150 Performers Join Forces for Message of Hope from Opera ‘PUSH’

By David Salazar

Several opera stars from Belgium and the UK have joined forces to send an online message of optimism and hope in honor of the heroes of the Belgian Resistance.

Over 150 musicians recorded themselves in their living rooms singing the finale of the opera “PUSH,” the choral number “Ma Vie n’est que Miracles.” Among those performing in the clip are soloists James Newby, Sheva Tehoval, and Ivan Ludlow. The recordings were then edited and mixed together to create one massive musical feast set for release on April 18.

“PUSH” is a community opera for a large chorus of adult singers and children, that tells the story of one fateful night when three young men from the Belgian Resistence raided a Nazi train convoy carrying 1,600 Jewish deportees to Auschwitz; as a result of their efforts, 238 men, women, and children jumped off the train and were saved. Among those escapees was Simon Gronowski, an 11-year-old boy who was main inspiration for the story.

“PUSH” was first performed in 2016 at the Battle Festival and in 2019, it became the first opera to be performed in The House of Commons at The Speaker’s House to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. It was also performed at La Monnaie in the presence of King Phillippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. Gronowski has attended every performance of the opera, which has appeared in four productions to date.