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Sunday 9th January was another red-letter day for Gozo’sGaulitanus Choir.Indeed, in collaboration with the Russian Centre for Science and Culture, it presented a concert featuring a group of fourteen young singers from theGalina Vishnevskaya Operatic AcademyofMoscow. The concert, which also celebrated the 85thbirthday ofGalina Vishnevskaya, the famousRussian operatic diva who has graced the world’s major theatres with her performances, was held at the Ministry for Gozo’s Exhibition Hall, Victoria.

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The young Russian artists performed a variety of works ranging from Russian opera to western opera, from Russian folk to Neapolitan stuff, as well as Russian Christmas numbers. All the excerpts – whether performed by soloists or ensembles – were performed in costumes, which changed for every number, and with very effective acting and movement which really enhanced the performance; indeed a show of elegance, artistry and discipline, which clearly demonstrated the professional way in which the students of the Galina Vishnevskaya Operatic Academy are nurtured.

It was little surprise that at the end of the splendid performance the artists were given a standing ovation by the thrilled audience which filled to capacity the Exhibition Hall and which kept asking formore!

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On the wish of the director of the Russian Centre, Mr Sergei Medvedev, theGaulitanus Choirprovided a curtain raiser to the concert by presenting some of their lively Christmas secular repertoire.This was a gesture which, as Gaulitanus director Mro. Colin Attard said when introducing the programme, symbolised the collaboration between the choir and the Russian Centre and the fact that both entities, in spite of the fact that one was coming from a tiny town and a small island and the other from a big city and an enormous country, with all the diversity in culture, way of life and artistic levels, shared the same ideal of promoting culture.