Once a year, an old, now defunct church at the village of Gagino finds itself at the centre of a singing festival commemorating the wedding that took place more than a century ago.
It were the Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin and his Italian fiancee, a ballet dancer named Iola Tornaghi who tied the knot in 1896. Backed by the story a group of locals supported by the media and Chaliapin Fund have started the church restoration campaign supported by the singing event.
This is the story told by one of the visitors to the show, a retired military officer – first, we hear him at the Sergiyev Posad station speaking of his friend belonging to an initiative group. Then we hear the friend’s singing, as well as the voices of the visitors including the TASS news agency journalist Nikolai Gorbunov who spent 25 years researching Chaliapin’s heritage in Scandinavia.
Recorded August 6th, 2011 (MS-TFB-2)
Published August 9th, 2011.