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New Wave International Festival in Yurmala

Young singers from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Sweden and Great Britain arrived in Yurmala (Latvia) in late July to participate in one of the most prestigious international festivals “The New Wave” and compete for an honorary prize “The Crystal Wave” and the right to be called “Discovery-2003”. The festival attracted a lot of guests from different countries of the world to the city. Expensive hotels, sand beaches, cosy small cafes and fashionable restaurants opened their doors to numerous pop-music fans. For example, over 5000 tourists came from Russia to support their compatriots. The same cannot be said about Moldovan tourists: only three Moldovan nationals held our national flag in the concert hall. Over three million spectators enjoyed the festival on television.

The festival included several tours. According to the conditions of the festival the participants were to present one song from their everyday repertoire, to sing a retro song and also to perform a new song. Sixteen young competitors tried hard for five days to win the hearts and souls of the members of a competent jury as well as the audience all over the world. The jury of the festival consisted of famous composers Igor Krutoi and Raimond Pauls (who were also the New Wave organizers) and popular music stars Laima Vaikule, Ilya Lagutenko, Leonid Agutin, Valeria and some others. Patricia Kaas, Ingrid, Filipp Kirkorov, Valerii Leontiev, Masha Rasputina were among the honorary guests of the festival.

At the opening ceremony each of the participants performed on the stage with his/her national flag. The Moldovan tricolor was fluttering in the hands of a talented young singer Nelly Ciobanu. The hosts of the festival Larisa Verbitskaya and Vladislav Pelsh called her “A ginger Nelly from Moldova”. Nelly Ciobanu managed to immediately touch the hearts of the audience with her beauty, tenderness and wonderful voice. She performed passionate songs about the most beautiful feeling in the world – love. Nelly sang in English, but even those who have no command of this language could understand every word of her song. When she stopped singing, there was a complete silence in the concert hall for a moment and then the silence was broken by a storm of applause. Nelly Ciobanu got 10 points from almost all members of the jury. Only Ilya Lagutenko, a popular Russian rock music singer, gave 7 points to our singer. His decision aroused the feeling of perplexity with both the audience and other members of the jury. Because of Lagutenko’s low points Nelly Ciobanu did not get the Grand-Prix of the festival. She came second and also received the highly esteemed prize “The Crystal Wave”. Our slim Nelly lifted her crystal trophy up (by the way it weighed 10 kg) and the tears of joy could be seen in her eyes. She reached the microphone and thanked all those who appreciated her talent. “I am happy if I could touch the very bottoms of your hearts,” she said to the audience and the jury. In response the audience gave her a standing ovation.

In the Chisinau Airport Nelly Ciobanu was met by her friends, journalists and numerous fans. The journalists managed to ask her a number of questions.

Question: Nelly, what are your feelings after the success in the New Wave Festival?

I feel great joy and enormous happiness. The competition was fierce, but I succeeded in achieving an excellent result. The New Wave Festival opens new good prospects for my future career. I am happy that I had a chance to perform on the same stage with such music stars as Patricia Kaas, Ingrid, Filipp Kirkorov, Valerii Leontiev.

Do you have a charm that you believe brings you good luck?

My lucky charm is praying. Before performing on the stage I always pray.

Q: Who sponsored your participation in the festival?

I would like to thank the administration of Franzeluta SA, Vasile Zgardan and many others who helped us collect six thousand dollars to participate in the festival.

Liviu Stirbu (a Moldovan composer who writes songs for Nelly Ciobanu) added:

“Unfortunately, the Moldovan Ministry of Culture allocated no money. I understand that the Republic of Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, but such complete indifference towards young and talented people who could raise the image of the country upsets me very much.”

Did you believe in the victory of Nelly Ciobanu?

I have been working with Nelly Ciobanu for nine years. Her victory is the result of our hard work. Nelly deservedly won her prize. I consider Nelly Ciobanu a very talented singer. She is capable of making sacrifices in order to achieve considerable results in the singing career. She performs songs in Romanian, Russian, English and Ukrainian. Her potential is great.

By Ludmila Mamaliga
Translated by Vlada Popushoi

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