Songs of support: Seattle artists reach out to those who fled war-ravaged Ukraine


Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra will hold a benefit concert tonight, Monday, May 16.

Mezzo-soprano Olga Syniakova, who is in Seattle to perform The Marriage of Figaro, says the concert will feature a variety of beautiful music: “Different music. Different parts. It will be ballet, folk music, classical music.

At the benefit concert, the Ukrainian-born plans to sing Saint Saens’ “My Heart Opens to Your Voice”, an aria which she says has changed her life and put her on the world stage.

Now it takes on new meaning as she performs it in a benefit concert for artists in Ukraine, even as she worries about her parents who are still there.

“I’m scared because at night they often hear sirens.” For months, air raid sirens sent her parents and other Ukrainians rushing into bomb shelters.

“I’m still thinking all the time – I’m constantly thinking about my parents and what’s going on in Ukraine.”

Already performing on the international stage when Russia invaded Ukraine, she says the war initially left her petrified.

“I was frozen,” she said, wondering how she could help her country as an opera singer.

But she says it was during a performance that she was reminded of what so many artists innately know: “There I felt the power and meaning of art and music. .”

That’s why Ukrainian fighters – defiantly entrenched in a steel mill – were heard singing patriotic songs.

And a group of soldiers stand reverently as one picks up a violin to play the national anthem.

That’s why Olga wants to make sure Ukrainian artists can continue to send their messages to the world like Seattle musicians send theirs.

“The main message I would like to send to them is love. It is first to love each other,” she said.


Comments are closed.