Leonid Kharitonov – “Shine, Shine, My Star” (Russian: “Gori, Gori, Moya Zvezda”)
Old Russian Romance. Music – P. Bulakhov, Lyrics – V. Chuevsky.
This video performance is from the television movie “Leonid Kharitonov, Honored Artist of the RSFSR, Sings”, 1974, TeleFonda (TF) archive.
Attention: This video has English subtitles!
In this song, the singer speaks to a star, asking it to have compassion on him. Kharitonov sings it as if it were a prayer, and the close-up of his face emphasises the spirituality of the performance. In an interview about this, the interviewer asked Kharitonov about his faith; whether as a child he believed. Leonid remembered that in his early years, he did not go to church, but the boy always felt a connection with the sky; with the cosmos. His star, with whom he communicated, spoke to him.
“The more I live… the more I believe that God exists. Lord God was preparing me to be clean, kept me through homelessness, hunger, poverty. I never hurt anyone, did not deceive, did not have debts. On stage, the artist reveals himself to the spectator-listener. If a person is mean, with a dirty soul, the listener sees and feels this. I’m on stage not just performing my part. On stage, I live every romance, folk song, or aria from the opera. This brought me to the Lord God. He established everything in Man so that he learned to understand and distinguish the good from the bad.”
Гори, гори, моя звезда,
Звезда надежд и благодатная
Твоих лучей небесной силою
Shine, shine, my star!
The divine star of hope
All my life is illuminated