The 25th International ‘Slavianski Bazaar’ Festival of Arts — gathering guests to Vitebsk from July 14th-18th — is celebrating its ‘silver’ anniversary. The Summer Amphitheatre has been welcoming music lovers for 25 years.
As is traditional, the Day of the Union State will be one of the brightest pages at the musical forum, scheduled for July 15th. The ‘Union State Invites’ concert will feature the Russian Army’s Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance (named after A.V. Alexandrov), as well as famous Belarusian and Russian artistes. The Year of Culture in Belarus, Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the Festival of Art’s 25th anniversary are key themes, with organisers promising a memorable programme.
This year is inspired by the Olympic Games, embracing a stronger element of competition and theatricality. Participants of the International Pop Song Contest will fight for the Festival’s Grand Prix: the Golden Lira. As at the Olympics, only the best singers gain a place at the contest. This year, the adult and children’s competitions will gather representatives from 28 countries, with guests from at least 40 countries attending. By the time the event arrives, its scope may be even larger.
On the opening day, the flag of the World Association of Festivals will be raised by the Slavianski Bazaar’s Director, Alexander Sidorenko (who took his role in 2015). A grand Olympic-style parade of participants and guests will promenade Vitebsk’s main street on the opening day of July 14th, joined by brass bands, and there will be on-stage performances by groups.
Naturally, accredited journalists will cover every aspect.
The opening gala concert remains the most star-studded and expensive within the Festival, this year featuring Alla Pugacheva, Maxim Galkin, Valery Leontyev, Larisa Dolina, Sergey Lazarev, Piotr Yelfimov, Aliona Lanskaya, Thomas Anders, Maryla Rodowicz and other popular artistes. Ticket prices remain the same as last year.
Organisers are aiming to enter the Guinness Book of Records with their ‘On Seven Winds’ poetry-reading marathon, during the Festival of Street Art. Artistes, poets and amateurs will attempt to read around a thousand poems, for over 10 hours, to break the world record.
The jubilee theme will continue at the ‘25 Summer Moments’ concert, scheduled for July 16th and featuring the National Academic Concert Orchestra of Belarus (conducted by Mikhail Finberg), and winners of the ‘Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk’ Grand Prix, and other festival winners from past years.
Union State awards in the Field of Literature and Art for 2015-2016 will be a highlight of the Festival, with the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the State Academic Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra (named after P.I. Tchaikovsky) being awarded for his Songs of Military Years project, alongside two other artistic teams.
The first comprises Fiodor Povny, the prior of Minsk’s Parish of All Saints, sculptor Vladimir Slobodchikov and architect Igor Morozov, who are being awarded for their monument to His Holiness Patriarch, Alexy II. The other team is composed of Anatoly Yarmolenko, the Artistic Director of ‘Syabry’ Ensemble, composer Oleg Yeliseenkov and poet Ivan Yurkin, who are being recognised for their ‘Where the Guelder-Rose Blossoms’ musical album. Awards will be presented on the Day of the Union State.
By Sergey Golesnik