Cultural Dialogue Vital For US, Russia in Current Time – US Philanthropist

© AFP 2023 / MLADEN ANTONOV / This photo taken on May 7, 2013 shows Russian and the US flags running up as the US Secretary of State arrives at Moscow Vnukovo Airport
This photo taken on May 7, 2013 shows Russian and the US flags running up as the US Secretary of State arrives at Moscow Vnukovo Airport - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A cultural dialogue between Russia and the United States is critically needed during the current difficult time in the relations between the two countries, US philanthropist and founder of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History Susan Carmel told Sputnik.

"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.

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The two institutions have regular artist exchanges on alternating years as part of the program. This time was the turn of the young artists from the Bolshoi to come to the United States, and three of them came and trained for the past couple of weeks. Last summer, four of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz young artists traveled to Russia, while in 2016, four musicians from the Bolshoi came to train and practice with American singers at the Washington National Opera.

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.

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The rising stars sang pieces from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Giacomo Puccini, Sergei Rachmaninov, Jules Massenet, Gioachino Rossini, Giusepe Verdi and Vincenzo Bellini among others.

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.

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