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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Glimpse of Russian artistry

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Marking the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Russia, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, recently gave Filipinos a taste of the rich Russian culture in the realm of performing arts with “Days of Russian Culture in the Philippines” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation organized a three-day festival, Oct. 20 to 23 as part of the Russia-ASEAN Year of Culture. The festival, which formally opened with a concert opera featuring Russia’s best masters of art including an award-winning soprano, bass singer, pianist and the Rossiya or Russian Folk Ensemble, was met warmly by Filipinos and foreigners alike who filled CCP’s 400-seater Little Theater to the brim.

The opera concert features Russia’s best masters of art including (from left, front row) bass singer Dmitri Grigoriev; fortepianist Nikolai Medvedev; award-winning soprano Natalya Dmitrievskaya; conductor Dmitriy Dmitrienko together with the Rossiya. 

Speaking before the packed theater, Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev, Russian Federation ambassador to the Philippines, read a message from Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, reiterating the importance of this cultural exchange between the two countries. 

“Cultural cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of the Philippines is a significant, integral part of this strategic partnership, bringing our nations together and consolidating civil and social bases of our international relations.

Soprano soloist Natalya Dmitrievskaya

I’m confident that Days of Russian Culture will attract Filipinos and help our nations cultivate an enhanced relationship in the cultural sphere,” Medinsky said in the message read by Khovaev. 

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CCP President Raul M. Sunico expressed his appreciation to the Russian Ministry of Culture for this initiative. “Russia has always been associated with excellence especially of culture and the arts. We’ve always been awed by the music of Peter Tchaikovsky and his ballets, The Nutcracker Suite and The Swan Lake, among others. And every time we see a Russian performer, we are always excited because we know that we will be witnessing something of the highest standards.

Soloist and bass singer Dmitri Grigoriev (standing) and fortepianist Nikolai Medvedev performing Peter Tchaikovsky’s ‘Griominari’

Russia and the Philippines have shared common pasts. Our political histories have actually intertwined even as early as the days of the Commonwealth. As a people, we share the same values—of family, religion and the love of culture and heritage. We are proud of what we have. We are proud to be people of our own individual nations,” Sunico said.

The Festival in Manila is the first in a series dubbed as “Days of Russian Culture in Southeast Asia,” which aims to acquaint regional nations with the rich cultural heritage of Russia. Two more similar events will take place in Laos and Cambodia this October. 

In 2017, a similar event will also be held in Russia, this time with the Philippines’s arts and culture in the spotlight.

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