Musical performance starring Kseniya Rappoport and Polina Osetinskaya raised more than £16,000

Musical performance starring Kseniya Rappoport and Polina Osetinskaya in London has raised more than £16,000 for the treatment of Russian children

On the 9th of May 2018 London hosted a premiere of the musical performance based on Ivan Bunin’s short story “An Unknown Friend”. More than £16,000 have been raised from special ticket sales and charity auction for the patients of “Podari zhizn”, Russian sister charity of Gift of life.

The performance was organised by M.ART – a non-profit, non-governmental cultural organisation that showcases contemporary Russian culture in London, New York and Tel Aviv.

The social event, as well as the auction, have been attended by the Principal of The Royal ballet Natalia Osipova, a Principal of the Mariinsky ballet Vladimir Shklyarov, and violinist Maxim Vengerov.

The performance, based on the letters of an unknown admirer to the renowned author, comes from the long-term friendship of the actress Kseniya Rappoport and the pianist Polina Osetinskaya. In their work, the text and music are equal: Bunin in Rappoport’s interpretation echoes Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, and Debussy in the interpretation of Polina Osetinskaya. And the plays of the contemporary Russian minimalists Anton Batagov and Pavel Karmanov, that conclude the performance, bring the century-old story of a sad and sublime correspondence closer to our time.

Ksenia Rappoport: “To me this book is dear and its main thought – what happens to the human soul when it gets exposed to art, – the main thought really speaks to me. It is the compassion, the ability to empathise and show your feelings. These qualities are both extremely important in our everyday life and in extreme situations, for example, when saving children’s lives.”

Lyuba Galkina, co-founder of the fund Gift of Life: “We are happy to be actively involved in the project M.ART’s debut in London – our mission, the same as the M.ART’s one, is to be the connecting link between Russian culture and the English audience. How? With the help of art, we are helping children to fight severe illnesses that require expensive treatment and medicines, unavailable in Russia. Gift of Life gives the children a chance to get better; our patients recover and resume their full healthy life, partly thanks to the money raised today.”

Sofia Kapkova, founder of M.ART: “We find it very important to show the new generation of young directors, musicians, artists and performers that form Russian culture. We want them to make an impact on the history of art in the way Malevich, Stanislavski, Stravinsky and Dyagilev did”.

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The charity reception has been supported by Savills Russian Desk

In partnership with M.ART