Optina Pustyn


The choir of Optina Pustyn monastery in St Petersburg

This male voice choir from a monastery in St Petersburg came to visit us on January 23, 2016.  Monica and I have heard them twice before, when we were living in Stockholm.  The first time was at a concert in Sofiakyrka, which they will be visiting again on this trip, and the second time was in Boo kyrka, our local church.

So when I heard that they were coming to Sweden again, I was prepared to make a trip to Stockholm to hear them, although I generally don't like going to Stockholm nowadays.  But then I wondered whether we could bring them to Sörmland.  I didn't expect to be able to get them to Malmköping and tried to persuade the cantors of Klosterkyrka in Eskilstuna and Strängnäs cathedral, but to no avail.  Finally I heard of a foundation which supports Russian culture in Sweden, the Vera Sager Foundation, applied for support and received it!

They brought with them Vladimir Miller, the man on the extreme right of the photograph above.  Mr Miller, a basso profundo or contrabass  is billed as having the deepest voice in the world.  After hearing him sing "The Ballad of the Twelve Robbers" I believe it!

© James Wilde 2015