The marvellous voice of Zlata Ognevich


She has a marvellous voice, Zlata Ognevich from Ukraine. I went listening to her yesterday evening. Next Saturday the Eurovision Song Contest will be held here in Malmoe and the performing artists from the participating countries are here preparing for the competition, mingling, partying, participating in PR-events and meeting fans. Downtown at Gustav Adolf Square a scene has been built. There one will be able to see different performances of both ESC-artists, other artists and various groups and events before the ESC. At Moriska Paviljongen in Folkets Park they now have the Euro Fan Café between May 6th and May 18th. Until May 10th there are talk-shows between 10 and 11 pm, and May 13th to 16th between 4 and 5 pm. You find the entire program at

The Euro Fan Café and its talk shows is led by Rick Jacobs from New York who lives not far from Folkets Park/The People’s Park. He said just before the start of the café: “As a huge Eurovision fan myself, I am excited to get up close and personal with Eurovision contestants past and present. I am going to try to get them to reveal their deepest and darkest secrets each night. – Who knows what will happen?” The Euro Fan Café has invited different artists from the Eurovision Song Contest to talk and sing, such as Birgit Oigemeel from Estonia, Roberto Bellarosa from Belgium, two nights ago Despina Olympiou from Cyprus and yesterday night Zlata Ognevich from Ukraine. Rick Jacobs entered the stage and presented first Zlata’s assistant and interpreter and then the Ukrainian song-bird herself. Rick sat on a chair to the left on stage while the singer took her seat on a sofa. Zlata Ognevich is 27 years old, and her real name is Inna Leonidivna Bordyuh. She was born on January 12th 1986 in Murmansk, northern Russia, but she grew up in southern Ukraine on the Crimean peninsula in a city called Sudak. Her parents are from Serbia and Italy. Her father is an officer and as a child they moved around a lot, so Zlata got to see many places. She’s also a soloist of Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Rick asked her several questions about her upbringing, and he also tested “Ukrainian expressions” on her. He had found them on the internet, but they didn’t seem to be very accurate, and Zlata mostly giggled in response. She wore a tight, black and white dress, high heels and looked stunningly beautiful. She had nice manners and she also sang twice. The first song was a mix of pop and opera and when Zlata opened up her mouth and sang it was amazing. She has a marvellous voice and the song itself was catchy and really, really good. We in the audience applauded and enjoyed the performance and the Polish couple next to me loved it too. At the back of the room the Danish Eurovision fan stood with his red-white flag and waved.

Zlata Ognevich tried to win the ESC-contest in Ukraine already in 2010 with the song “Tiny island”, came close but didn’t win. Then she tried again with “The Kukushka” in 2011, came close but didn’t win. However this year she swept Ukraine off its feet with “Gravity”. Yesterday evening she also went down the stage for a while and fetched some female-friends in the audience that she wanted to sing a bit with. They stood in front of the stage a couple of minutes and performed a small number. Then she walked back up again. She told us also about a huge guy that will perform with her on stage next week and whom she hadn’t met before. As a grand finale Zlata performed the song “Gravity” which we will hear next weekend. It begins with the words: “Nothing comes from dreams but dreams. Still you believe in wonder. Something happens and it seems like a strike of thunder”. Zlata’s body language is also very dramatic and intense, just as her singing. Her voice rings out clear and loud and the tones create a carpet of heavenly pastures. After the show fans could get her cd and her autograph. An Israeli guy near me wanted her to smile to the camera for the pleasure of the Israeli fans. Of course she did. She is good, no doubt. Enjoy her performance next week. I certainly will.

Anders Moberg, May 10th 2013




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