"In challenging times, a cultural dialogue is critically important. Without dialogue, there is no hope. Without hope there is no future," Carmel said. "You have to have dialogue and culture helps you to have that dialogue at least on a person to person basis. It also reaches out to the young people today and reaches beyond where it is not political, and it can endure through difficult political times on a person to person basis keeping those cultural bridges open and finding ways that we can cooperate."
Carmel, who is a founder and benefactor of an exchange program for young artists between Bolshoi Theatre and the Washington National Opera (WNO), spoke at their joint concert held at the Russian embassy on Friday.
"The cooperation and mutual respect are critical for any kind of diplomatic relation, whether it’s political or not," she added.
Friday’s concert marked the eighth anniversary of the collaboration between the Bolshoi Theatre and the Washington National Opera, which is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
On Friday night, thirteen participants of this year’s Bolshoi’s Young Artist Opera Program and WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist performed together at the Russian embassy following some two week-long joint training.
The program was concluded with one of most famous Russian romance songs Ochi Cherniye (Dark Eyes), which the artists sang all together.
The joint US-Russian program has a lot of benefits and helps Americans polish their singing techniques in performing Russian opera as well as helps Russian artists improve western opera techniques.