The Royal Opera House Songs for Ukraine Chorus were delighted to meet the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, and Akshata Murty, during a visit to No.10 Downing Street.

In a special reception hosted by Mrs. Murty and Mrs. Zelenska, 30 representatives from the Songs for Ukraine Chorus performed the Ukrainian national anthem and the hymn, Prayer for Ukraine.

Established in spring 2023 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Chorus is made up of 130 Ukrainian people, a majority of whom have been displaced by the war. Created as part of the Royal Opera House’s Creative Exchange programme, the Chorus brings together Ukrainian singers to demonstrate the power of music to inspire hope and solidarity.

Solomiia Gavrilova, Songs for Ukraine Chorus Member, said:

‘Leaving Ukraine, I never could have imagined that I would be singing at Number 10 Downing Street, before meeting our First Lady. At such a poignant time, this has been a day I will never forget.’

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said:

‘We were absolutely delighted that Mrs. Zelenska and Mrs. Murty met with our wonderful Songs for Ukraine Chorus. Beginning as part of our Creative Exchange programme in 2022, the Chorus is a continuing example of the power of music to bring people together, and we were thrilled that Mrs. Zelenska and Ms. Murty were able to experience that firsthand.’

Having performed a series of successful concerts in London and Bradford this year, the Chorus are working towards a major performance this summer and are welcoming applications for new members.