MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian villains have been a constant staple of James Bond movies. But this week, a Russian army choir demonstrated that it, at least, has no hard feelings, with a heartfelt rendition of “Skyfall,” the title song of the eponymous latest film about the fictional British spy.
An ensemble of seven earnest-looking young men dressed in full military attire and standing erect appeared on the “Morning on [Channel] 5” television show on Thursday to deliver their stern yet expressive performance of the song, originally performed by British singer-songwriter Adele for the film, which came out last year.
Identified on the show simply as “Russian army choir,” the men also gave a more lighthearted performance of a song by Russian showbiz diva Yelena Vaenga.
Military choirs and orchestras have long been a source of pride in Russia. The Alexandrov Ensemble – formerly known as the Red Army Choir – continues to tour the world with its male choir, dance troupe and orchestra.
The experiment with a Bond film title song – whose originals are more often sung by women – is not the first time a Russian military choir has ventured beyond the standard repertoire of folk songs and patriotic ballads. The Alexandrov Ensemble played together with the cult Finnish band Leningrad Cowboys in 1993, and with Russia’s fake lesbian pop duo t.A.T.u. at the “Eurovision Song Contest” in 2009.
A rendition of Welsh crooner Tom Jones’ hit “Sex Bomb” performed by a group described as the Russian Interior Ministry Song and Dance Ensemble – complete with orchestral accompaniment – is also available on YouTube.