The Metropolitan Opera announced on Monday that it will hold a concert in support of Ukraine next week in a bid to show solidarity with Ukrainians under attack, raise relief funds and voice opposition to the ordered invasion. by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.
The concert – which will take place on March 14 and will be broadcast on radio stations around the world – will open with the Ukrainian national anthem and feature “Prayer for Ukraine”, by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, the Met said. .
“We want Ukrainians to know that the Metropolitan Opera and the arts community are stepping up to support them,” Met Chief Executive Peter Gelb said in an interview. “We want Putin to know that he is the enemy of artists and that we are united against his horrific acts.”
Other organizations are also planning events in the coming days to support Ukraine. City Winery plans to hold a benefit concert on Thursday. American composer John Zorn and the New School’s College of Performing Arts will perform a concert on Friday, featuring artist Laurie Anderson and composer and pianist Philip Glass.
The Met has repeatedly voiced its opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since it began last month. The company announced that it would no longer collaborate with artists or institutions that supported Putin. He parted ways last week with his reigning prima donna, superstar soprano Anna Netrebko, who has links to Mr Putin, and announced he would end his collaboration on an upcoming production with the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. .
The 70-minute program, “A Concert for Ukraine,” will include a performance of Richard Strauss’ “Last Four Songs,” sung by soprano Lise Davidsen; “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber; and the refrain “Va, pensiero” from Verdi’s “Nabucco”, which speaks of love of country. The concert will end with the driving 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.
Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct 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’s so important that artists come together and provide solace and inspiration through our work.”
Ukrainian bass-baritone Vladyslav Buialskyi, who took center stage with his hand on his heart last month when the company sang the Ukrainian anthem ahead of a performance of Verdi’s ‘Don Carlos’, will again be featured at the of 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.