As the world continues to watch in horror at the devastating horrors of Russia’s war on Ukraine, New Yorkers and Broadway stars gathered together Sunday to lend their voices to people fighting for freedom against an invading dictator’s forces.
Startling, heartbreaking images continue to flood in from Russia’s attack on the sovereign Eastern European country, including that of civilian bodies littering the war-torn landscape, children blinded by shrapnel, and mothers using their bodies as shields for their babies.
In an effort to inspire hope, several Broadway stars and conductors gathered in Times Square on April 3 at Father Duffy Square and sang their hearts out. Standing defiantly in the pouring rainfall, the men and women of New York’s great white way clutched onto Ukrainian flags as they belted out a rendition of “Do You Hear The People Sing?” from Les Misérables.
This song has special significance, referencing the French Revolution and the protests against being silence as they fight for their freedom. It was Broadway’s way of telling the world to listen to the will of the Ukrainian people, as well as their fight and plea for aid.
The #Broadway community joined in song to support #Ukraine by performing a moving rendition of “Do you hear the people sing?” From Les Misérables @TimesSquareNYC #UkraineRussiaWar #UkraineUnderAttack pic.twitter.com/oG45ITx7bu
— Dean_Moses (@Dean_Moses) April 3, 2022
The Ukrainian colors filled the jumbo screens for a few moments, as hundreds of spectators listened to the group sing: “Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!”
Annastasia Victory was born in Ukraine, and she is an internationally acclaimed pianist and conductor, currently working on MJ: The Musical. Victory has watched her country suffer from afar and says the heartbreak she feels is indescribable as she learns of the unnecessary pain the citizens are undergoing.
“It was wonderful to see so many people come together even in the weather like this to convey such a great message, and to do something about it because we are all feeling the tension and the sorrow that’s happening right now in the world,” Victory said.
“I think that it is important for, especially the Broadway community, to come together to show our support,” Victory said, “People are dying unnecessarily, and I wish that we can all do more.”