Songs for Ukraine at the Royal Opera House ©2023 Veronika Ward

The Royal Opera House are delighted to have hosted a performance this afternoon featuring over 130 Ukrainian singers, including individuals displaced by the war, and the full Royal Opera Chorus. Held in the stunning Paul Hamlyn Hall – in front of 500+ invited guests and friends and family members – the free event was the culmination of over 2 months of choral workshops, and marked over a year since Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine.

The performance drew on the lived experiences of those displaced by the war, showcasing the resilience of the Ukrainian community and the power of the arts to bring people together in the face of unimaginable adversity. The repertory included a number of Ukrainian liturgical pieces alongside traditional opera choruses. 

Over 300 individuals applied for the project, following a public drive for just 45 singers. The final group of 130 Ukrainian participants comprised both amateur and professional singers, many of whom have found the experience a rare opportunity to connect with the wider Ukrainian community. This unique project has enriched the Royal Opera House’s own musical repertory by providing space to discover and explore the rich history of Ukrainian choral music. 

This project was established to bring communities and individuals together to address the devastating impact of war. Given its success and impact, the Royal Opera House’s work will continue over the next year, supporting displaced Ukrainian communities across the UK.