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World Soprano Svetlana Kasyan offers Album for Pope Francis’ Birthday

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Interview: Russian Soprano Svetlana Kasyan offers an Album for Pope Francis’ Birthday

Russian world soprano opera singer Svetlana Kasyan is one of the most rising figures in the world of opera today. But she is also a close friend of Pope Francis, who blessed her voice and awarded her the star of the lyric of the Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of Saint Sylvester for her 35th birthday. She is the first and only lady awarded with this honor. So it’s a fair return that she dedicates her new album Fratelli Tutti to the pontiff, and decides to release it the day of his 85th birthday, on 17 December.

Fratelli Tutti is made of 14 folk songs in 14 different languages and will be available here on the 17th of December, and you can have a short but powerful preview below the interview.

European Times met with the beautiful soprano for a few questions:

European Times: Your album is called Fratelli Tutti and you dedicated it to Pope Francis, what’s the story behind it?

Svetlana Kasyan: This album is the story of my life. I was born in Georgia, then during the war we moved to Kazakhstan, I studied in Moscow, won a competition in China and China opened an international career for me, 12 years of contracts in Italy, and so on… So that is what is behind the choice of having songs from many countries, in many languages. Then, my close relationship with Pope Francis has always been a blessing, and he has always been very kind to me.

svetlana leonid pope francis - World Soprano Svetlana Kasyan offers Album for Pope Francis’ Birthday
World Soprano Svetlana Kasyan offers Album for Pope Francis’ Birthday 3

Svetlana Kasyan: This album is the story of my life. I was born in Georgia, then during the war we moved to Kazakhstan, I studied in Moscow, won a competition in China and China opened an international career for me, 12 years of contracts in Italy, and so on… So that is what is behind the choice of having songs from many countries, in many languages. Then, my close relationship with Pope Francis has always been a blessing, and he has always been very kind to me.

ET: What do you think an artist is responsible for in our world? Does creating peace is amongst the responsibilities of a singer like you?

SK: Yes, for me, the main mission of music is to unite the whole world. With my creativity, I want to speak and create that there be no war, although it is very difficult. But music has tremendous power.

ET: You live in Russia, and became a real diva here and in Italy. Nevertheless, are you not afraid that dedicating an album to the head of the Catholic Church, while you are a Christian Orthodox, can trigger some strong reactions in your country?

SK: Well, I posted some excerpts from the album on social networks and already faced negative comments. I am very sad about it! People wrote that because of the wars I should not include so many different songs in one album. But I will continue to do this, and I believe that in the hearts of many people it will help settling the world!

ET: Are you planning to travel around the world to promote your album? Where will we be able to see you in the times to come?

SK: Yes, I would like to sing this beautiful repertoire all around the world. In addition, I have more songs with different languages in my repertoire than in my album. So it would be a very interesting program. But nothing is planned for the moment as regards playing these songs on stage.

ET: Any further plans for the future?

SK: I have a lot of interesting contracts in Italy, Germany and Russia with beautiful music and a new repertoire. So at least, you’ll see me in these countries. But 2022 is not yet started, so there could be many surprises.

fratellitutti - World Soprano Svetlana Kasyan offers Album for Pope Francis’ Birthday
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