Royal Opera House Songs For Ukraine On Tour In Bradford
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Posted on: 1st November 2023

The Royal Opera House Songs for Ukraine project was set up in 2022 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a creative exchange with the Royal Opera Chorus to support and stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian community. The Chorus, which is made up of Ukrainian singers impacted by the war – including those who fled in 2021 – last performed with the Royal Opera Chorus in March 2023, to an invited audience of London’s Ukrainian community.

Now the Songs for Ukraine Chorus are heading to Bradford, performing to an audience which will include members of Bradford’s significant Ukrainian population, alongside local Ukrainian choirs and a chorus of primary school children. The Christmas Concert will be held at 3 pm on Sunday 10 December in Bradford Cathedral, and will be a day to celebrate the resilience of the Ukrainian community in the UK and around the world, recognise the power of music to bring people together, and revel in the holiday spirit. The performance will feature Christmas carols, traditional Ukrainian songs, local singers, as well as the Bradford Cathedral’s children’s choir, Grace Notes.

“Christmas for Ukrainians is such a special holiday. Christmas is always about family, but a lot of people in this Chorus don’t have family. But this choir has started to really feel like family for us, with such beautiful music, and in such a beautiful place. This project, it’s something I couldn’t imagine”


Against the backdrop of the terrible war in Ukraine, the Royal Opera House set up the Songs for Ukraine Chorus in 2022. The first performance at the Royal Opera House in March was an incredibly moving experience for all involved and we are proud to take their talents to Bradford, which itself Ukrainian population. This begins a long-term partnership with the City and surrounding regions which we hope will go from strength-to-strength, inspiring creativity and bringing communities together across the region as we approach Bradford City of Culture in 2025.

Jillian Barker, Director of Learning and Participation at the Royal Opera House

Bradford was recently announced as City of Culture for 2025, which will see it host a huge programme of work, performances and workshops throughout the year to engage with, celebrate and emphasise culture in the community across the region. As part of this, the Royal Opera House is excited to unveil a bold new suite of work in Bradford, working in collaboration with a range of partners across the region including Bradford City of Culture 2025, Bradford City Council, Bradford Theatres, Kala Sangam, the West Yorkshire Schools Games Organisers and Born in Bradford, to inspire creativity among young people and communities through a range of events, performances and activities over the next three years. Bradford will be the fifth centre across the UK to join Chance to Dance, our innovative talent development programme, opening new opportunities to the city’s young aspiring dancers.

“We are proud to be working with the Royal Opera House on this important concert, bringing hope and encouragement in the midst of great trials and devastation. Bradford Cathedral has a vision to create a generous welcome to the world and stands as part of a long story of faith lived out by the diverse communities that make up Bradford. We also look forward to welcoming the Songs For Ukraine Chorus and the Royal Opera House to Bradford for the first of many collaborations moving towards City of Culture 2025.”


“We are hugely excited to be embarking on this exciting new partnership with the city of Bradford, which will see us work with a host of partners across the city and wider region to place the arts at the heart of the community in the lead up to Bradford City of Culture 2025 and beyond. We believe the arts have the capacity to change lives, and I hope that this partnership and the many events, performances and activities that come out of it, alongside the work we will be doing with teachers and schools across the region, will inspire imaginations across this great city over the many years ahead.”


Royal Opera House Songs For Ukraine On Tour In Bradford photo

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