Festival Friday Radio is a weekly blog series showcasing Spoleto Festival USA’s 2017 visiting artists. Each Friday, tune in for these hand-selected playlists that highlight a musician’s top 10 tracks—or get exclusive, artist-curated lists that reflect their own listening preferences. 

The Russian-born, Berlin-raised, London-based actress Avital Lvova plays the fiercely fearless Rehana—plus a few other characters—in Henry Naylor’s topical one-woman monologue titled Angel (CLICK HERE for tickets and information.) Inspired by a true story, this tale follows the Angel of Kobanî, a Kurdish law student swept up by war in modern day Northern Syria. With only aging Russian rifles accessible, Rehana doesn’t back down from fighting against ISIL extremists. She emerges a heroine in the form of a crackshot sniper with 100 kills to her name by joining a band of equally determined Kurdish female fighters.

This role requires an abundance of versatility which Avital has plenty of as she is equally at home playing comedy or tragedy. To see what someone capable of taking on such a complex role cranks up on her stereo and pipes through her headphones, we got in touch with actress Avital Lvova. Listen to her current top 14 songs and read below for her connection to each.

“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaylor: “Because I will.”

“Limerick” by Laura Reznek: “A talented young lady and dear friend.” 

“I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by The Slits: “That moment a remake is as good as its original.”

“Wolf” by First Aid Kit: “La Loba, the woman who runs with wolves.”

“Korabli (Корабли)” by Surganova & Orkestr: “18 years old. First movie. Desert of Kazakhstan. Waiting for the sea to return.”

“Subzero” by Ben Klock: “You can take the girl out of Berlin, but not Berlin out of the girl.”

“Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground” by Blind Willie Johnson: “So simple. So painful.”

“Ya ne lyublyu (Я не люблю)” by Vladimir Vyostosky: “Integrity and talent in its deepest core. A Legend.”

“Wade in the Water” by Eva Cassidy: “An artist gone too soon.”

“Yulunga (Spirit Dance)” by Dead can Dance: “Because you can’t escape from yourself.”

“Dust” by HÆLOS: “Perfect partnership between melody, beat, and text. The whole album is one epic story.”

“Gold” by Chet Faker: “So damn sexy.” 

“Csárdás” by Vittorio Monti: “Food for my gypsy soul.”

“Beautiful Escape ft. Zak Abel” by Tom Misch: “Because love is a beautiful thing to wear on your sleeve.”


Photo (at top) by Rosalind Furlong