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Bulgarian folk songs on the programme of festive concerts in Russia

Photo: @choirboryana

In a couple of days’ time the Boryana all-female folklore choir from Plovdiv with artistic director Nikolay Gurbanov is leaving on a brief tour of Russia. They will have three concerts with renowned singer from the Strandzha region Zlatka Stavreva.

“A cultural delegation from Bulgaria was invited to visit Russia and take part in the festive concerts marking St. Nicholas day (old style) at the Lomonosov drama theatre in the town of Arkhangelsk,” Zlatka Stavreva says. “The events are hosted by the musicians from the State Academic Northern Russian Folk Choir with artistic director Svetlana Ignatieva, Honoured Artist of Russia. The choir which has a history going back 90 years, and includes magnificent female voices, is among the traditional participants in the Passover festival in Moscow with artistic director Valery Gergiev.

We shall be visiting Russia from 14 to 17 December and will have a concert in Arkhangelsk.  Then we shall have a concert in Novodvinsk entitled “To Novodvinsk with love”, and another concert in Severodvinsk. Our delegation is headed by Prof. Sevdalina Toromanova who is chair of the Bourgas town council. The Boryana all-female folk choir is a new formation for authentic and arranged folklore. Its repertoire includes works by renowned composers like Krassimir Kyurkchiiski, Stefan Mutafchiev, Ivan Spassov, Philip Koutev, Kiril Stefanov.

The programme for the concerts in Russia feature songs from all folklore regions of Bulgaria. Boryana choir was founded by Nikolay Gurbanov, chairman of the Bulgarian Youth Folklore Union. He is author of more than 50 works for folk choir and over 100 arrangements of folk songs and instrumental melodies. I shall be performing authentic folklore from Strandzha.”

All people acquainted with Bulgarian folk music are sure to have heard Zlatka Ztavreva’s songs. For dozens of years she has combined a solo career with teaching. Her tireless efforts aim to help young talents from Primorsko municipality evolve. She is founder of the Atliman Necklace international folklore festival which is to take place for the 9th time in 2020. She was born in the very heart of the Strandzha folklore region, in the village of Kosti, where ancient folk songs are passed down from generation to generation and the nestinari fire-walking ritual has lived on to this day. Tudoro, Tudoro, a song connected with the ritual of nestinari fire-walking, is included in the progamme for the upcoming concerts in Russia.

Mrs. Stavreva adds that she will convey to the hosts from the State Academic Northern Russian Folk Choir special greetings from the mayor of Primorsko Dr. Dimitar Germanov, along with an invitation for the choir to take part in the 9th edition of the international folk festival Atliman Necklace. The performers taking part in the concert include Assoc. Prof. Donna Mihaylova – laureate of All-Russia and international competitions, lecturer at the Ipolitov-Ivanov State Musical Pedagogical Institute, soloist of the Gusliari Rossii orchestra from Moscow. Donna Mihaylova is a touring singer, researcher and pedagogue in the sphere of folklore. For years she has been a member of the Atliman Necklace festival jury and is a symbolic ambassador of Russian-Bulgarian creative interaction. Donna is the descendent of Bessarabian Bulgarians and carries on the traditions she has inherited from them.

“After the programme by the guests from Bulgaria I shall throw a cultural bridge to the performances of the Northern Choir. I shall start the second part of the concert with a Bulgarian folk song from the region of Odessa province, Bolhrad region, Kalchevo village. It is from the repertoire of my mother Maria Mavrova (from Ukraine). I shall be singing with the Northern Choir orchestra with conductor Alexander Kachaev, Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation,” Assoc. Prof. Mihaylova said for Radio Bulgaria.

Photos: @choirboryana

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