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Russian army's troupe to return after restart

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-05 08:35
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The Alexandrov Ensemble brings songs, dances and instrumental performances to Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The ensemble, which is also known as the Red Army Choir, was founded in 1928 and is named after its founder, composer Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov (1883-1946).

It has toured the globe performing Russian folk tunes and patriotic songs using Western classical-music and traditional Russian instruments.

Now, the ensemble comprises a choir, a dance troupe and an orchestra.

The repertoire at the NCPA comprises 24 songs and dance pieces, including Song of the Soviet Army, The Sacred War, Escamillo from the French opera Carmen, Moscow Nights and Festival March.

It will also perform Chinese songs including I Am A Soldier and My Country, My Mother.

Speaking about the shows, the new chief conductor and artistic director, Gennady Sachenyuk, says: "The friendship between China and Russia has a long history. So, we are glad to return to China in 2018, which is the year marking the 90th anniversary of the ensemble.

"The year 2017 was very important and special to us. It was a very tough time for the ensemble after the tragedy."

Mikhail Marushevskii, the vice-president of the ensemble, says: "We started preparing and rehearsing for the shows in January 2017 and gave our first show after the accident in April in Moscow, which was followed by a tour of Europe, with performances in the Czech Republic, Israel and Poland, among other countries."

He adds that the ensemble made its China debut in 1952, and the current performance marks their 10th visit.

As for the new performers, Baritone Maksim Maklakov, who now is a soloist, says, "It's a great honor and a great responsibility to join the famous choir and to carry on its legacy."

Maklakov, who joined the choir in January 2017, stood out among 60 male singers when the ensemble held auditions across Russia.

Among the senior artists is Russian actor and singer Vadim Ananyev, who has been with the ensemble since 1987.

He says: "I've been with the ensemble for over 30 years. We sing and dance to serve the country.

"The ensemble has a long legacy, and the military musicians take it to a new level with their creativity."

If you go

7:30 pm, Jan 4-7, 2:30 pm, Jan 6. NCPA, 2 West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng district, Beijing. 010-6655-0000.

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