The Gala of Hope for Children of Ukraine took place at Tonhalle Zürich, on the 18th of June 2017 at 5 pm. The house was filled with a vibrant atmosphere (feedback from the public, who describe themselves as regular Tonhalle visitors). There were 534 tickets sold and only 14 tickets left one minute before the Gala started. At 4 pm the arriving guests entered an elegantly decorated foyer and were very interested in looking at the exhibition and informing themselves about the paintings donated by the artists and sold for the benefit of the charity in the Ukraine. The theme of these paintings were children portraits. Ukrainian children of the Helping Hand therapy program have painted their visions and emotions in colorful paintings which were also sold and given to the auction taking place in the intermission and after the performance. All funds raised through these fringe events went towards the charity HOPE worldwide Ukraine and their initiative ‘Helping Hand for Ukraine’, offering psychosocial help to children affected by war.
After a year of planning, attracting and engaging the artists, financing the production cost, organizing the logistics of the exhibition in the foyer and the event, the Gala of Hope took place on a very sunny summer day.
The Artists: Many of the artists that performed are some of the best in their field.
They offered their talent to support the children in Ukraine. Every dance piece was played live, which gave a flow through the program.
The instrumental ensemble accompanied the Ballet and Opera highlights in an excellent manner. The first concertmaster of the Opera House Zürich, Bartek Niziol guided the ensemble with his experience and sensibility.
The two Opera stars, Vesselina Kasarova and Malin Hartelius, engaged the public with their warmth, playfulness and of course their mastery.
The Gala of Hope aims to raise funds to support children affected by hostilities in Eastern Ukraine. All the income will be given to the Helping Hand international relief project, organized by the non-political and worldwide active HOPE worldwide Ukraine charity foundation.
- Vesselina Kasarova: "Artists are very sensitive people who are touched by such sad themes. It is self-evident that I am committed to charity activities. When I was free and on the spot, I always gladly and voluntarily participated. For I am very glad to help with this indirect way, and I feel particularly well connected as a mother of an eighteen-year-old son."
- Arman Grigoryan, Ballet Soloist: “To be able help people in need with Art is privilege. I am honored to be able to do so.”
- Anna Khamzina, Ballet Soloist: "Dancing is what I do. For me it's an easy thing to do. It's a small thing that I can do, but I hope it will bring a lot of help for children in need."
- Ruslan Lutsyk, Bassist: “One does, what one can do.”
In May 2013 the Ensemble u l t r a S c h a l l, led by Julia Medugno, took part in the Easter Festival “Lord through thy strength”, performing the German Requiem of J. Brahms with 10 contemporary dancers in the “Tchaikovsky Hall” of the National Music Academy in Kiev. Unfortunately, due to the hostilities in 2014, the valuable collaboration could not be continued. The sudden interruption of the collaboration with our Ukrainian partners made us aware of the serious consequences of the military actions on children and their parents. As we could no longer continue the artistic collaboration, I, Julia Medugno decided to help them by organizing a music and dance gala in cooperation with HOPE worldwide Ukraine and their programme Helping Hand.
u l t r a S c h a l l, as a non-profit organization without a political purpose, seeks to support Hope worldwide, through the Gala of Hope, in providing humanitarian aid and psychological assistance to ‘the world’s most poor, sick and suffering’. This year, we will focus our efforts on the project Helping Hand in the Ukraine. In the future, we wish to organize charity galas for other affected areas of the world.