From the Life of Dormition Cathedral
on Parents' Saturday, on the eve of the Pentecost the women of our
church gathered; the Sisterhood, as usual, prepared for the holiday,
cleaning and decorating the Cathedral. Under the direction of Tatyana
Georgievna Holodny, the plethora of flowers and birch branches formed
magnificent bouquets and decorations, transforming the Cathedral.
All day the kitchen was bustling with the preparation of food.
Liturgy, served by Fr Vadim Zakrevsky, began at 10 am on the feast
day itself. A large number of parishioners, their families and children
gathered. Many partook of the Holy Mysteries. Right after Liturgy,
vespers was performed with the reading of the kneeling prayers.
After service, pieces of the curtain from the recent consecration
of the lower chapel were distributed.
everyone gathered in the rectory yard, where a festive luncheon
was prepared with shish-ka-bobs. The weather was magnificent. The
table was set with pirogi, salads and numerous traditional dishes,
generously and lovingly offered by the parishioners. The shish-ka-bobs,
however, were the main attraction. For dessert, one of the parishioners
prepared another surprise, a Napoleon torte, which immediately disappeared.
due to Matushka Natalia Zakrevsky, Matushka Tatyana Holodny, Elder
Sister Vera MacLellan and all those who helped prepare for the holiday.
was sunny and brilliant, even nature itself was adorned in its finest,
harmonizing with the bright holiday inhabiting the souls of everyone.
The first Pushkin
Poetry performance was held at the auditorium of the parish school
at Dormition Cathedral in London on July 5.
of the performance was All-Russian and international laureate of
artistic recital, winner of the Pushkin Medal, Boris Burlyaev.
When we entered
the hall, we were struck by how it was decorated. The walls were
draped in white fabric illustrated with Pushkinesque drawings and
quotes; the front of the stage displayed a full-length portrait
of Pushkin. The mood was celebratory, and Chopin waltzes played
as the seats quickly filled. The concert began with the blessing
of the Parish Rector, Fr Vadim.
opened the performance with a brief speech on the history of this
celebration. The decorations were brought form Moscow, where as
the director of the studio of literature at the Nobility Association
of Russia, he organizes Pushkin celebrations for the children of
Moscow. Now, the celebration is held here for the first time. The
sun of Russian poetry now rises over London.
then presented the eldest Pushkin scholar in London, Tatiana Markovna
Wulf. She spoke about the descendants of Pushkin living in England,
on the work she did over the course of thirty years in writing the
book Pushkin on Literature. After this most interesting talk, the
performances began. Boris Petrovich himself began the readings.
He read the poems written during Pushkin's lycee days.The voice
of the master led us into the world of Pushkin's lycee, the park
of Tsarskoye SElo and the early years of the genius' life. The enraptured
children, preparing to recite the poems assigned to them, were inspired
by his love for Pushkin, gaining confidence and composure.
The first was
six-year-old Vasily Starodubtsev, who read the introduction to Ruslan
and Ludmila. The auditorium warmly applauded the young boy. Following
were Alexandra Boriskaite, Christina Willer, Nastya Drobyshev and
Vasya Starodubtsev, who read the opening to Tale of Tsar Saltan.
Then a group of children recited "To My Nanny." This unusual
performance was heartwarming. Then, under the direction of the parish
choir director, the children sang several songs. Ten-year-old Diomid
Burlyaev then came out on stage and skillfully read a part of the
first chapter of Eugene Onegin. Diomid then, together with his classmate,
Victor Ovchinnikov, read "The Poet and the Crowd." This
was a two-person performance. The inspired poet and the cynical,
indifferent crowd took form before us. The children played out this
scene with intelligence and emotion. The audience bust into applause.
Music began playing again, and the brother Misha and Sasha Beskin,
under the accompaniment of Natalia Kuznetsova, performed romances
based on Pushkin's "Winter Road" and Lermontov's "Sail."
Each performance was preceded by commentary, either on the necessity
of immersing children in the atmosphere of high poetry and music,
to counterbalance the assault of mass culture, or words about the
great masters of Russian literature: V Kachalov, P Sadovsky, D Zhuravlev,
V Yakhontov and others. The concert became a lesson on lofty spiritual
values. This did not lessen the power of the performances, but raised
them to a new level.
Alyona Starodubtsev, dressed in a white garment sewn specially for
this day, read the poem "Beauty." The audience was enchanted.
Her sister then emerged, sixteen-year-old Vasilisa Starodubtsev,
in a light blue dress, and read Tatyana's letter, performed as though
these were her own words. This was a great success.
Ivanova read a portion of "Egypt Nights." The audience
was taken with the girl's dramatic talent, which communicated the
tragic fate of the poem with emotion and skill. The number earned
a standing ovation. Following this, visitors were given a few words,
and Pushkin was quoted again and again. The sng "It is Time,
My Friend, It is Time," by Ivan Burlyaev, was then performed
by National Artist of Russia Alexandra Mikhailova. The two-hour
performance concluded with Boris Burlyaev reciting "Mozart
and Salieri," "Monument," "From Pindemont"
with such mastery and inspiration that the audience was absolutely
silent. During the performance, the music of Chopin, Mozart and
Tchaikovsky played. The last piece was "The Song of Bacchus."
The performance ended, but the audience lingered, savoring the pleasure
of the day.
London, Great Britain