Irina Dorofeeva

Irina Dorofeeva (Ірына Дарафеева in Belarusian, Ирина Дорофеева in Russian) is one of Belarus’s most well-known singers and, as of recently, a political figure

Dorofeeva got her musical start at age 12, when she became the soloist of a youth vocal-instrumental ensemble, Rainbow (Радуга), in Mogilev, the Belarusian city where she grew up. Over her early teenage years she picked up the pace, entering and winning several national contests for young performers in quick succession. She then became the soloist of the legendary long-running Soviet Belarusian rock group Verasy (Верасы). She spent a few years as a soloist for the State Concert Orchestra of Belarus, among other highlights performing with the orchestra in a concert on Red Square in honor of the 850th anniversary of the founding of Moscow. In the late 1990s she became involved in the project “Workshop on Belarusian Music,” which aimed to reignite interest in Belarusian music and the Belarusian language.

Dorofeeva started her solo career in 1996, and has released 14 albums to date, in both Russian and Belarusian. She has given concerts in every single village in Belarus, according to her website. Throughout her career, Dorofeeva has performed at many national and international festivals, often winning and always expanding the reach of Belarusian music with her beautiful, classic voice. She was named a Distinguished Artist of Belarus in 2007, the same year a Belarusian PR campaign established her as the “face of Belarus,” and she is also a professor of stage vocals at the Belarusian State University of Culture and the Arts.

In 2013, Dorofeeva became a public consultant for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, in the department of sociocultural activities. In 2016 she was elected as a nonpartisan deputy to Belarus’s Parliament. Several online sources have painted her as being loyal to President Lukashenka.

 

“Strong Belarus” (“Беларусь сильная”):

 

Lyrics for “Беларусь сильная”:

Полетели в небо словно птицы слова
Миллионами голосов.
Я хочу, чтоб эта песня в душах зажгла
Самую святую любовь.

Беларусь сильная, Беларусь красивая.
Самая моя, самая моя любимая.
Беларусь сильная, Беларусь свободная.
Самая моя, самая моя народная.

Выше неба эта песня будет звучать,
Если каждый скажет сейчас,
Что не может в сердце у себя удержать,
Что сильнее делает нас.

 
“Рэчанька,” from Dorofeeva’s 2014 album:

 

Lyrics for “Рэчанька”:

Не выходзь ты, рэчанька, з беражкоў крутых,
Не тапі мне сцежачак, сцежак залатых.
Тут з купальскіх кветачак я вянкі віла
І пускала рэчанькай, беражком ішла.

Закружыла голаву мне быстая вада,
Падышоў каханы мой і руку падаў.
Не выходзь ты, рэчанька, з беражкоў крутых,
Не тапі мне сцежачак, сцежак залатых.

прыпеў:
Ой жуда-бяда, ой як шуміць вада…
А дзе ж буду, дзе ж я карагод вадзіць?
А дзе ж буду, рэчанька мая,
Любага чакаць, вяночкі віць?

Тут гуляла з мілым я да світальных зор,
З ім у снах аблётала ўвесь зямны прастор.
Ды не доўга шчасцейка зоркай ззяла мне –
За гарой згубілася ў горкім палыне.

Паляцеў каханы мой у далёкі свет,
Засталіся сцежачкі, незабыўны след…
Не выходзь ты, рэчанька, з беражкоў крутых,
Не тапі мне сцежачак, сцежак залатых.

прыпеў:
Ой жуда-бяда, ой як шуміць вада…
А дзе ж буду, дзе ж я карагод вадзіць?
А дзе ж буду, рэчанька мая,
Любага чакаць, вяночкі віць?
Ой жуда-бяда, ой як шуміць вада…
А дзе ж буду, дзе ж я карагод вадзіць?
А дзе ж буду, рэчанька мая,
Любага чакаць….

Не выходзь ты, рэчанька, з беражкоў крутых,
Не тапі мне сцежачак, сцежак залатых.
Тут з купальскіх кветачак я вянкі віла
І пускала рэчанькай, беражком ішла.
Аааааааааа

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS’s Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.