La Monnaie / De Munt LA MONNAIE / DE MUNT

La Monnaie in solidarity with Ukraine

Peter de Caluwe
Reading time
5 min.

La Monnaie is bringing lasting attention to the war in Ukraine and to its victims through several initiatives this winter.

With the mournful first anniversary of the war in Ukraine approaching, La Monnaie aims to keep this tragic and ruthless conflict, and its countless victims, in memory in the coming months. In solidarity but also as a warning that imperialist regimes are unfortunately still in our world.

© Pieter Claes
In view

The façade of La Monnaie, which is illuminated in the yellow and blue colours every night, has recently been adorned with a giant image of the theatre of Mariupol. That was completely destroyed on 16 March 2022 after an air raid, despite the fact that hundreds of people were sheltering in it at the time. Starting in January and during the performance run of Yevgeny Onegin, posters on the outer walls of La Monnaie will also give visibility to the destruction of Ukrainian architecture. Their ‘before and after’ poignantly shows how devastating this war is and the lasting scars it leaves.

It is a way of reminding us all of what is happening only 2000 kilometres from Brussels and is no longer unthinkable elsewhere. It’s also a reminder that the international artistic community is particularly vulnerable in these circumstances.

With music

La Monnaie has also scheduled the performance of the Piano Concerto No. 2 (for the left hand), by Ukrainian composer Sergei Bortkiewicz, during the concert on 19 February. It is performed by his compatriot Illia Ovcharenko, whose family in Chernihiv still faces the consequences of the war every day.

The programming of Reinhold Glière’s Symphony no. 3, named after Ukrainian ‘epic knight’ Ilya Muromets, is also a commemorative moment. The work, the key piece during the concert on 22 April, also raises the question of the recovery of artists by a particular regime, a discussion we are also keen to have during a public debate with European and Ukrainian intellectuals (date and info to follow in the coming weeks).

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