Lyra are a vocal quartet from St Petersburg in Russia who tour the UK every year singing Chants of the Russian Orthodox Church and folk songs from Russia. They are all professional musicians:

Vera Khabarina (soprano)

Zlata Gogol (mezzo soprano)

Pavel Koroteev (bariton)

Andrey Sysoev (tenor and leader)

This year they were looking for a concert venue in our area between other concerts and Jonathan Harris gave them our contact details. With only a month in which to organise two concerts, we didn't do a huge amount of publicity so it was gratifying to have about 40 poeple to each concert (7:30 pm Monday and 1:15 pm Tuesday).  I was unable to attend the Monday night concert, so asked for comments from others in the organ fund group:

"Wonderful voices - if you closed your eyes you'd never believe there were only 4 singers." (Jan)

"It has been good fun having Lyra come to stay and sing for us. It has been quite hectic but they have given a lot of pleasure to a lot of people. More people than I thought came to listen which is good for them and us." (Kath)

I was able to attend the Tuesday concert.  Their costumes are gorgeous as the photos show and their singing utterly breathtaking.

They used a similar programme for both concerts - Tuesday was a shortened version of the Monday night concert, which had the following programme:

PART I Church & Classical Music

  • Vospoite Ludie. (All People, Sing To God!) - D. Bortnjansky
  • To Thee We Sing. - A. Labinsky
  • About You We Joy, Oh, Virgin! - N. Danilin
  • Bless, The Lord, Oh, My Soul. - A. Sysoev
  • Our Father (from Liturgy) - P. Tchaikovsky
  • Bogorodice Devo (from Vespers) - S. Rachmaninov
  • In The Mist - S. Taneev
  • NINA - G. B. Pergolesi
  • Night - A. Rubinstein
  • Arietta - G. Legrenzi

PART II Folk Songs

  • Poruska-Poranja - arr. Vera Khabarina
  • In The dark Forest - arr. A. Sveshnikov
  • Song of bird cherry tree - Russian Folk Song
  • I will grow the orach on the riverside - Ukraine Folk Song
  • Golden Bee (Cosak Folk Song) - arr. A. Sysoev (Andrey - LYRA's tenor and leader)
  • Meadow song - Russian Folk Song
  • At The Dawn - Russian Folk Song
  • Snowstorm - A. Alabiev
  • Oh, Anastasia! - Russian Folk Song
  • Kalinka - Russian Folk Song

After the Monday concert, Andrey said the following about our church as a musical venue:
‘The acoustic is magic ... I’d do recording here’

I would like to thank everyone who helped make these concerts possible.  We had agreed to split the donations from the concerts between Lyra and the organ fund, so as a result of their wonderful musical offering we have another £161 for the organ fund.