Father Photius is a participant in the Voice project. Today, only the lazy did not hear about this modest and talented young man. His appearance on the stage was very unexpected, but the hieromonk immediately attracted the viewer to himself with his excellent vocal skills and a genuine personality. Thanks to him, the fourth season of the contest turned out to be especially mysterious and interesting. In 2015, this man won the show, and since then his life has changed. But Photius remains true to his choice in the service of God. They write a lot about him, he is invited to television, and today is our story about him. Where the hieromonk Photius (participant in the Golos project) serves, how he lives, what his path to music was - the reader will learn about all this from the materials in our article.
For reference: “Voice” is a music show that appeared on the television broadcast of Russian television in 2012, and at the end of 2015 was recognized as the best television product. An adapted version of the Dutch project The Voice won the hearts of millions of viewers, not only in Russia but also in neighboring countries. Talented participants, a well-prepared show, professional mentors, genuine emotions - all this made the project incredibly interesting and very popular.
Hieromonk Photius (participant in “Voices”) - in the world Vitaliy Mochalov - was born in Nizhny Novgorod in November 1985. Calm and prudent, he did not understand why his peers at school offended him. Vitaly had no friends in the class; the boys often bullied him, insulted him, and sometimes even beat him. But he endured and silently bore resentment. Surprisingly, the guy was not embittered at the world, on the contrary, he began to love nature, animals, people even more. He always found a hobby for himself, never sat idle. Parents knew what was happening at school, and tried to mentally support their son.
A boy from childhood was interested in religious foundations, often asked parents about the existence of God. Why he began to care about this topic and how it all began, now he will not remember, although several times in a dream he clearly saw the Lord in Heaven.
I will not become an angel
By the way, when the boy was 7 years old, he asked his mother to go to church with him and get baptized. Vitaly said that without doing this, he would not become an angel. Mom fulfilled the request of her son and was baptized with Vitaly, however, this was not the first step to their churching. According to the hieromonk himself, they knew little about religion then, they did not go to the temple.
Vitaly plunged into church life a little later, when he got to the Blagovest children's Orthodox camp, created at the Sunday school of the cathedral. The guy took part in liturgies, sang on the choir, and I must say, he liked the whole atmosphere. The boy returned from the camp completely different. Parents immediately noticed a change in their son - he looked incredibly inspired and inspired by some idea.
After school, Vitaly entered the music school for the department of musical theory, and the enthusiasm associated with the church gradually disappeared - there was not enough time for anything other than studying. The future contestant “Voices” studied diligently and diligently. Father Photius is a participant whose biography (creative) began in his homeland and continued abroad: a year later, the whole family of the Mochalovs moved to Germany. Vitaly continued his musical education there - he began to learn to play the organ.
Vera found me again
In Germany, in the small town where the family lived, there was an Orthodox parish, where Vitaly and his mother often began to go. In the temple, a young man sang on the choir, sometimes served as a sexton. All forgotten in childhood experiences from communication with God suddenly flared up with renewed vigor. This trembling feeling of joy and awe settled in the heart of Vitaly, and he seriously thought about his future. After some time, the guy went to Russia, to the Holy Assumption Pochaev Lavra, as a pilgrim. He spent several weeks in the monastery, and when he returned home, he returned to his thoughts again.
He faced a serious choice: serving the Lord or worldly goods - glory, money, popularity. I must say that in his game on the organ Vitaly showed great promise. The young man understood that monastic life was not for him - it was not easy and required a special state of mind, for which at that time the guy was not ready. However, when he re-read the Gospel, as well as books about the lives of the elders Ambrose Optinsky and Joseph Optinsky, new aspects of the life of Orthodox asceticism were revealed to him.
How I came to God
The guy decided to consult a wise and highly spiritual person - Scheme Archimandrite Vlasiy (Peregontsev). This old man was known in Russia as a confessor, whom many believers turn to for advice. Vitaly went to Svyato-Pafnutiev Borovsky Monastery with a firm conviction: as the priest says, so he will. The elder invited Vitali to stay, and the young man took the words of the sage for the will of God. He became a monk and became hieromonk Photius. Today, Father Photius is an inhabitant of the St. Pafnutiev Borovsky Monastery.
Vitaly's decision was balanced, and he made his choice not under the pressure of any circumstances, but at the behest of the heart. It is known that many go to the monastery in a desire to hide from personal problems or disorder. It’s rare that someone is just ready to exchange a well-fed well-to-do life for the service of God in the modest conditions of a monastery cell. By the way, the young novice was ready for hard work and trials within the walls of the monastery. Hieromonk did not expect at all that his new life would not hinder the worldly passion for music, with which, as he thought, he would have to say goodbye forever. Ahead was waiting for the "Voice". Father Photius is a participant whose interesting facts from the life of today have become the property of the press, as well as fans of his musical talent. But then the life of a young man was hidden from prying eyes. He was just a humble novice.
