Seattle Opera and the PNB Orchestra will share the stage for the benefit of Ukraine

Seattle show for Ukraine: “We have to react, especially now, and take this music back”.

It’s a premier music event in Seattle, all to benefit Ukrainian artists.

Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra announced that they would organize a concert for Ukraine. Seeing either band alone is a special experience, but seeing them perform together is a real rarity in Seattle.

It’s one night only, May 16th.

Emil de Cou is the Musical Director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. He says they felt they had to do something to support Ukrainians who are under duress.

“It’s in times of crisis and turmoil that music speaks loudest,” says de Cou. The one-night event, he says, is meant to celebrate the Ukrainian nation.

“One of the singers on the program is Ukrainian, we have music from Ukrainian composers, we have specially arranged Ukrainian folk songs, we have music from Swan Lake, Rosenkavalier, we have music from Romeo and Juliet. “

de Cou says it’s an entirely musical event, the PNB ballerinas won’t be there.

And the artists perform without remuneration. All proceeds will go to Polish organizations that will organize artist residencies for Ukrainians in need of housing, food and rehearsal space.

de Cou says the show is also partly a gesture to showcase the Ukrainian roots of composers like Tchaikovsky, who are commonly associated with Russia.

“Tchaikovsky’s paternal family was originally from Ukraine,” he explains. “His name was originally Chaika, and [he] had a children’s music school that existed until two weeks ago when it was destroyed by Russian bombs.”

de Cou says he and Seattle Opera officials decided they had to respond to the Ukraine invasion, in part because PNB performed Swan Lake, a show that Russia is extremely proud of.

“We thought, we have to react, especially now. And to quote this music, it belongs to the world, and it is the mainstay of ballet companies around the world.”

Tickets are on sale now. This is a paid event, with a minimum donation of $10.00.

All proceeds will go to singers and artists who had to flee Ukraine and who are currently doing artist residencies in Poland.

de Cou says he chose mostly uplifting songs, including some from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Silvestrov’s “Prayer for Ukraine,” and other music inspired by the country now being invaded by Russia.

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