The State Opera will express solidarity with Ukraine with the Ora spei concert

The Prague State Opera will present a concert that symbolically supports those who suffer in the war conflict, and will offer arias and samples from Czech, Italian, French, but also Ukrainian musical works performed by leading Ukrainian performers. During the evening of October 21, starting at 7 p.m., arias by well-known authors and compositions by Ukrainian composers will be performed by eight Ukrainian male and female soloists accompanied by the Choir and Orchestra of the State Opera under the direction of its music director Andriy Jurkevych .


The central motto will be the theme of hope and the opening short composition We Are , which was written by Ukrainian composer Yury Shevchenko shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, loosely based on the melody of the Ukrainian national anthem Ukraine is not dead yet . The anthem was banned in the years of Ukraine’s annexation to the USSR and only returned with perestroika. ” I wanted it to sound all over the world like a silent and clear prayer for Ukraine, ” composer Yury Shevchenko said of We Are .

” It will be an exceptional musical event created in cooperation with top Ukrainian artists. We continue to support the efforts for freedom and independence of a large European state, with which we are connected by natural cultural ties and the sharing of common values, ” emphasizes Jan Burian , Director General of the National Theatre. After the opening piece, Ukrainian soprano Sofia Solovij will recite the prayer of Princess Libuša from Smetana’s opera of the same name, which is meant to symbolically express belonging to the subjugated peoples and give them hope and courage.

In the first part, the concert program will offer famous arias from the operas of Bedřich Smetana , Giuseppe Verdi , Jules Massenet , Gaetano Donizetti and Giacomo Puccini . The second part will be a discovery journey into the known and unknown history and present of musical Ukraine. The program will present the work of important Ukrainian composers (Yuriy Shevchenko, Mykola Lysenko , Semen Hulak-Artemovskyi , Yakiv Stepoviy , Klimentiy Dominchen , Yuliy Mejtus , Myroslav Skoryk and Anatoliy Kos-Anatolskyi ) performed by eight Ukrainian female and male singers working in Ukraine and abroad, from many of whom are singing in the Czech Republic for the very first time.


” We are organizing this concert out of solidarity with our friends and colleagues in war-torn Ukraine and we will support them wholeheartedly, ” says Per Boye Hansen , Artistic Director of the National Theater Opera and the State Opera and continues: ” The Music Director of the State Opera, Andrij Jurkevyč, thinks of his compatriots constantly. We are glad that he has now managed to invite some of the best Ukrainian opera singers to Prague. The concert will take place in the State Opera , which was designed by the famous architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer . The same architects also designed the opera house in Odesa, where Andrij Jurkevyč, the current music director of the State Opera, worked as music director.


Photo: Zděněk Sokol, Pexels