Russian town of Oryol trapped in Soviet past

Slightly skewed coverage, but interesting.

[From BBC News Website]

On a small stage in a community hall, still grandly called a Palace of Culture, a powerfully built lady belts out an old Russian gypsy ballad.

Then a choir of podgy teenage girls troops out, all dressed in sky-blue party frocks, like something out of the 1950s.

The mostly elderly spectators, sitting in their raincoats on wooden chairs, listen attentively.

It is a fitting mid-afternoon concert to find in Oryol, a Russian provincial town which prides itself on its cultural heritage, and its links to an extraordinary number of Russian authors.

Ivan Turgenev, the 19th-Century Russian novelist of elegant love stories, came from here. So did Ivan Bunin, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. So did the ingenious storyteller Nikolai Leskov, the poets Tyutchev and Fet, the short story writer Leonid Andreev…

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