From Development server
29 April 2022

The Metropolitan Opera and Polish National Opera to Form Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra; Ensemble will Tour Europe and the U.S. This Summer

THE METROPOLITAN OPER AND THE POLISH NATIONAL OPERA have announced plans to form an orchestra of leading Ukrainian musicians who will tour of Europe and America this summer, with proceeds from those concerts going to assist the victims of the war in Ukraine. 

Announced today by the Metropolitan Opera and the Teatr Wielki–Polish National Opera , the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will gather leading Ukrainian musicians for a tour that will run from July 28 through August 20, making stops in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands before culminating in concerts in New York and Washington, DC. The orchestra will be comprised of Ukrainian musicians who are recent refugees from the war, members of European ensembles and some of the top musicians from orchestras in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa and elsewhere in Urakine. The tour has been assembled with the cooperation of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while its Ministry of Culture and Information Policy is supporting the project by, “addressing the organizational issues of allowing male musicians to put down weapons and take up their instruments in a remarkable demonstration of the power of art over adversity,” the Met said in a press release issued today.  

In a joint statement issued today, Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager, and Waldemar Dabrowski, the director of the Teatr Wielki–Polish National Opera, said, “Music can be a powerful weapon against oppression. This tour is meant to defend Ukrainian art and its brave artists as they fight for the freedom of their country.”

The orchestra, which will be lead by Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, will perform a program that includes Valentin Silvestrov’s Seventh Symphony; Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with Anna Fedorova; and either Brahms’s Fourth Symphony or Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony. Soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, who this spring is slate to sing the title role in Met performances of Turandot, will also perform “Abscheulicher!” from Fidelio

“I wanted to bring the best orchestral musicians of Ukraine together, from both inside and outside of their country, in a proud display of artistic unity,” said Wilson, who grew up in Winnipeg, home of the largest concentration of Ukrainians in North America, and who originated the idea of creating the group. “I look forward to leading these gifted musicians across Europe and to the United States. This tour is an expression of love for their homeland and to honor those who have died and have suffered so much.”

The orchestra’s musicians will convene in Warsaw in July for an intensive rehearsal period, and the group will have its opening concert at the Teatr Wielki–Polish National Opera on July 28. The tour continues with stops at the BBC Proms, on July 31, for a televised performance; a performance in Munich on August 1; the Chorégies d’Orange Festival in France on August 2; the Berlin Konzerthaus on August 4; the Edinburgh International Festival on August 6; Snape Maltings in England on August 8; the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Festival on August 11; and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on August 13. The orchestra will present concerts at Lincoln Center on August 18 and 19, before presenting its final concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on August 20.

The Metropolitan Opera was one of the first performing arts organizations in the United States to hold a benefit concert for Ukraine, which was led by its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, on March 14. Polish National Opera has harboring refugees from Ukraine and presenting its own benefit concerts in support of the country. 

Information about tickets will be announced later by individual presenters. Donations to victims of the war in Ukraine can be made through the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture at 

More information can be found at The Metropolitan Opera.

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