The Beatles in Chagall’s city

Vitebsk takes the role of summer festival capital of the country

By Viktar Korbut

Garik Ogandzhanyan, Chairman of Vitebsk’s Beatles Club, has initiated the International Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da Beatles Festival, scheduled for June. The event, dedicated to the creativity of the Fab Four, will be first hosted by the regional centre. Fans of the legendary British band will be offered several dozen thematic events on the city’s streets and in Vitebsk’s Attic Beatles Club. Moreover, major concerts are to be organised at the Summer Amphitheatre.

Chagall’s city is already prepared to host the 20th International Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk Arts Festival. Young singer Alena Lanskaya will represent Belarus at the International Vitebsk-2011 Pop Song Performers Contest, promising to conquer hearts with her Belarusian language songs Young and Unmarried and White Swallow. Valery Daineko — a member of Pesnyary band, which is honoured in Belarus in the same way as The Beatles are worldwide — will help Alena with vocals.

New songs in the Belarusian language will be sung this autumn in Molodechno, which is to host Maladzechna — a festival of Belarusian poetry dedicated to the Republican Dazhynki-2011 Festival-Fair of Rural Workers. The National Concert Orchestra, headed by maestro Mikhail Finberg, is also preparing for the holiday.

In the north of the Vitebsk Region, on the border with Lithuania, the 14th International Cembalos and Accordions Are Ringing Festival has been recently held, being the major event in the cultural life of Postavy. The town is famous for its Baroque-style historical centre, and the preserved residence of the magnate Tizengauz, an ostrich farm and the residence of Zyuzya (the Belarusian Santa Claus).

In early June, Postavy brought together artistic bands from Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, China, Kazakhstan, Israel and Poland — around 1,000 guests in total. The I. Zhinovich National Academic People’s Orchestra performed in the town’s main square and, as is traditional, the Music of Belarusian Palaces and Estates concert was organised on the porch of Tizengauz’s manor. The State Academic People’s Choir (named after Tsitovich) ended the event with a gala-concert.

The Postavy festival is the largest in the life of folklore music in Eastern Europe. The 11th International Golden Bee Children’s Art Festival, held in Klimovichi (in the east of the Mogilev Region, on the border with Russia), was no less spectacular, showing that the regions are taking a leading role in the nation’s cultural life, leaving behind the capital during the summer period.

By autumn, festival life will be concentrated in Gomel, which will be hosting the 6th International Festival of Choreography — Sozhski Karagod. It promises to be one of the brightest events in the cultural life of Gomel, which is the cultural capital of Belarus and the CIS for 2011. The festival allows professional choreography groups and the best performers from Belarus and abroad to demonstrate their talents.

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