Voices from Russia

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…



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