The Metropolitan Opera and the Polish National Opera are organizing a Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra to tour Europe and America from July 28 to Aug. 20. The orchestra is to gather in Warsaw on July 18 for rehearsals, and will include musicians from Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv and Odesa, plus Ukrainian members of European orchestras, the companies said Monday.
Keri-Lynn Wilson, a Canadian-Ukrainian conductor who is married to Met general manager Peter Gelb, will lead musicians who include members of the Kyiv National Opera, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra and Kharkiv Opera, plus the Tonkunstler Orchestra of Vienna, the Belgian National Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
The tour will open at Teatr Wielki, the Polish National Opera, on July 28 and include a televised performance at the BBC Proms in London on July 31. That will be followed by stops at the Chorégies d’Orange Festival in France (Aug. 2); Berlin (Aug. 4); Edinburgh, Scotland (Aug. 6); Snape Maltings in England (Aug. 8); Amsterdam (Aug. 11); Hamburg, Germany (Aug. 13); New York (Aug. 18 and 19), and Washington (Aug. 20).
Programs will include Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov’s Seventh Symphony, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Ukrainian Anna Fedorova, either Brahms’ Fourth Symphony or Dvorák’s Ninth Symphony, and Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska in “Abscheulicher! (You monster!)” from Beethoven’s Fidelio.
The Met and Teatro Weikl co-produced stagings of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle in 2015, and of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in 2016. The collaboration is the latest musical effort in honor of the people of Ukraine, who have valiantly fought against a brutal two-month assault by Russian forces during Russian president Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war on the former Soviet satellite nation.