"Buranovskiye Babushki": the secret of success at Eurovision
"Buranovskiye Babushki" had a second rehearsal on the stage of Baku Crystal Hall. It began with a short delay due to the technical failure of equipment. The Vesti.Ru correspondent watched the whole rehearsal from start to finish, and talked with people who are usually behind the scene. But these people every day do the things which nearer the victory of Russia in Eurovision-2012.
"Buranovskiye Babushki" is accompanied by the phoniatrist Katerina Osipenko. She looks after the vocal cords of the artists, their lifestyle and diet.
- Katerina, why does an artist need a phoniatrist?
- This is normal. Each singer must periodically check his or her vocal cords. For example, Nicholai Baskov comes to me every six months, because he is very serious about his voice and his profession.
- Is there any specificity in the work with "Buranovskiye Babushki"?
- Everyone has specificity and the state of the vocal apparatus depends not only on age. It is affected by many factors. A mistake to think that the vocal apparatus is only a throat. It is also a gastro-intestinal tract, endocrine and central nervous system. Voice can be influenced even by low back pain. We can speak not about the specifics of working with grannies, but about the specifics of Eurovision. Eurovision has its own rules. It is not just a contest of artists, behind each of them is a whole country and this is a big psychological pressure. And it certainly affects the voice.
- How exactly? What do they do?
- A lot of things happen behind the scene. It is clear that our granies are not opera singers. But they, like any other singers, must do articulation and breathing exercises. This all happen before rehearsals. Only then they work with a vocal coach.
- I recently spoke with Laurin, she is from Sweden. She said that the Baku wind affects her vocal cords. Has the local climate influenced the voice of grannies?
- Of course, the climate affects the vocal cords. It is hot here so my grannies drink a lot of water. For example, during a rehearsal it is better to drink water every twenty minutes.
At rehearsals there is always a vocal coach of "Buranovskiye Babushki"Kirill Krayushkin. He closely monitors everything what happens on stage, and in the break comes up to the artists (according to the rules of the contest, each delegation has two rehearsals for four songs each).
- Kirill, I saw that you are standing near the stage during the grannies' performance and conduct.
- Yes, I show grannies where to enter so they are not lost. During the semifinals I will not not do that. But at the rehearsals it's necessary.
- This is the second and the last rehearsal. As a teacher what can you say?
- At first we had a small technical problem, it is quite normal for rehearsals. But I'm glad my grannies every day sing better and better, we rehearse every day for two hours. They rehearse and sing everywhere. They sing when they travel in the bus, when they prepare perepechi. They sang even on the plane! Grannies are very serious about the competition.
-Kirill, do you always work with a group or individually, too?
- Starting tomorrow I will work with each grannie for twenty minutes. Then I'll see how much extra time we will need. I see the progress every day, and the most important that the grannies feel it too.
Stage movements are choreographed by Natalia Sultanova. She is like Katerina Osipenko and Kirill Krayushkin is present at all rehearsals.
- Natalia, what is the most difficult for grannies on the stage of Crystal Hall?
- This is very unusual scene for them. You see, they have never performed on such big stage where there is a lot of light and special effects. At first they were very distracted but now they are OK. It's our just second rehearsal.
- Do they remember all the movements? I saw that you were showing them how to move on the stage.
- The most difficult thing is to remember the points. It's very important. The dance at first seems simple, but they must remember everything. We rehearse every day. Now, it's all very well, in my opinion . It remains only to polish all the movements.
Natalie Kiseleva, Vesti.Ru