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Nina Sharubina about national opera, pop and contemporary composers

February 12 is a kind of open doors day in Belarus. Citizens of 80 countries will be able to enter Belarus without visas. The only condition is that they enter Belarus through the Minsk national airport and stay here no more than five days.

Moreover, they can come to any number of five-day periods per year! In and out, in and out, welcome any number of times! And this is for the good of the country, of course. Everything is here - economy, politics, tourism and also culture, of course.

Many will want to visit Mir Castle or Belarusian opera. Culture is a famous tourist attraction, and we have something to show, we don't lack talents. It is important to lift and support them. The Council of the Presidential Fund for Arts and Culture was updated this year, with opera diva, People's Artist of Belarus Nina Sharubina becoming its chairwoman.

Hello.

Nina Sharubina, People's Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus, Chairwoman of the Council of the Presidential Fund for Arts and Culture:
Good evening.

We congratulate you on the new opera. Translated from the Italian "opera" means "work or business." I especially looked it up in a dictionary. You know how difficult this job is. Now you have a new business - you head the council of the fund to support culture and the arts.

Nina Sharubina:
As I understand it, the task of the fund is to support, maintain and develop our heritage of Belarus. I am not a novice in these matters, because I once worked in a music school, and in a college, and now teach at the Academy of Music and I am also a leading soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre. Therefore, I think I know the problems firsthand. On the other hand, I have never been afraid of some kind of social duties. Currently this appointment is justified. It may sound pathetic, but I really love my land, so I will try to do what depends on me. We have gathered an eminent team.

In this team, there are people from all kinds of arts and culture. What type of art do you think is 'the most Belarusian', so to speak?

Nina Sharubina:
There is an opinion, I have often heard it, that Belarus is not an opera country. This is fundamentally wrong. Life proves quite the opposite. I believe that we need to raise opera singers from music schools, because we grow the audience, we grow musicians. From kindergarten we need events, we need to take kids to theaters and operas and so on. It is necessary to raise professionals from kindergartens. Because when I hear: "Oh, we do not like opera!" I always ask how a person can love or not love something if they never heard that...

The main task in the field of cultural policy is to preserve and develop national culture and national language. You sing mostly in Italian mostly and in Russian, right?

Nina Sharubina:
In Russian, Italian, German and French.

You have an opera in Belarusian too.

Nina Sharubina:
Yes, "Gray legend". Unfortunately only one.

Unfortunately, you said. People say we should make Belarusian movies, that there should be Belarusian writers. President Lukashenko says: 'Show me something akin to "War and Peace" by Tolstoi, but written by Belarusian writers'. Should there be Belarusian operas?

Nina Sharubina:
Yes, but it is not about language, but music. Opera is a work that is sung.

One Smolski is not enough.

Nina Sharubina:
Not enough, definitely. Now we have "Gray legend" - a fine performance from both the directing and musical standpoint, the scenographic solution is also perfect. I love it, it is so attractive! And my friends watch this opera like a feature film. But for some reason not as many people watch it as we wanted.

Do you sing something in Belarusian?

Nina Sharubina:
Romances and songs. I know the Belarusian language very well. I was born, grew up and studied in Belarus. But the fact is that I have no one to talk to on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, there are only two Belarusian operas. These operas were written in the 1970-1980 in the Soviet Union. Now, (maybe there is something I do not about) we don't have anything like that. "Aida" is also a wonderful opera. Once the Egyptian government ordered this opera for the opening of the Suez Canal. So maybe we need to offer this opera based on Karatkevich or some Belarusian writers to someone?

Nina Sharubina:
May be. Write a libretto. Quite possible. Contemporary composers are not primarily melodists, which is their weak spot. The melody should be comfortable vocally. Take Verdi, it is very convenient for the voice when you sing them.

Verdi is your favorite composer, isn't he?
Nina Sharubina:
Yes, I love him very much.

Macbeth is your dream?

Nina Sharubina:
Yes.

All ambassadors as soon as they come to Belarus, immediately go to the Bolshoi Theater.

Nina Sharubina:
This is a brand. Once a great couturier visited Belarus. There was a Christmas concert in the Palace of the Republic. He said at the reception that we are happy people because we have such soloists, such Orchestra, such a choir.

We have many talents. But where do they then disappear?

Nina Sharubina:
Very often they migrate to other countries, unfortunately.

What's the reason? How to pursue them to stay here?

Nina Sharubina:
Horizons are wider. If a person leaves for Moscow, though he or she does not sing in the Bolshoi Theatre, but they sing in Moscow. There are more opportunities there. And in our country, there is one opera house. And every year at least 15 people graduate from the vocal department.

What should we do? We are not going to become Moscow. Although I do not like Moscow.

Nina Sharubina:
Once there was an idea of ​​opening an alternative musical theater. It would be great. I do not know on which theater's basis it would be, not necessarily in Minsk or Vitebsk. It could be done in Gomel, Mogilev.

So it is necessary to give them a stage, it's not only money that is the reason. You yourself became an artist not for the sake of money.

Nina Sharubina:
If I tell you how much I earned during first years... On the other hand, when I got to the theater, I was in a state of euphoria, because to be an opera soloist was fantastic. And until now, I have this feeling inside. I am very glad that I work in the theater.

I'll not ask you how much you earned. This is an imprudent question. But is it enough to support you and your family?

Nina Sharubina:
Yes. I earn enough.

As someone who sings well: do you recognize Belarusian pop music?

Nina Sharubina:
Yes.

Are there any names that you can praise?

Nina Sharubina:
I will not name them not to offend someone, but it's desirable to increase the overall level. What is the reason? I just think that every singer must necessarily be trained vocally in an academy. This will only help. All of these lip-synchs work to the detriment of singers' voices. Eurovision...

Now we picked the band NAVI. How would you rate their chances?

Nina Sharubina:
I do not know how they will sing live at Eurovision. Once the Russian group "Prime Minister" performed there. The guys were so used to lip-synching that when they had to sing live at the Eurovision Song Contest they had hard times and did not sing well.

Even Kirkorov did not feel confidently at Eurovision.

Nina Sharubina:
That's right, because pop singers, unfortunately, get accustomed to lip-synching. That is bad.

The audience will then vote and there will be telephone voting. Can voting and applause be the main criterion for assessing creativity?

Nina Sharubina:
No.

When flowers are thrown at the feet. Is this a criterion?

Nina Sharubina:
No. And am not just talking about myself, I'm talking in general. For example, a guest singer arrives. Not of the highest level. But the applause him or her. I believe that this is the mentality of Belarus. We are very hospitable, very respectful, very welcoming. Art is a very subjective thing. It is difficult to always determine it. On the other hand, if a person is highly professional, it can be seen and heard. The stage bares everyone. A person comes on stage and immediately you see whether they are stupid or not. Sometimes a singer has a good voice, but is not that clever or not a good actor. Singing does not move you, these people fuss and don't know what to do on stage. They don't take away your attention.

Your council is composed of clever people, isn't it? You know whom to help?

Nina Sharubina:
There will be applications, I think. It's long since I last visited the cemetery near Chelyuskintsev Park. There is a tomb there, completely fallen, the People's Artist Tarasov. This is an actor. I remember him in the film Bus Driver. Maybe he has no relatives. Now I do not know. Three years have passed. So in these cases, when there is no one to help, I think this is also the business of our fund to help.

Thank you.

Nina Sharubina about national opera, pop and contemporary composers