Friday, 11 October 2013

Julia Lezhneva,
from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, in the Russian Far East.


Julia Lezhneva, the russian young soprano from the far east,  was born in 1989, in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk , on the island of Sakhalin.

Coordinates: 46°58′ N, 142°44′ E
Population:  190 000


The island is close to Japan; in fact, it was a Japanese territory between 1905 and 1946.

How hard is it to live in a town like Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk ?


Isolated, lost in a forgotten corner of the planet, with almost no cultural life, it's also an ugly urban space, mostly made of four-storey soviet prefab blocks. And in the island around, intensive exploration of coal and gas, the main economic activity.

Some wooden houses in the old russian style can still be found, most in deep decadence, left abandoned for poor-living families.

Well, something has been done in recent years, with the emerging wealth of Asia-Pacific region. A bit of colour, new facilities, commodities and buildings.


A hotel in an old restored building.

All churches in town are recently built (last decade):

- the rich Orthodox Cathedral of the Ressurection :


- the orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, a traditional style wood building of 2005:


- The Sakhalin Regional Museum, in a restored Japanese building from 1937, all that remains as architectural heritage from the times of occupation.


- The Chekov Center, a Theater and Concert Hall where the Sakhalin choir often sings:

Julia Lezhneva started her career singing at the local children choir, when she was 5 years old.

So this was the unlikely cradle for the angelic voice of Lezhneva !

G. F. Handel :
Saeviat tellus (Mottetto) O nox dulcis
Julia Lezhneva, soprano
Il Giardino Armonico, cond. G. Antonini