music,opera,Russian,theatre/circus,Vladimir Putin — 01varvara @ 00.00




The world-famous Mariinsky Theatre is celebrating its 225th anniversary. Yesterday, it began the celebrations with an impressive gala-concert. It featured the cream of its opera and ballet troupes. The event brought together practically all members of the country’s political and cultural elite. President Vladimir Putin attended the concert and congratulated the company on the event, saying, “Let me congratulate you on the 225th anniversary of the renowned Mariinsky Theatre. This theatre has long been a cradle of Russian musical culture in St Petersburg. There are many theatres in the world, but, the Mariinsky is really a unique company. Over the past two centuries it has demonstrated the highest levels of musical art”.

The oldest Russian theatre of opera and ballet, the Mariisnky was established in 1783 at the behest of Tsaritsa Yekaterina Fyodorovna Velikaya. Then, the troupe performed 4 productions a year, while the current playbill offers 150 opera and ballet productions and a varied concert repertoire from its two symphony orchestras. There is also the Academy of Young Singers, where young prodigies from all over Russia and abroad have a unique opportunity to combine an intensive education in the Mariinsky Theatre with performances on its famous stage. Today, the Mariinsky Theatre can boast a unique troupe, featuring such world-famous opera and ballet artists as Anna Netrebko, Ulyana Lopatkina, Olga Borodina, Diana Vishnyova, Vladimir Galuzin, and Andrian Fadeyev.



The Artistic Director of the Mariinsky, the outstanding Russian conductor Valeri Gergiev, has contributed much over the past 10 years to make the troupe one of the most popular worldwide. Thanks to his amazing energy, the theatre has presented up to 10 to 12 premières each year. Maestro Gergiev regularly invites foreign musicians and stage designers to work at the Mariisnky and organises large and impressive festivals. However, one of his major achievements is a high artistic level for all stage production under his direction. “While staging an opera or a ballet, one has to think of the, so to speak, ‘life expectancy’ of his brainchild. Some productions are popular for 10 years, some for 30 and more. Sometimes, it happens that a concept of the production remains unchanged for a century! I plan the repertoire taking into account the theatre’s history”, Maestro Gergiev remarked. The anniversary celebrations of the Mariinsky Theatre will continue during all of 2008. The climax of the celebrations will be in June, when St Petersburg traditionally hosts the “White Nights” festival.

28 February 2008

Voice of Russia World Service



Moscow Rejects Biased Report by Amnesty International

Filed under: politics,Russian,Vladimir Putin — 01varvara @ 00.00

President Vladimir Putin (1952- ) on Mount Athos… who do you stand with? The fathers of the Mountain, who support President Putin, or, do you stand with the godless secularists of Amnesty International? I somehow think that it’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?


One of the latest reports published by the human rights watchdog group Amnesty International attempts to “blow the whistle” concerning the human rights situation in Russia, in particular, it claims there are infringements of freedom of opinion and a crackdown on independent mass media and nongovernmental organizations. Looking through Amnesty International’s report, one would think it was addressed to the Communist leadership of the former Soviet Union, it doesn’t pertain to 21st-century Russia. One must be either completely blind or deeply biased not to see the enormous changes that have occurred in democratic post-Soviet Russia. Incidentally, just yesterday, the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta published a very long article by one of the Kremlin’s opponents. It contained a tough assessment of the eight years of Vladimir Putin’s presidency. No such article would ever appear in a country where dissent isn’t tolerated. If you think that this was a singular event, you’re wrong. During the current election campaign, which is now ending, one could hear the presidential candidates express their views live on state and private broadcasting channels, pouring tons of criticism on the government and accusing it of every possible thing.

True, not all is ideal in Russia. It’s hard to expect regional authorities to flirt with journalists who criticise them. However, is there anywhere on Earth an oasis of democracy where things are different? Thousands of nongovernmental non-commercial organisations currently operate in Russia. No one infringes upon their rights if they are not financed from abroad and if they don’t defend the national interests of other countries. This is normal practise for any sovereign state. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly voiced readiness to heed constructive, honest, and objective human rights criticism from abroad. Nevertheless, none is to be found in Amnesty International’s report. Its authors didn’t bother to think that if things were as bad as they allege, President Putin’s course wouldn’t have won support from the overwhelming majority of Russian voters.

27 February 2008

Viktor Yenikeyev

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s note:

Amnesty International is up to its old tricks of being a shill for American corporate interests. Contemporary Russia is not the USSR, the GULag no longer exists, and the KGB no longer spies on anyone (for it’s as dead as the dodo, despite what you hear from ignorant American sources). Vladimir Putin is genuinely popular, he has great respect abroad as a leader, and he has improved the objective condition and standing of his country by his administration. All of which, by the way, George W Bush lacks, and lacks copiously and conspicuously, especially in comparison with Mr Putin. When is Amnesty International going to write a report on the USA under neocon misrule? Now, THAT would be a good read! Let’s start with the bombing of Belgrade on Orthodox Easter and the “Department of Homeland Security”… sounds rather Orwellian, no?


The UDI of Kosovo Puts Europe at Risk

Filed under: Dmitri Medvedev,Kosovo,patriotic,Russian,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00


First Vice Premier Dmitri Medvedev (1965- )


The unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo puts Europe at risk, according to First Vice Premier Dmitri Medvedev during a campaign speech in the city of Nizhniy Novgorod in the Volga region. The security and stability of a huge region is at risk. All you have to do is put a match to it and the whole thing will catch fire. These decisions which, if we are frank about it, are being incited from across the ocean, put Europe in a very difficult position. America is risking nothing, it’s far away.

Despite a unilateral declaration of independence, Kosovo hasn’t yet become a sovereign state, but the situation has lead to a kind of a “parade of sovereignties”. This isn’t only true in the Balkans, but, also far beyond it. Parliamentarians of the Republika Srpska, which is one of the two governing entities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, called for a referendum. Hungarians from Transylvania (a historical region in central Romania) and the Carpatho-Russians from the Western Ukraine have already announced their plans to follow the example of the Kosovars. The leaders of the de facto independent republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have long been talking about sovereignty. The nationalists in Scotland and the Basque separatists in Spain are also inspired by the current situation in Kosovo.

Serbia announced it would fight until the end. Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said Serbia would oppose the UDI of Kosovo until Washington understands that a pseudo-independent state shouldn’t exist in the Balkans. Russia condemned the UDI of Kosovo from Serbia and its recognition by the US and major EU powers, and it promised political support to Belgrade. Mr Medvedev believes that the participation of Serbia in the South Stream gas pipe project would provide “significant” economic assistance to Belgrade.

28 February 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


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