Traditional Russian chorale music will fill the halls of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Wednesday, May 15, as it hosts LYRA, a group of professional vocalists from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.
Sergey Tupitsyn, manager of LYRA and tenor for the choir, said the group wants to share a variety of Russian folk and Orthodox Church music.
Kate Hempworth, music director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, said they received an email from LYRA about their tour through California. Hempworth thought it would be a good chance to put on a concert, something St. Paul’s hasn’t done before, she said.
“We listened to them and were blown away,” Hempworth said. “We thought they would be a really good fit.”
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The group sounds like a normal vocal ensemble with the traditions of Russia and choral singing, Tupitsyn said.
LYRA’s 25 members have split up into smaller groups to reach more places on an international tour. Coming to Cambria are four singers: Tupitsyn, tenor; Anna Makarenko, soprano; Anna Naumova, mezzo-soprano; and Alexandr Kudriashov, bass. This is the four’s second trip together, but first along the West Coast.
The group tries to keep the harmony of a choir, even though they are only four performers strong, Tupitsyn said.
LYRA has two meanings the group believes meld together well. The first refers to a musical instrument called a lyre. The second meaning, in Russian, deals with inspiration or romance.
“We believe these two meanings are in very good combination with each other,” Tupitsyn said.
After the concert, a reception will be held to meet the performers. Refreshments will be served and attendees can purchase LYRA merchandise.
Asked if he had anything to add, “Welcome everyone,” Tupitsyn said.
While St. Paul’s is not asking attendees to purchase tickets for the event, the church is asking for a $10 donation to help pay LYRA for the concert.
St. Paul’s is at 2700 Eton Road, Cambria. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary. LYRA’s next appearance is at St. Louis de Montfort Church in Santa Maria on May 16.