Odessa Opera House Members Sing & Prepare for Attack

By Francisco Salazar

As the city of Odessa prepares to be attacked by the Russian army, members of the Odessa Opera Company joined volunteers in building barricades and sandbag walls to protect the city.

This month the Odessa Opera House was set to perform Verdi’s “Aida” and “Il Trovatore,” and Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” but all performances were canceled due to the unprovoked war.

Now singers are currently undergoing training in first aid and learning how to use a rifle.

Additionally, throughout the week, many singers and musicians are performing concerts in front of the opera house to give comfort to the citizens. Just this past day members of the company performed the national anthem in front of tank traps set up to protect their opera building while the chorus performed “Va Pensiero” from Verdi’s “Nabucco.”

Earlier in the week, a Ukrainian naval band played “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” outside the concert venue.

The opera house has been described as the city’s “cultural heart” as it is a prominent part of the city. On social media, a picture of the house has been shared that shows how the opera house had previously set up barricades during World War II in 1942.

The company has also been active on social media sharing pictures of the company members performing, sending messages of hope, and requesting help to “close the sky.”