Yevgeny Knyazev: "I would love to visit Baku again"

Yevgeny Knyazev: "I would love to visit Baku again"

Rector of the Shchukin Theater Institute, People's Artist of Russia, Yevgeny Knyazev, discussed theatrical cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.

- In 2017 Mehriban Aliyeva visited the Vakhtangov Theater and invited its troupe to tour Baku. When will this tour take place?

- We haveplanned tours, and we hope that this proposal won't be forgotten and we will visit Azerbaijan. We have great relations with Azerbaijan. For example, a group of Azerbaijani students is currently studying at our Shchukin Theater Institute. They're in their third year, and in two years they will join theaters of Azerbaijan. We're extremely happy about it, because we want them to succeed. In addition, we're very close with the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, we're invited to all events that are held in this country. There will be a huge forum in Baku in early November, where we were invited. I would like our cultural ties to continue and become even stronger.

- Do you plan to visit Baku in November?

- I have a very busy schedule, and it's very difficult for me to find free time, but I would love to visit Baku again. And it's not just about forum that I mentioned, I just really like this city. I would love to visit this city again, because it's very beautiful, very authentic. Baku is special, it's not like any other city. So I'll try to visit it.

- You mentioned Azerbaijani studio operating in your university. What can you tell about their work?

- Azerbaijan has strong Russian theater school, and when they decided to sent actors to our institute, I was very happy. These contacts are very important for us, since we expand our presence in the international market. Azerbaijani students are developing here, they study really hard, because we expel those who don't study and don't develop. And if you haven't been expelled, then then you really are learning here.

- Recently you mentioned that there are many applicants, your university is very popular. How many students from the South Caucasus republics - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia - want to study here?

- First of all, I would like note that, and I think it's amazing, Azerbaijani government pays for Azerbaijani students. If students don't have such financial support, they pay for their education themselves, so we have Armenians, but they're all citizens of Russia. As for the North Caucasus, we have a lot of students from there, including Kabardians, Ossetians, and Karachays.