Metropolitan Opera will host concert in support of Ukraine

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Metropolitan Opera will host concert in support of Ukraine
The Metropolitan Opera in New York, March 12, 2020. The Metropolitan Opera said on Sunday that it would no longer engage with performers or other institutions that have voiced support for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, becoming the latest cultural organization to seek to distance itself from some Russian artists amid Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Vincent Tullo/The New York Times.

by Javier C. Hernández



NEW YORK, NY.- The Metropolitan Opera said Monday that it would stage a concert in support of Ukraine next week in an effort to show solidarity with Ukrainians under attack, raise relief funds and express opposition to the invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The concert — which will take place March 14 and be broadcast on radio stations around the world — will open with the Ukrainian national anthem and feature “Prayer for the Ukraine,” by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, the Met said.

“We want the people in Ukraine to know that the Metropolitan Opera and the artistic community are rallying together to support them,” Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said in an interview. “We want Putin to know he is the enemy of artists and that we are united against his horrific actions.”

The Met has repeatedly voiced opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since it began last month. The company announced it would no longer engage with performers or institutions that supported Putin. It parted ways last week with its reigning prima donna, superstar soprano Anna Netrebko, who has ties to Putin, and said it would end its collaboration on an upcoming production with the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

Next week's 70-minute program, “A Concert for Ukraine,” will include a performance of “Four Last Songs” by Richard Strauss, sung by soprano Lise Davidsen; “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber; and the “Va, pensiero” chorus from Verdi’s “Nabucco,” which is about a love of homeland. The concert will conclude with the rousing final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, featuring soprano Elza van den Heever, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, tenor Piotr Beczała and bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green.

The Met’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will lead the concert. He said in a statement that he hoped it would “demonstrate our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine.”

“In times of crisis,” he said, “it is so important that artists unite and provide consolation and inspiration through our work.”

Ukrainian bass-baritone Vladyslav Buialskyi, who stood center stage with his hand on his heart last month when the company sang the Ukrainian anthem before a performance of Verdi’s “Don Carlos,” will once again be featured during the anthem, this time singing a solo part.

Tickets are $50 and go on sale Wednesday. The Met said proceeds would go to charity groups supporting relief efforts in Ukraine.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










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