Voices from Russia

Sunday, 15 November 2015

15 November 2015. A Colloquy on the Amazing Fr Foty and His Golden Voice

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I’m in plain type; my interlocutor is in italics

What about Fr Foty? Would you want him in your choir? He did an impromptu duet with A B Gradsky (one of the judges) at his audition!

He’s amazing and so unassuming. You can even hear it in his voice.

Would you call him a “Monastic Innocent” (I do mean that in all sincerity)? Did you see where G V Leps gave him a list of people to pray for? That wouldn’t happen here!

I guess that you could say that. What he’s doing is truly beautiful, and I (like Dostoevsky) believe that beauty will save the world. Through all this exposure and social media, Fr Foty is doing more good than he could probably imagine.

Would you say that he embodies the revival in the Motherland?

He’s definitely evidence of that.

I think that we’ve had a quiet revival here. Compared to 1980, the Russian Orthodox elements are closer than ever… I believe that we’re on the verge of great things. I’ve lived through the dry years… I know…

It’s definitely an exciting time. I just pray that nothing gets in the way of the revival, be it external forces or internal snakes like the EP.

I hope to live to see a united Russian Orthodox Church here in the diaspora before my earthly death. I pray for that…

I think a lot of people dream and pray for that. I mean, who wouldn’t want that (we all know who, though)?!?

It’s time for the OCA, the ROCOR, and the MP/USA (and MP/Canada) to stop the foolishness. It’s time to form three united metropolias in the North American diaspora… one for Alaska, one for Canada, and one for the rest of the USA. They would function under the legal charter of the ROCOR… but that’d only be a legal formality. To speak frankly, all-Orthodox Unity here is a chimera; it’s not realistic, not at the present, at least. However, we can grasp all-Russian Orthodox Unity… the Serbs did it… the Arabs did it… we can do it, too. Everything comes in its good and proper time. Now is the time to fix up our own house before we go trying to repair someone else’s. I think that all decent and honourable people of good-sense and good will can understand that. I DO want to see Russian Orthodox Unity here before my earthly death… and I DO pray for that mercy…


My earlier posts on Fr Foty are here and here

click here for a VK vid of Fr Foty singing The Circle of Life from The Lion King (no lie) (you can’t embed VK vids on WordPress)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

14 November 2015. Here’s Some More From Fr Foty Mochalov of the Golden Voice

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A while back, I had a piece on Fr Foty Mochalov, who was a contestant on the Russian TV show Голос (Golos: The Voice). I googled him to see if he had other things out… and he did. ENJOY!


Monday, 26 October 2015

Hieromonk Foty Advances in “The Voice” Song Competition on Pervy Kanal TV

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Khrustalyova’s audition piece for the contest…  Мне нравится (Mne nravitsa: I Like It)


Fr Foty’s audition piece for the contest… Lensky’s aria… judge Gradsky and Fr Foty sing an impromptu duet after the main presentation


Here is one of the other contestants, Ilona Solomonova, singing Kazachya… a second song begins at 4:15 after a colloquy between Ilona and the judges


On Friday, 23 October, Ryazan homegirl Ella Khrustalyova bowed out of the vocal competition “The Voice” on Pervy Kanal TV. Onstage at “Fights”, she conceded to Hieromonk Foty of Borovsk. The contestants sang a song by Andrea Bocelli, Canto della Terra, as a duet, in Italian. The duo was the idea of G V Leps, he also identified Fr Foty as the winner of this competition, “He has no need to explain where his muse is; he lives the words, ‘Following God, soaring above the clouds’. I always regretted that I couldn’t ever sing like that”. All the judges thanked the duo. P S Gagarina said, “You just bathed in music, in their voices, I have no words for it, it was amazing”. A B Gradsky noted, “Leps joined these two educated and cultured people together and asked them to show us highly-artistic vocal work. In this sense, they showed that our project blows away its counterparts around the world”. In addition, judge D V Nagiyev commended Khrustalyova, “Her appearance enriched the project”. In her farewell speech, she thanked “The Voice” for the opportunity to discover different aspects [of her talent]. She thought that the performance of Canto della Terra was a success. “The Voice” is now going through the second part of the “Fights” segment.

23 October 2015




Pervy Kanal is the most popular TV network in Russia. This is mass culture at its finest. Compare this with its American analogues and there’s no comparison. Look at Fr Foty! Monks don’t sit on a far-off hillside with long faces… they don’t eat boiled potatoes and stewed prunes to show how “Holy” they are. Monastics have always interacted with the world; they’ve always not only prayed for the world, but they took also part in it to show that we can sanctify ALL of life. Most monks and nuns don’t leave their monasteries… but that doesn’t mean that they cut off the world. They do reject the foolishness of this world and they do live “by a different standard”, but they don’t stop being human… nor do they stop smiling. Remember the late Fr Vladimir Sukhobok and Igumen Tryphon up in Washington State… I rest my case…


Sunday, 4 October 2015

“Circus of the Future” Festival Opened in Lugansk

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Circus of the Future-2015, the thirteenth International Festival of Youth Circus Troupes, Schools, and Performers, opened today in Lugansk with a parade through the main streets of the city. The opening ceremony and the first day of the contest were at the Lugansk Academic Military Music and Drama Theatre, since junta shelling badly damaged the building of the Lugansk Circus in summer 2014. Aleksei Karyakin, Chairman of the LNR Peoples Soviet, said to welcome the festival and its guests:

During the most difficult times, the circus is able to distance from us those things that, unfortunately, add to our grief, and give positive moments that prolong our lives. We can feel it… from our very first visit to the circus as a child until the very last moments of our life. I think that the number “13” will be lucky for the festival. 23 years ago, [Lugansk] was the 13th oblast of the Ukraine, but everything turned out all right. So, don’t pay attention to such a piffle. I wish good luck to the contestants and impartiality from the judges.

LNR Minister of Culture Oksana Kokotkina spoke at the opening and greeted all present:

The circus is a special thing… a special way of life that attracts and fascinates. I wish the festival long life and hope that the next festival will be in the restored building of our wounded circus.

Archpriest Alexander Ponomaryov of the Lugansk parish of the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tenderness” blessed the affair:

Let us rejoice today and be glad, because we have peace on earth now. The circus is a world of peace*. May the Lord bless our land and these great circus acts.

  • This is a play on words in Russian, as мир can mean either “peace” or “world”… the fullness of the wordplay is only evident in the original Russian

The festival proper began with a presentation by the youngest participants and by the founder of the Circus of the Future festival, Dmitri Kasyanov, Director of the Lugansk State Circus. After that, the competition began. Circus of the Future-2015, on 2-3 October, will bring together 80 contestants from different countries. The festival will conduct master classes and hold a roundtable “The role of the contemporary circus arts in promoting peace and friendship among peoples”, with all levels of festival participants taking part.

The first festival was in 2002, at the Lugansk State Circus and had oblast status. In 2005, the event became all-Ukrainian, and in 2007 the festival gained international status. Since 2005, it was the only Ukrainian Youth Circus Festival held with the support of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, and since 2007, part of the care for the logistical support of the festival was in the hands of the Department of Culture, Nationalities, and Religions of the then-Lugansk Oblast State Administration. The festival wants to strengthen international creative communications between youth circus troupes and performers, to promote mutual understanding and mutual enrichment in arts and culture, increase the creative reputation of the Lugansk Circus in the international arena, and to promote circus arts through a search for creative and talented youth.

2 October 2015

LITs Lugansk Information Centre


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