Dustyesky is a pun on the name of Russian writer Dostoevsky, a reflection of the humour conveyed by a bunch of 28 scruffy men, handsome hairy and wild, who have formed themselves into an Australian Russian male choir.
Comrade Swainski, the musical boss, says everyone can sing. And they are proof of that. They are “Humble men – carpenters and teachers, inn-keepers and esoteric therapists – who love to sing!”
Although based in Mullumgrad [Mullumbimby in northern NSW], they say that “Dustyesky is state of mind and that they are based wherever there is singing, vodka and love of life itself.”
Was it difficult for the choir members to learn to sing in Russian?
Comrade Swiv says, “Is like opera. Most tenors or sopranos do not speak Italian when they start. But to be honest, have you tried? Is almost impossible. Like doing Rubik’s cube with your tongue.”
“Dustyesky gets more love and support than any group of hairy middle aged men enjoying themselves could possibly deserve,” Comrade Swiv says. “Is like miracle. A real one.”
“We were terrified at our first gig for an all–Russian audience. But we seem to remind Russians of the power and beauty of their culture. We are so grateful!”
May 21-22. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney. $65-$85+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sydneyoperahouse.com