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Lynn McConnell

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Moscow Nights - Reviews

"The performance was a huge success! We had many people tell us how much they enjoyed Moscow Nights. People will be talking about this for a long time to come."

Fripp Island Community Series
Friends of Music, SC

“Moscow Nights” recently completed an arts education Tour of schools in the Mid-Ohio Valley for Artsbridge. Without exception, the shows were extremely well-received and the quality and variety of Russian folk music played and sung by three talented and expert musicians was extraordinary. Students were involved and enthusiastic as audience and participants. Interspersed with lively, rhythmic musical numbers, bits of Russian history and culture were shared, making the shows both educational and entertaining. “Moscow Nights” was a joyous experience for student audiences. This is arts education at its best!

Gerri Torres
Arts Education Director

"Moscow Nights was a truly wonderful experience for the Schauer Arts and Activities Center and our greater community. Not only are they accomplished musicians and outstanding performers, but Vitaliy is a comedian in his own right. Their outreach activities through the week engaged every group with which they interacted be they at senior care facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs or professional places of work. Moscow Nights share their love for music and their passion for their homeland with all in an engaging, entertaining, and fun way that includes great audience participation. The three are truly remarkable and our audiences left asking when Moscow Nights would return to our theatre and community."

Brenda Lee Johnston
Executive Director
Schauer Arts & Activities Center

"Moscow Nights residency services are both engaging and entertaining. Vitaliy and company did a terrific job adapting their outreach mini-concerts to serve diverse market segments which ranged from urban 4th graders to rural library patrons. Each service was marked with humor and artistic excellence and audience participation was invited and impossible to resist. Our Moscow Nights “capstone concert” garnered rave reviews from our audience and we are already contemplating a return engagement."

Steven J. Schmidt
Rochester Civic Music Center
Riverside Concerts and Educational Residency
General Manager

Artistic On-Site Review of
For Ohio Arts Presenters Network and Ohio Arts Council

(in Adobe Acrobat )

Description of activity attended:

I attended a performance presented by the 3-member folk group Moscow Nights on July 19, 8 PM, at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering. The performance was part of the Fraze summer series.

Evaluation, (Music) Instrumentation/Singing - Moscow Nights consists of three traditional folk instrumentalist-singers who play the bass and treble balalaika and the Russian folk accordion. They are natives of St. Petersburg, Russia, now residing in US since 1994. All three of the performers are highly skilled musicians, each a virtuoso on his chosen instrument. Each is featured in a solo during the performance that serves to display both the quality and the versatility of the instrument and the performer. They quality of their singing is in keeping-with a traditional folk music sound that is strong and produced in such a manner that it can be projected, if need by, without amplification.

Program Selection -The program that I heard included two 45-minute sets separated by an intermission. Vitaliy Bezrodnov, who serves as spokesman and leader of the group, has chosen a program that is weJI balanced with ballads as well as up-tempo dance tunes. He takes time to give a bit of historical perspective for each selection, and he interjects humor throughout the program. It is very well paced and extremely entertaining and educational.

Costumes -The group has new costuming that is bright and colorful, well-constructed, and is in keeping with the various Russia cultures they share through their vocal and Instrumental musical selections.

Venue size - The Fraze Pavilion is a very large venue that seats approximately 4000.

Audience Response -Audience was response to the Moscow Nights performance was overwhelmingly positive. The group seeks audience participation throughout their performance, and Vitaliy has a charming way of getting people involved in his show, even speaking to those in attendance who are Russian in their native tongue. During one segment, audience several audience members are invited to the stage to accompany the group on original folk instruments. At other times, couples are invited to dance to their music. And in their second act they take requests from the audience. Throughout the program, the audience is very engaged in the performance.

Strengths/Weaknesses of Performance-This group has many strengths, including a program that is lively, informative, well balanced, colorful, and intriguing to listen to.

J. Chris Moore Executive Director
Executive Director
Springfield Arts Council

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