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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

UK pop star Rod Stewart praises Celtic's win at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre

The singer made the comments at the Bravo awards, which celebrates the best of Russia’s music talent

British singer and songwriter Rod Stewart stepped on stage to award Teodor Currentzis with the best composer statue at the Bravo Awards in Moscow on Sunday night - but football was on his mind. Supplied
British singer and songwriter Rod Stewart stepped on stage to award Teodor Currentzis with the best composer statue at the Bravo Awards in Moscow on Sunday night - but football was on his mind. Supplied

We may have been at Moscow’s regal Bolshoi Theatre, but football was on the mind of British pop star Rod Stewart.

In what was the most entertaining moment of the second ceremony of the Bravo awards, held last night in Moscow to honour the best of Russia’s classical music talent, Stewart stepped on stage to award Teodor Currentzis with the best composer statue.

The Sailing singer went off script to deliver a passionate speech praising the Scottish football side Celtic for defeating its arch rivals the Rangers 3-2 yesterday in Glasgow.

“And we did with ten men,” he said before giving the award to the bemused Currentzis.

Last night’s event was the last of the two-part Bravo awards, with Saturday night’s exuberant ceremony at the Kremlin State Theatre focused on Russian and international pop music.

Sponsored by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, the events at the Bolshoi Theatre saw a number of international guests hitting the red carpet, including the Spanish tenor Jose Carerras and French actor Vincent Cassel.

Bolshoi Theatre
The prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. Supplied

They were joined by the cream of Russia’s classical music talent: led by soprano Anna Netrebko and Bolshoi ballet prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova.

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Speaking to The National before the event, Carerras praised the UAE government for their involvement with the Bravo awards, stating that cultural education is indeed a global effort.

“Anything that spreads arts, culture and understanding is not only important but necessary,” he told us.

“I can only congratulate the people and officials of Abu Dhabi for getting involved in this.”

The evening began on a somber note with the ceremony paying tribute to the late Russian tenor Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who passed away last November after a battle with brain cancer.

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With his Verdi: Rigolletto winning Classical Album of the Year, the crowd stood to applause as Hvorostovsky’s family members received the gilded statuesque before South Korean soprano and regular collaborator Sumi Jo delivered a moving performance of Caccini’s Ave Maria in tribute.

“He was a wonderful artist,” Jo told The National after stepping off the stage.

“It was inspiring to work with him and I am glad I got the chance to perform here for him.”

A living legend was also honored at the Bolshoi Theatre, with Carerras stepping on stage to rapturous applause. Awarding the young Russian violinist Dali Gutserieva with the Best New Discovery gong, the 71-year-old took to the podium to address all aspiring artists.

“Many years ago I came on this very stage and I remember hearing my heart beating,” he said.

“I realised it was the happiest day of my life because I still had time to realise all my dreams. So my advice is to simply work hard and by that you will achieve incredible heights.”

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The 46-year-old Anna Netrebko was also honoured for her 25-year career with the Global Start award - handed to her by Department of Culture official Afra Al Nuaimi. She later returned to the stage with regular collaborator and husband, Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvasov, to perform Franz Lehar’s Tu che m’hai preso il cuor (Yours is My Heart Alone) and Verdi's Brindisi accompanied by the Bolshoi Theatre chorus.

Other local award winners included concert pianist Daniil Trifonov for Best Classical Composition in Contemporary Rendering, MusicAeterna for orchestra of the year and The Mariinsky Theatre's Primorsky Stage in Vladivostok - in far eastern Russia – nabbed the venue of the year.

The next edition of the Bravo Awards will be held in Abu Dhabi in November with more details arriving later in the year.

For more information, go to www.bravoprmedia.org

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