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Diplomacy #101

It’s a good thing that the joint concert featuring Bolshoi’s Young Opera Program and Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Artist Program at the Embassy of The Russian Federation hosted by H.E. Anatoly Antonov was held prior to the expulsion of many Russian diplomats in Washington, DC. Otherwise, who knows what would have happened to this marvelous occasion for those who believe in diplomacy and cultural exchange.

“I’m grateful and pleased to be able to once again introduce a new generation to the beauty of opera and the importance of cultural sharing. We are grateful to Ambassador Antonov for his continued commitment to support this wonderful cultural exchange.The Washington National Opera has a history of bringing people together to both foster greater cultural understanding as well as to celebrate commonalities between cultures,” said Susan Carmel, International philanthropist and founder of The Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History. “As some of you may recall, in June of 2010, the Washington National Opera ball was held for the first time in this beautiful embassy. I had the honor of chairing this ball where young artists from the Bolshoi performed so beautifully, and stronger cultural relations have grown ever since that auspicious occasion. The chance for these young artists to visit each other’s countries to study together will be invaluable for their future careers.

While the Bolshoi-Washington National Opera Young Artist Exchange Program is essentially about rigorous artistic training, it is also a vital collaboration that showcases the importance of building bridges to create greater unity through culture. The artistic world works cooperatively and tonight we highlight this cooperation and mutual respect through the beauty of music. We are so pleased to have you join us. So, thank you Mr. Ambassador from the bottom of my heart for your ongoing support of not one, but two very important U.S. Russia exchange programs, both represented here this evening.”