Lyudmila Senchina: “The first voice of the country? I think Pugacheva was joking…”

On December 13, People’s Artist Lyudmila Senchina would have turned 72

“I’m an idiot, right?!”

I remember our first meeting. In May 2008, I came to St. Petersburg to do an interview with Senchina. At that time, she was forgotten: they didn’t show it on TV, journalists didn’t remember her. And when I called her asking for a meeting, she was delighted: “Do not call me Lyudmila Petrovna, God forbid! Only – Lusya and without a middle name … Can you imagine, in the West, how would it sound: Shakira Genrikhovna ?! Come to my dacha, I’ll cook delicious, let’s chat! For some reason, I immediately got the impression that we had known each other for so long!

Lyudmila Senchina, photo

The dacha and garden cooperative “Culture”, where the singer has recently lived, is located 40 km from St. Petersburg. There are also dachas of other St. Petersburg stars: actresses Nina Urgant, satirist Semyon Altov, actors Ivan Krasko, Mikhail Boyarsky … Lyudmila Senchina bought a two-story house there in the late 1980s. She said that she bought it from the wife of the famous playwright Boris Ratser.

– Lyalya was a passionate lover of antiques, and I got these bells over the woodpile from her, some paintings … – the actress meets at the gate and shows the site. Smiling, famous dimples, almost no makeup. It seemed to me that about each bush, she spoke separately, kissed him and laughed: “I’m an idiot, right ?! But I love them!”

Lyudmila Senchina, photo

Do you see a big bush in the middle of the yard?! This is a wild rosehip, a weed. It used to be with Nina Nikolaevna Urgant, who lives through the fence, she dug it up, wanted to throw it away. And I saw – I took it for myself. Oh, how beautiful it is in summer, beautiful white flowers and an amazing smell!

— Do you like to work on the ground?

– Hand on foot, I’ll be honest: I’m not interested in poking around in the ground. I come from a village, but as a child I was only busy with domestic animals: pigs, chickens. I didn’t dig the garden. So I’m far from it. Here in one newspaper they wrote: “Senchina loves to tinker in the ground in the country.” Complete nonsense! Although I love all living things. There are bird feeders hanging everywhere, I made it myself. True, our cat Kiss and dog Tim hunt birds. It seems that we specially feed the birds so that our pets hunt them! – Ludmila laughed.

Photo: Vladimir Bertov/Antenna archive

She showed me the house. Cozy, wooden, in some special aroma. On the second floor, opening another room, she stopped laughing: “This is the room of my son, who is so rarely here! Glory has long lived in America.

– Once I sent him to a school with in-depth study of the English language, – Senchina said sadly. – And he liked English so much that he began to compose poetry, and then songs. Created my own rock band. When he was in his second year of university, the group went on tour abroad. The guys visited America – and he decided to live there. Now he has his own office, he deals with insurance and something else that I don’t understand at all. My son and I are so different! He is a pedant, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, plays tennis, and I… Emotional, simple, I like to communicate. But I respect the choice of my son and completely trust him. The only pity is that I am not married, and I have no grandchildren.

Lyudmila Senchina, photo Channel One

“Everyone asks only about personal life!”

On that day, Lyudmila – Lucy showed the house, but lamented: “We must go to the kitchen already!” And here we are in the kitchen. Senchina pointed to a huge bottle (I don’t know how many liters, but such village “moonshine” is shown in the cinema): “Here is my rowan tincture, please come to the table!” On that day, Lyudmila cooked: jelly, baked smelt, pea soup and various pickles. After the third stack, she suddenly announced:

Why don’t you ask me about love, about my husbands? About Stas Namin or Igor Talkov?

– Lucy, you know, somehow I didn’t plan …

– Everyone asks me only about my personal life, – Senchina said sadly. – I, as an actress, no longer need anyone. They call on TV when they remember the dead. Yes, I got fat. So what?! The voice sounds. I sing in St. Petersburg, but they haven’t invited me to Moscow for a long time. Was in America, fell and broke her leg. I lay in a cast for a long time, got fat, and after that I can’t get back to normal for a long time.

Lyudmila Senchina, photo open sources

Volodya intervened in the conversation. Either a husband, or not a husband, but also the director of Senchina, and the driver, and the administrator. She called him: “My angel.”

– Oleg, let me put on Lucy’s new songs for you, no one knows them. We did not release the disc, but we recorded it, I will give you a rough recording, – Vladimir enthusiastically suggested. Gave an amateur disc, Lucy signed.

– So, do not bother us, why does he need my songs ?! Then he will listen. Let me talk,” Lucy commanded sternly, pouring the tincture (categorically did not want anyone else to do this).

– Lucy, once Alla Pugacheva said about you: “Senchina is the first voice in our country.” Nicely?

– I think Alla was joking. I understand that I have a voice, but there are thousands more, I’m not special. You know, I always stay modest, aloof. Although it’s nice to be praised. But now they say about me – “not a format.” What it is, I still do not understand. In Soviet times, officials reproached me for not having patriotic songs. And now they say that you, they say, only patriotic songs … But what I sing about is kindness and love, this is eternal!

Lyudmila Senchina “Wildflowers”

We parted for a long time: Lucy went out to the car several times – either to give a disk, then she forgot to give pies with her, or just to kiss. And she wailed: “If you are in St. Petersburg, come in! I’m cooking a drop dead borscht! And when we called up later, met backstage at concerts, she always laughed: “When will you come to borscht ?!” Now I regret that I didn’t. She was only 67 years old when she passed away. Oncology.

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