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SSC Newspaper : February 2012
By Bernadette Chua The Russian Club in Strathfield was once the hub of Sydney’s Russian community. But things change and today it is a hub for everyone. Established 40 years ago, the club retains its bedrock membership, while the decor and menu remain distinctly Russian. But nowadays the venue attracts visitors from all kinds of communities, drawn by the fact it is as much a bustling entertainment venue as a haven for lovers of vodka and borscht. The club hosts several musical groups that perform in the great hall, which has room for hundreds. One of those acts is the Sydney Male Choir, which attracts audiences from all over Sydney. “ The Russian Club is a landmark site in Strathfield,” said the choir’s conductor, Houston Dunleavy. “It embodies just one of the many different cultures that can be found in Strathfield and it’s a great place to rehearse. “Strathfield is truly an inspirational place. Just stepping off the train and taking in the sights and sounds of the square is like stepping into another world.” Club president Nicholas Agishev says the venue is open to the entire community and that many different ethnic groups make their base. “ We have people of all different nationalities who come into the club to enjoy themselves,” he said. “The club is a cultural centre for different types of groups. The space is open to everyone.” Agishev says the club’s popularity is due to its convenient location close to the station, large concert hall and deep roots in the community. “The Russian Club has been in Strathfield been in the area for over four decades so it’s a well established club,” said Agishev. “ We’re the oldest Russian club in Sydney and everyone knows we have a great venue in Strathfield.” 26 Strathfield Scene entertainment february 2012 The club is just as much a bustling entertainment venue as a haven for lovers of vodka and borscht. Vodka with a twist of entertainment ay The latest addition to the club’s array of performers is the Syd- ney Independent Opera, which will start its 2012 season there. The group, which is made up of professional opera singers including Whitney Erickson, David Visentin and Raphael Hudson, will be accompanied by a 15-piece orchestra. It will perform arias, duets and ensembles from Don Giovanni, La Boheme, Tosca, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen and many other operas. OPERa fOR thE PEOPlE cOmEs tO stRathfiEld Artistic director Dr Steven Stanke says: “We will provide an alternative perspective for opera enthusiasts where the original work is in another language and also offer an entertaining and informative experience for the operatic first-timer.” siO Gala concert, the Russian club, 7 albert st, strathfield. saturday 25 february at 8pm. tickets: $30 / $25 (available at venue or www.webticketing.com.au).