Choral concert celebrating Russian priest

The Voronezh Male Voice Choir

The Voronezh Male Voice Choir

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Kevin Casey is the museum’s officer at the Diving Museum, 2 Battery, Stokes Bay, Gosport. Here he looks forward to a visit from a Russian choir

Recently, three members of The Diving Museum, myself, Mike O’Meara and John Bevan, visited Russia at the invitation of The Centre for Russian and British Art and Culture – Voronezh-Winchester.

While visiting Voronezh we were privileged to attend a concert by the Voronezh Male Voice Choir.

As part of the cultural exchange programme, Gosport is now lucky enough to receive a reciprocal visit from this choir.

Under their chief conductor Tatyana Izhogina, the choir is visiting the south of England this month to celebrate the life of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh (1914 to 2003) in a dedicated choral festival.

Metropolitan Anthony was a priest, a theologian, philosopher and spiritual leader.

He came from the family of the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin.

In the 1920s he emigrated to France where he later worked with the French Resistance.

After the Second World War he took a monastic vow and in 1947 was sent to Britain to serve the church in London.

During 50 years of dedicated service to the Russian Orthodox Church he left a significant memory in the hearts of many nations – including England.

This visit is part of a cultural exchange with the Reading Phoenix Choir, who invited them.

Over the years the English and Russian choirs have evolved considerably and their relationship endures in the spirit of friendship, professionalism and collaboration.

They will be performing, for one night only, on October 11 at 7pm at St. Mary’s Church, Green Road, Alverstoke.

The programme will range from sacred music by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and other Russian and Ukrainian composers, to inspiring folklore pieces.

Tickets are £10 and can be purchased from St Mary’s Parish Centre by calling (023) 9258 0551 or from the Tourist Information Centre in the bus station complex at Gosport Hard.

Call them on (023) 9252 2944.

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