Ceremony to honor figures of culture at Bolshoi Theater of Belarus

  • 15
  • 9:38

Creative culture inspires the development of both an individual and a nation, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he honored figures of culture in a ceremony at the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater in Minsk on 3 July.

The President noted that the ceremony is held on Independence Day and thus gives rise to a new tradition – to honor figures of arts and culture on this important day. Though, there is one important condition for it to continue, namely new worthy theater productions during a year, the Belarusian leader noted.

"In the run-up to the holiday and today, we talked a lot about the Great Patriotic War, our moral duty to the generation of winners, who gave us life," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Independence Day is not only a look into the past, but also a guide to the future of the country, the future that you create with your art."

The state and people need culture like air, the President believes. "Because without you, successful and talented, life is colorless and, what’s worst, unspiritual. Where there is no creative culture, people will never have an inspiration to develop. Not only personally bur also on a larger scale, as a nation."

"Belarusians had already such an experience. In the 1990s we professed ‘national -cultural revival’. Yet architectural monuments, theaters and museums were falling apart, let's be frank, before the eyes of some current creative workers," the head of state continued. “Car dealerships and casinos were opened in cinemas. Creative people were marginalized. The country was just sliding into an abyss."

The President stressed that everything that Belarusians are rightfully proud of today - theaters and amphitheaters, castles and estates, museums and memorial complexes, creative workshops and exhibition centers – has been created for the past quarter of a century. "I will say more: in such a short time we have actually revived what we were losing for centuries," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “This became possible thanks to you, people of culture - creative, devoted to your profession, state-minded.  What you did, and what you create today, will go down in history. In many respects it depends on you what this history of our young independent country will be. It depends on you whether Belarusians will continue to be proud of their country and their past. Will Belarus remain unique and recognizable in a world where the boundaries between national cultures are blurring before our eyes? The main thing that is especially relevant today is whether we will preserve our unique national feature - moral purity. "

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that all these are the basic values on which an independent state is built.

"I want to thank those who are aware of their responsibility. It was your successes and achievements that became an occasion for this ceremony. It is with great pleasure that I congratulate you on the state holiday - Independence Day of Belarus and well-deserved awards. I would like to wish you good health, creative inspiration and new projects. I would very much like to see this new tradition continue. If there will be creative successes, then there will be someone to honor, which means that there will be a reason to meet again. Happy Independence Day! I thank everyone who stayed in Belarus in these turbulent post-revolutionary times of 2020 and gives joy and happiness to people," the President said.

In turn, Kupala Theater actress Tamara Mironova, who was awarded the People’s Artist of Belarus honorary title, thanked the head of state for supporting the Belarusian culture. “You have opened new pages in the history of our theater, a state-owned, national theater, the Yanka Kupala Theater. You have placed your trust in us and we have not let you down. I am proud that we have a stage director, young actors, and that a new young theater is being born. It is wonderful!” she said.

“I think that there will be more of you in a year. The first step is the hardest. My congratulations to you again. Live long, create for your people. True artists must always create for people, not for enemies” the President stressed.

The head of state presented orders, medals and honorary title badges to cultural workers. The President conferred the Order of Francysk Skaryna upon Vadim Yakonyuk, professor of the department of musical pedagogy, history and theory of the performing arts of the Belarusian State Academy of Music, and the Medal of Francysk Skaryna upon Vladimir Andreyenko, director of the Mogilev Oblast Puppet Theater.

The President bestowed a badge to the Honored Figure of Culture title on Aleksandr Finsky, professor of the sculpture department of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts; a badge to the Honored Artist title on Aleksandr Glazko, ballet dancer of the State Academic Dance Ensemble, Valery Shmat, art director of the Golden Voices music production center, and Ruslan Chernetsky, leading actor at the Maksim Gorky National Academic Drama Theater. A badge to the People's Artist of Belarus title was conferred upon ballet dancer (soloist), leading dancer at the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater Anton Kravchenko and drama actress, leading actress at the Yanka Kupala National Academic Theater Tamara Mironova.

The ceremony was followed by a gala concert "Music, art and culture of Belarus in the images, emotions and inspiration of Bolshoi Theater!"