During the interval of Verdi’s Ernani, members from OBV organised to sell badges to raise money for providing aid to Ukraine. I am so proud of my colleagues for coming up with this initiative. I helped out by giving my break time during some of the performances to sell the badges. They were for sale on a “pay whatever you want” basis, and I was so touched at how generous our audiences were. Most people gave to us and were grateful for the opportunity to be able to support our cause. Across our thirteen performance nights in Antwerp and Ghent, we managed to raise a 5 digit sum towards the cause.
So what will the money be used for? My understanding is that the money will be shared with the local Ukrainian refugee community here in Antwerp, and that they will distribute it directly to those most in need. They have cars that are driving to the worst affected areas in Ukraine, and they will be taking supplies over there - food, clothing, medical aid. Directly to those in need. I get quite emotional thinking about it. I have felt so helpless watching the news. It’s nice to feel like I have actually been able to contribute to providing some relief to those worst affected.
It really is thanks to my colleague from the chorus Els who has masterminded everything. She really is such a caring, charitable, and action taking person. Really inspiring to me.
Her next plan is to organise a concert in the Ghent Lully Zaal. I am now learning my music for it. We have a small chamber group from the choir performing some choral songs in 3 different languages. I hope that it is a great success, maybe see you in the audience?
Jennifer Coleman - is a classical / opera singer, and vocal coach, performing across the UK and internationally.