The Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall was full for the performance of the Red Army Choir.
The Red Army Choir on Monday confirmed its stellar reputation with the first of two performances at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb. The concert was sold out, and the audience was delighted with the experience, reports N1 on November 14, 2017.
During the two-hour programme, 120 members of the Aleksandrov Ensemble presented an overview of their rich body of work and performed some of their greatest hits, songs of a spiritual character, as well as folk performances with dance choreography, hymns, opera arias and popular music.
On the stage behind the ensemble, a video wall showed a mix of various artistic shots and videos. The performance delighted the audience so much that it twice called on the artists to return to the stage and perform additional songs.
The Aleksandrov Ensemble is one of the most famous male choirs in the world, and this is its first visit to Croatia. The choir was founded in 1928 by Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov, who led it until his death in 1946. During the Second World War, the choir had an important role in raising the morale of soldiers and citizens at the battlefields. The ensemble was later led by Alexandrov’s son Boris, until his retirement in 1987.
During the decades, the choir gained the global reputation as one of the greatest cultural ambassadors of the former Soviet Union, loved by audiences on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
After the tragedy on Christmas 2016, when 63 choir members and their conductor Valery Kalilov died in a plane crash at the Black Sea, the choir brought in new members and performed the first concert in February 2017 at the Moscow Theatre. In front of the victims’ families, senior officers of the Russian army and a hundred recruits, they performed a string of patriotic and folk songs to commemorate the deceased. In March, they embarked on the first tour after the tragedy which made their performances even more emotionally charged.
The second Zagreb concert will take place on Tuesday evening, and the choir will also visit Ljubljana and Belgrade.
The Alexandrov Ensemble is the official ensemble and choir of Russian military forces. “In order to fully understand the strength of the deep and powerful voices of the Red Army Choir, the history of Russia should be taken into account. It is impossible to separate one from each other and for the listeners the voices of the members of the choir have become the voice of the completely new Russia,” said the organisers.
Translated from N1.