The Donetsk People’s Republic was visited by an opera singer from St. Petersburg, the voice of the Immortal Regiment, Mikhail Gavrilov. On Thursday, February 20, the famous baritone visited the Donetsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater named after A.B. Solovyanenko and the Center for Slavic Culture and in the Kievsky district of Donetsk, which had been damaged by AFU shelling during hostilities in Donbass.
Having visited the theater, the singer noted the diversity of the concert repertoire and the high professional level, skills and talent of Donetsk opera singers.
“I annually open the procession in Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg in memory of those who perished during the Great Patriotic War, that’s why people call me the voice of the Immortal Regiment. However, the emotional intensity that I experienced while performing at the Saur-Mogila the very famous Za Togo Parnya [For That Guy] song from the last episode of the V boy idut odni stariki [Only Old Men Are Going to Battle] Soviet film cannot be compared with anything.
At the Saur-Mogila, I saw a mother crying over the grave of her son, who perished at the age of 19, giving his life for his Homeland, for his land, for peace in Donbass. I will never forget that.
After that performance, many songs of the war years echoed differently in my soul,” Mikhail Gavrilov said.
According to the singer, he visited the DPR for the first time as part of a delegation of the St. Petersburg Immortal Regiment Regional Branch in order to support the people living under fire. He also added that the visit to Donbass and interaction with the Republic’s residents had changed his worldview and perception of life.
“When on a tour with an academic repertoire, I visited many countries of the world and I can say that Russian classical music is very popular, and young people are equally progressive everywhere, they want to move forward and find application for their talents. And our task is to help them realize their creative potential.
Now I am involved in the Victory Concerts Reconstruction Project. Its participants recollect songs from the repertoire of prominent performers and musicians of the Great Patriotic War period who visited the frontlines to give concerts in order to support the defenders and their combat spirit with their art,” the singer said.
He also stressed that one must know the history of their country and their people, and it is necessary to start with the family history.
“Unfortunately, during my first visit to the DPR I was not able to visit certain places of the Republic due to heavy shelling by the AFU. Today, having visited the Kievsky district of Donetsk, which sustained damage during the hostilities in Donbass, where civilians and defenders of the Republic perished, I can say that Russian people have patriotism in their blood,” Mikhail Gavrilov noted.
Along with that, he reminded of the I Love You, Life! competition, founded by Joseph Kobzon, and proposed to continue it to support the talented and creative youth of Donbass. The singer also added that the feats of the Russian people and their heroes should be praised in art and music.