Center Stage: Kazan’s Legendary Opera Star, Fyodor Shalyapin (VIDEOS)

Center Stage: Kazan’s Legendary Opera Star, Fyodor Shalyapin (VIDEOS)

A MIR traveler shares a video of a Trans-Siberian highlight: Kazan, Tatarstan, home to Russia' legendary opera star, Fyodor Shalyapin, with a concert from his repertoire. Famous for his portrayal of Boris in Mussorgsky's opera, "Boris Gudonov," Shalyapin also sang folk songs, including a 1902 recording of "Song of the Volga Boatmen" that skyrocketed him to fame, earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Read More


Volya: Bringing Belarus to Seattle, through Folk Songs and Traditions

Volya: Bringing Belarus to Seattle, through Folk Songs and Traditions

Volya is a native Belarusian. She was born and raised in the capital city of Minsk. Now, years later and a continent away, Volya is the lead singer in a Belarusian folk group that she organized, VOLYA, based in Seattle, Washington. The singers proudly wear hand-made traditional folk costumes that were donated to Volya by Belarusian villagers. Watch her performance of the winter solstice song, “Kaza,” at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle. Read More


Just an Old Sweet Song: Georgian Polyphonic Singing (VIDEOS)

Just an Old Sweet Song: Georgian Polyphonic Singing (VIDEOS)

Singing is important in the South Caucasus country of Georgia – as important and as ubiquitous as the fantastic food, great wine and heartfelt toasts that the country is famous for. Here are some video samples of folk songs and chants from different regions of Georgia. Read More


A Cappella in Armenia: The Harmonies of Ensemble Luis

A Cappella in Armenia: The Harmonies of Ensemble Luis

The Armenian women’s a cappella group, Ensemble Luis, are known to give performances at the Temple of Garni, the nearby Geghard Monastery and the Khor Virap Monastery with a view of Mount Ararat. All three sites are ideal backdrops for their heavenly voices. Read More