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Sopranos

Elena Podkassik

In the choir since 2013

Born in 1979 in Mariupol (Ukraine), she graduated from the Norilsk College of Arts as a choral conductor (2004) and the Sveshnikov Academy of Choral Art with a degree in Vocal Arts (2009).

Since 2011, she has been a soloist of the musicAeterna choir. She founded the female quartet JazzAeterna (since 2019 known as musicAeterna 4).

Before collaborating with musicAeterna, she worked in Moscow as a soloist of the Sveshnikov State Academic Russian Choir and the Moscow Chamber Musical Theatre Choir. She was also a choirmaster at the Church of the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and a vocal teacher.

Her accomplishments include awards of international and regional composition and vocal competitions.

WHAT DO YOU USUALLY DO ON THE DAY OF A CONCERT?
My morning always starts with yoga or a gym session where I do breathing exercises and work on my abs. Then I have breakfast, take a shower, do a singing warm-up and go to the rehearsal. I also like to take a walk on the day of the performance. Sparsely populated places work best, so I usually walk along the embankment, in the woods or in a graveyard. This helps me focus and get ready for the concert. Right before going up on stage, I usually say the Lord’s Prayer. It makes me feel calm, confident and hopeful for a great performance.
DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME ALONE OR WITH YOUR FRIENDS?
In fact, I prefer being alone, or with a person that does not mind us both keeping silent. I am a part of a large troupe; we all communicate with each other very closely, and sometimes I just need a little bit of solitude. I would love to spend a week on an uninhabited island.
WHAT MUSIC RECORDS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU TO THAT ISLAND?
I would definitely choose a few albums by the Trigolos folklore ensemble. They spent 10 years recording folk songs — the ones our grandmothers used to sing — in Russian villages. Their music inspires me greatly: it gives me a sense of nature, a sense of true life. Folk music is very natural. Other than that, I would of course take recordings of Mozart being performed by Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna. Teodor’s recordings always stand out from the rest: everything is performed and produced in such a neat manner. That’s ingenious, really.
WHAT DOES MUSICAETERNA MEAN TO YOU?
MusicAeterna is a creative process that lets you discover new facets of your own self and get closer to the unreachable ideal. It is the process of infinite creative search and constant development of your professional skills and abilities.

musicAeterna choir events

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Andreas Moustoukis (b. 1971)
“Liturgy of St. Leontius” for mixed choir (2021)

Im Äther for mixed choir, 4 double basses, electronics, percussion and the ondes Martenot (2023, world premiere)

performers:
musicAeterna Choir and Orchestra Soloists

Conductor Vitaly Polonsky

MusicAeterna resident composer Andreas Moustoukis presents the result of his two-year work at Dom Radio. Together with the “Liturgy of St. Leontius”, fragments of which have been repeatedly heard in the concerts by the musicAeterna Choir, on June 6, the world premiere of his new composition – IM ÄTHER (“In Ether”) for mixed choir, 4 double basses, electronics, percussion and the ondes Martenot will take place. This is a micropolyphonic work based on the poems by Paul Celan interspersed with quotations from world cinema.

The author explains the essence of the new work as follows: “Im Äther (στον αιθέρα) is the need to breath out in the stratosphere were the gravitation is low and all the time is becoming one and a single moment of a crystal silence. The past, the present and the future stop to exist between then and now in a violent and compensating ‘why’, they just exist timelessly in the cosmic black as if they were small red shining dots of love, the tears of eternity.”

Photo: Selena Zhigulskaya