Music is always with me
Initially, Hieromonk Photius sang on the choir. Later, he began to engage in vocals individually with a teacher from Moscow Viktor Twardovsky. At first, the young man left the walls of the monastery and went to classes, and later began to study independently, according to the methodology of a teacher specially developed for him. Surprisingly, in the life of a young man, everything somehow settled down by itself, and his talent, given from above, did not disappear, but turned into service for the good of the Church.
The teacher helped Father Photius put his voice in, taught him to sing correctly. In the repertoire of the hieromonk, in addition to church works, complex opera arias, romances, and Russian folk songs appeared. With the brethren, he took part in various events, performed in schools, hospitals, and before veterans.
The horizons of this talented person are not limited to their own passion for music. He is a regent in the choir, spiritually supports the theater at the Sunday School "Ark", is engaged in the layout of the children's magazine "Ship".
Father is a passionate person. With all the external softness and meekness, hieromonk Photius has an incredibly solid character. The reviews of Orthodox Christians who know the hieromonk personally testify to the incredible strength of his spirit. If he decided something, he will achieve it by all means. He has a big loving heart, and, in addition to his own interests, the priest deals with the interests of other people.
Despite the fact that Father Photius abandoned the social life, he is open to life. Hieromonk is a modern young man who is versed in technology, computers, mobile applications. He is always up to date. In short, Father Photius enjoys all the benefits of civilization.
The Voice Project
When a priest appeared among the contestants in the fourth season of the Voice project, not only the participants, but also many viewers were discouraged. “Why?”, “How?”, “What's next?” - such questions arose in the hearts of the majority. No one had any idea how everything would turn out, how the shooting of the issues would take place, and how events would unfold.
For the hieromonk himself, the situation was unusual and unfamiliar. He, a man leading a modest lifestyle, suddenly fell into the epicenter of events at a contest that was considered the most popular among Russian music shows. How mentors will react to his performance, whether someone wants to work with him - all this was in the head of the contestant with a hackneyed record.
I must say that Father Photius already made an attempt to take part in a music competition. He got to the casting of the second season, “The Voice”, however, without the blessing of the Metropolitan, he did not participate in further selections. In 2015, the situation was different. Channel One Guide sent an official letter to Metropolitan Clement of Kaluga and Borovsky asking him to allow Father Photius to take part in the show.
The atmosphere of the contest
According to Hieromonk Photius himself, the jury reacted very well to him. The Holy Father liked the correct approach of the channel’s producers, who took into account the peculiarities of the life of an unusual contestant and respected his dignity. For example, in order not to put the hieromonk in an awkward position, in the profile of the contest, where the participants talk about themselves, his acquaintances and friends spoke about the father of Photius. On recordings of speeches Alexander Gradsky sometimes he tried to shield and protect the priest, for example, at the moments when Grigory Leps asked the hieromonk uncomfortable questions.
“... As in any competition, in the backstage of the Voice there was competition and a spirit of rivalry. Sincere friendliness was not there, since everyone considered each other to be future competitors ... ”, Father Photius tells about relations with other participants in the competition. Most of the reviews from the audience were very favorable, although there were those who did not like the presence of Photius on the stage. During the competition, the hieromonk mainly talked with Grigory Leps, although he tried to be kind to all participants. Father Photius admits that even if he had not won the show himself, he would sincerely be glad for the leader, because victory for him is not only joy and delight, this is is also a burden of responsibility.
By the way, Father Photius is a participant whose personal life, unlike many, is very transparent and clean. He devotes himself to the Lord, and this is the meaning of his whole life.
There is no envy and filth in this show
Fotiy's father won the Golos project - 76% of viewers voted for him. At first, the hieromonk did not expect to prevail over his rivals, but gradually realized that for him everything was developing very successfully, as if someone was leading him along fate. Toward the end of the project, Photius realized that he had every chance of winning. After announcing the results of the contest, the hieromonk thanked the fans wholeheartedly and added that his triumph may not be very deserved, because there were a lot of talented people on the project, professionals in their field.
