Last Saturday, 8 April 2017 the final of the Slovak show Zem spieva took place in which ten groups presented themselves and they advanced to the last stage of the programme. As we announced last week, also Rusyn artists entered the final. On Saturday we had the occasion to watch three Rusyn girls from the Rusyn Trio group, as well as a soloist Stefan Stec who was given by the jury and the hosts of the programme the nickname “Rusyn Karel Gott”, in this way he was compared to the Czech soloist Karel Gott, one of the most popular performers od the non-English pop-music of the XXth century.
In the final, as the first of our Rusyns, the girls form the Rusyn Trio performed. Their performance not only by music and singing referred to the Rusyn ensemble, as during the performance we had the occasion to hear the first words of the Vruchania by Alexnder Duchnovic, a work that is nowadays an official hymn of the Carpathian Rusyns. Then, before the performance we could hear the voice of an old Rusyn woman who said a Rusyn prayer. The Rusyn Trio was standing turned back to the public and turned with their front to the stage that resembled an iconostasis. Then the girls started to spread their voice and Michal Hudak joined them – a Rusyn that is known in Slovakia as a moderator, singer and actor.
Stefan Stec presented himself in the further part of the final. LEM.fm editorial board reached the singer, asked for his feelings and reflections on the show: […] the competition was very important for me as I could present what I love, that I am Rusyn and Rusyn songs in the Slovak state TV in the first broadcast when more than a million people are watching. To show and say to such a number of people that you are Rusyn is very interesting. The Rusyn theme has became visible not only for Rusyns but also non-Rusyns.
We noticed that his performance in the final, because of one of the songs, was very dear to Lemkos. Stec confirmed our feelings further in a short interview for our team – In the final, apart from vocal, I chose the topic that, unfortunately, has still been referring to Rusyns, and this is the migration from our villages for a job. This topic is always valid, both in the past and nowadays. The song “Poletiv by-m na kray svita” I heard 15 years ago in Praha where I was working throughout the summer as a student. There the Days of Lemko Culture were taking place. At one of the actions, Julia Doszna was singing this exact song. From that time I had it on my mind. Beauty. At the final I knew that I have to offer this song!
Stec shyly marked that the competition brought him some fame that may be profitable not only for himself, but also our nation. Furher he mentioned that in the close future he is planning to release a CD, as well as give some concerts. I feel related to Lemkos as my old grandpa was from a Lemko village, Habura village. Then he emigrated for a job to Argentina, unfortunately never came back […] – added at the end Stec. You will see Stefan Stec during the next Rusyn Festival in Svidnik where he will give a concert on the first day of the performances (Friday, 28.05). Below we attach his final presentation.
Although it was not Rusyns who won the final, their performances enabled promoting the Rusyn culture that not only in Slovakia has become fashionable and interesting in the last years, but also in Poland – which we encounter more and more frequently. Finally, the Earth is singing programme was won by a Slovak ensemble Urpin.