Songs For Ukraine Christmas Concert 2023

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When the war in Ukraine started in 2021, the Royal Opera House asked themselves what they could do, as a national and international cultural institution, to support the Ukrainian community so cruelly devastated by war. Songs For Ukraine was created, from their request for 50 singers to join the Royal Opera Chorus. A total of 450 Ukrainians applied, and Songs For Ukraine was born.

Source: Introduction to the concert by Jillian Barker, Director of Learning and Participation. YouTube. Accessed 22 December 2023.

In December 2023, Songs For Ukraine performed with London’s Royal Opera Chorus at the opera’s Paul Hamlyn Hall in London.

The concert was streamed on Ukraine’s State Agency of Ukraine for Arts and Art Education YouTube’s TV channel. The link to the YouTube stream is below.

Image: Txllxt TxllxT, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Paul Hamlyn Hall was the venue for Songs For Ukraine.
Paul Hamlyn Hall

Worthing was represented in the Songs For Ukraine Christmas Concert

Worthing was represented in the Songs For Ukraine Chorus by singer Yaroslava Matvieienko from the Worthing Ukrainian Friends Network.

Yaroslava Matvieienko from the Songs For Ukraine Chorus.
Yaroslava Matvieienko

Compared to carols we are used to in the UK, this hymnody is more complicated in harmony, with frequent and striking modulations leading to an intensely sonorous experience. A perfect example is the carol Two Falcons Flew By  with soloist Daria Moskaliuk. What a stunning performance by her; she is a star indeed. This carol was my favourite, and you can listen to it by moving the YouTube slider below to 1:00:30.

My comments are not meant to detract in any way from the performers as a whole. All the singers, soloists, piccolo player and piano accompanist gelled together perfectly and they are all stars.

I found this concert a very moving and breathtakingly beautiful performance.

Watch the Songs For Ukraine Christmas Concert

Songs For Ukraine – External Links

Royal Opera House website

Royal Opera House Songs For Ukraine Programme (PDF)

Worthing Ukrainian Friends Network Facebook Page

State Agency of Ukraine for Arts and Art Education website

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