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By Alexandra Simon
These old sweet songs keep Georgia — and Ukraine — on her mind.
A Ukrainian soprano will host a concert of traditional songs from Ukraine and Georgia in Sheepshead Bay on Dec. 11, celebrating the friendship between the two former Soviet countries and the 25th anniversary of their independence. And with Russian military currently stationed within Ukraine and Georgia, the binational concert celebration could not be more timely, she said.
“This is a big year for Ukraine and Georgia, not only because we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of our independence from Russia, but also because Ukraine is undergoing a similar situation that Georgia went through a few years ago,” said Olga Lisovska. “Georgia and Ukraine go out of their way to support each other, and Georgians are singing Ukrainian songs, completely supporting Ukraine constantly, and it’s very touching for the Ukrainian people.”
The concert, which Lisovska will headline along with Georgian baritone David Gvinianidze, will showcase the similarities between the two countries. Though their native languages are completely distinct, the two countries have faced similar religious and political struggles, said Lisovska, which have brought the nations closer together.
“We bring together these two amazingly rich cultures to show how friendly they are with each other — and how they know each other’s history and respect each other,” said Lisovka.
During the two-hour concert, singers will perform music from both countries, with traditional and classical tunes in the first hour, and current pop music after an intermission. No English songs are in the program, said Lisovka, but English speakers may recognize some melodies borrowed by American songwriters, such as the Ukrainian lullaby that inspired George Gershwin’s “Summertime.”
Lisovska expects an audience of Eastern European descent at the concert, but she hopes that a wider selection of Brooklynites will also come to enjoy the beautiful music.
“We would love for Americans to come see what it’s all about because Ukrainian and Georgian singing is absolutely gorgeous,” she said. “We hope people take away the beauty of this — even though we are celebrating independence, the focus is also on culture and why every culture has the right and beauty to survive.”
“Concert Celebration of Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Independence” at Davidzon Radio [2508 Coney Island Ave. between Avenue V and Gravesend Neck Road in Sheepshead Bay, (857) 919–4832, talentsoftheworld.tix.com]. Dec. 11 at 2 pm. $35.
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[SHEEPSHEAD BAY] Songs of freedom: Concert celebrates 25 years of independence from Soviet Union : Brooklyn Daily