Reviews of the priests of the Orthodox Church about his participation in the competition are mostly positive. And he himself Holy father claims that he really enjoyed participating in a television project. He says that although he did not discover anything new in himself or in others, he was not disappointed in the project. It was interesting to learn how the competition was organized from the inside, how communication with mentors takes place. Hieromonk was convinced that in this project there is no show business in the usual sense of the word with all the ensuing consequences - there is no envy, there is no dirt.
The most valuable thing for Father Photius was his experience in communicating with mentors, masters of his craft. This helped the man to develop professionally. He came to realize the various secrets and subtleties of the vocal profession. In addition, the chance of working together with the orchestra rarely falls to any aspiring musician, and certainly does not leave anyone indifferent.
Touring experience as an educational activity
Those who are familiar with Father Photius speak of him as a bright and incredibly benevolent person. However, his meekness is only the outer shell, inside of which is character and perseverance. For example, Denis Akhalashvili, a constant author of the Orthodox information portal pravmir.ru, admits that with all the talents and abilities of Father Photius, his main characteristic, which immediately catches your eye, is that he is a man with Christ. “... It seems to be communicating - nothing special, but it’s easy on the heart, and the birds sing ...” That’s it. And then - you can love the hieromonk for all his talents, for a beautiful voice and so on.
The worthy performances of Father Photius at the competition were watched by a huge number of spectators. Basically, the reaction of the public, as well as mentors, was positive. However, there were also those who condemned, in principle, the participation of the church person in the "secular" event, wondering why this was necessary and what it would ultimately lead to.
Schiarchimandrite Vlasius (Peregontsev) was blessed to study music by Jeromemon Photius (“Voice”). Feedback from the priests about his performance in the competition is positive. Permission to participate in the show was given by the Metropolitan of Kaluga and Borovsky Clement. The main goal that was pursued at the same time was the cultural mission of the Church, the desire to form its positive image as a treasury of spiritual traditions and high culture. And of course, to show all people that among the servants of God there are talented artists, writers, directors, and their life is not limited to the fence of the monastery.
At first, no one knew how such an “adventure” could end. But life put everything in its place, showing that success comes to those who believe in it and do their work with a pure heart. The fact that the priest appears where he is not used to seeing may surprise the viewer. But at the same time it inspires, giving faith in something good. This is precisely what Jeromonom Photius did (the “Voice”). Reviews of priests and moral support of fans are a direct confirmation of this.
This is the modern missionary message and enlightenment activity - through the cultural syllable, and not as a warning and through conducting lectures and sermons from the stage.
Prayer support to Father Photius was provided by his confessor - Scheme Archimandrite Vlasy. During the hieromonk’s participation in the show, the brethren of the monastery, led by Metropolitan Kaluga and Borovsky Clement, worried about him. The day after the announcement of the results of the contest, Father Photius was congratulated by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.
In an interview that Vladyka gave to the press, it is said that the participation of the priest in this kind of music competition was made possible for several reasons. The main one is the confidence of the higher clergy in the inner strength of Father Photius. The fact that he is correctly oriented and internally assembled, and if participation in the competition would require him to “make a deal with his conscience,” Ieromonom Photius would not betray his convictions and principles (“The Voice”). Testimonials of priests and their faith, led by the Bishop, is the main confirmation of this. According to the patriarch, the goal of Father Photius' participation in the show is to show people how to use the gift given by God. The metropolitan is sure that even if the fate of one person changes, and he comes to God as a result of the participation of the Orthodox priest in the show, it will already be the victory of the Church, the victory of Christ in the struggle for every human heart.
Huge work is planned for the participants of the Voice 4 project for 2016 - they will "travel" across the vast expanses of Russia with concerts. Tours are planned in 12 cities, including Penza, Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Tyumen.
Initially, information appeared in the press that he had not received blessings from the tour of hieromonk Photius (“The Voice”). Reviews of the priests say that their point of view regarding his participation in music tours in Russian cities did not coincide with the views of the organizers of the show. However, later, the hieromonk himself told TASS that he had permission for musical touring activities. The participants in the television project plan to record several music albums, one of which will be a pop genre, the other will include sacred music.
Hieromonk Photius admits that at the moment he is not easy to integrate into the rhythm of life, previously not known to him. In addition, he is still trying to retire, it is difficult for him to be in sight. Although he is trying to adequately perceive the existing situation, believing that gradually the wave of popularity that has arrived will subside, and everything will be fine. The main requirement in his "rider" is the ability to live on tour in a separate room. Everything else is of no fundamental importance to him.
This is how it sometimes happens in life. An unexpected result comes in an enterprise that at first seems controversial. Father Photius proved this by his example, and so far everything is going right. And then - time will tell. We believe that the Lord will help him, and his talent will benefit society and the Church.