Zulya Kamalova – The Cruel Romance


Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Zulya Kamalova


Poignant storytelling and genre bending sound exploring Tatar, Russian and Australian identity.

About the artists

Zulya Kamalova is an ARIA award winning singer whose work explores her Tatar, Russian and Australian identity. At times she lights a fire beneath distant memories, at others she opens your eyes to intricate new worlds. Her poignant storytelling and genre bending sound has captivated audiences both at home and abroad.

Her performance together with The Children of the Underground will present exquisite original music inspired by Cruel Romance, a sub-genre of the early 20th century Russian urban ballad style.

Influenced by Romani and folk traditions these songs often depict unhappy events and sorrowful feelings like unrequited love, lost innocence, infidelity, jealousy, an illegitimate child, orphanhood, prison or a lonely journey.

According to musicologists, this genre may have a therapeutic effect and is still immensely popular with melancholy audiences yearning for a deeper connection to their feelings. This tradition also reflects the phenomenon sometimes referred to as ‘The Slavic Soul’.
Their performance in Primrose Potter Salon will present beautiful renditions of a timeless repertoire, alongside original works written in a similar style.

Praise for Zulya Kamalova

‘Zulya is a striking singer and a gifted writer.’ ABC

COVID Safety

Melbourne Recital Centre is committed to the safety of our artists, staff and patrons. As we reopen, a range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures will be in place. Click here to learn more.


Zulya Kamalova vocals, acoustic guitar
Andrew Tanner double bass
Lucas Michailidis guitar


Andrey Petrov
At Last I Will Say

Pyotr Petrovich Bulakhov
I Met You

Erast Abaz
The Misty Morning

Maria Poiret
I Was Driving Home

Arkady Dmitrievich Severny
Years Pass By


The River is Flowing

Zulya Kamalova
The Waltz of Emptiness
I Opened My Heart

Andrew Tanner
A Good Reason

Lucas Michailidis
Forgotten Song

Marusya Otravilas’
Marusya Poisoned Herself


This production is part of the following series:

Season Three: Illuminate

Celebrate the best local and international music at the award-winning venue where live music lives.