By David Drake
After effectively winning the hearts of many with Voices of Light, his #oratorio written to accompany Carl Theodor Dryer’s 1928 silent film “The Passion of Joan of Arc”, Richard Einhorn is writing a new composition more personal to him with a brand new palette of musical theme and shades.
Einhorn wishes to write his latest oratorio to speak of the political situations both in and between #russia and Ukraine and the heartbreaking shoot-down of Malaysian Airline Flight 17. This composition will be a serious work commemorating a great tragedy. Einhorn said the piece will focus on the endurance, not of nations, but of people; the strength of people to survive in a time of tremendous strife and to provide a more encouraging and compassionate world for themselves, and especially for the generations to come.
Einhorn is concerned about these political and war conditions in Russia and Ukraine and, as someone whose grandparents hail from Ukraine, he has a personal interest in the region. He wishes to write music that speaks to the current situation: the universal desire for an end to strife and the creation of a stable society where all individuals can express themselves freely and be able to thrive.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said “May the memory of the innocent victims be eternal and immortalized through the noble work of art, such as Richard Einhorn’s oratorio!”
“This crime against humanity must never be forgotten, here or throughout the world….It was an act of barbarism, born of a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life and seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations….They owe the world an apology and an offer to join the rest of the world in working out a system to protect against this ever happening again….Let us have faith in Abraham Lincoln’s words, ‘that right makes might, and in that faith let us, to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.’ If we do, if we stand together and move forward with courage, then history will record that some good did come from this monstrous wrong that we will carry with us and remember for the rest of our lives.”
Christina Snylyk, the producer of this project, says, “I approached Richard to compose this new work as he has the perfect sensibility and, of course, skill to execute a very appropriate, moving tribute to commemorate the souls lost in this tragic, ongoing war, especially the 298 passengers from many nations massacred when Flight MH17 was shot down. By memorializing their deaths in particular, Einhorn’s work will serve to remind us that the larger context of the crash of MH17 is the universal, eternal struggle against oppression which at this particular moment in history we are seeing played out so intensely in Ukraine.”
The committee includes Tony Award Winner Nina Arianda; the Australian Ambassador to United States, Kim Beazley; R. Hunter Biden; Rabbi Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine and Kyiv; the Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer; Chrystia Freeland, Member of Canadian Parliament; Her Excellency Tetiana Izhevska, Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See; 2010 Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa; Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations; His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; and James Temerty, CM of Northland Power Inc. I am also a member of this committee.
Proceeds from the premiere, as well as subsequent performances and a recording will be used to help Ukrainian children orphaned by the current war, in memory of the children who died in the MH17 tragedy. The raised funds will be donated to Help Us Help the Children-USA Inc., a tax exempt charity working with Ukraine’s war orphans, which is also acting as the Oratorio Project’s fiscal sponsor.
Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj, Founder and Director of Help Us Help the Children (HUHTC), said “It is difficult for the majority of North Americans and Europeans to comprehend the true meaning of war. We see movies, we read about war in newspapers and social media such as Facebook and watch images on the news. However, for me, personally, as a volunteer working in Ukraine for over twenty years with orphan children, war has become reality. The definition of this new war fueled by Russia, is seeing the number of orphaned children and widows who visit our “Help Us Help the Children” camps and Rehab. Retreats in Ukraine increase, watching the constant fear in their eyes, especially if they are from the front line war torn zone, trying to understand their hurt and agony, and consoling grief stricken children whose fathers died defending their country, and feeling the pain of children who have been displaced and lost all comforts of home.”
She further said, “The senseless destruction of the Malaysian Airlines flying over Ukraine, with almost 300 victims was yet another horrific and tragic casualty of Russia’s aggression. For us, all the above are just statistics, but for many living in Ukraine, despair, hunger, loneliness, physical and mental trauma, anger, depression have become a way of daily living. We, in countries that respect rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy have an obligation to never forget the less privileged. They must not become the forgotten victims of a senseless war. If we allow this to happen , then we are as guilty as the aggressors.”
As Christina Snylyk states:”The world should remember the tragedy of MH17 by a glorious work of music that will forever commemorate those who died that day over Ukraine and those who continue to die in her defense: a country struggling for the chance to embrace the values of Western democracy. Most importantly, the oratorio will forever memorialize all the victims of this conflict in a special way, and hopefully lead to healing and peace among all.”
For more information and to support The MH17 Einhorn Oratorio Project, please contact Christina Snylyk at email@example.com
Follow David Drake on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DavidDrakeVC
Note: This article first appeared on HuffingtonPost July 17, 201