Sat, 14 Jan|
St Stephen's Church, Exeter
Ukrainian Songs of Christmas & Epiphany by Word and Voice Theatre Centre
Ukraine's Word and Voice returns to the UK. In this lunchtime pray-concert the will share songs from across Ukraine that celebrate the coming light of the new world and the strength of faith for the defence of liberty, independence and peace. All donations go to support the Keep the Heat On campaign
Time & Location
14 Jan 2023, 13:00 – 14:00
St Stephen's Church, Exeter, High St, Exeter EX4 3LW, UK
About the event
Songs of Christmas and Epiphany
Word and Voice Theatre Centre, Lviv, Ukraine at St Stephen's Church, Exeter
14 January 2023
From the darkness comes the light. A moment of sudden and great revelation is manifested. As Ukraine is besieged and terrorized by Russia’s brutal and targeted attack on its infrastructure, this winter is as dark and cold as it can get. But we gather to celebrate the human spirit and the strength of faith found in the ancient songs.
Ukraine’s Word and Voice Theatre Centre returns to the UK with its new concert of Christmas songs and Epiphany Irmos - spiritual hymns the Centre has reconstructed from 16th century manuscripts held in the Vasyl Stefanyk library in Lviv.
The holy revelation of the Christmas and Epiphany season is brought to life through this cycle of ancient hymns and spiritual songs. This concert-performance is not just preservation, but reinvigoration of Ukraine’s cultural heritage. The sacred texts live in us all, the performers and the audience, and through their voicing the Holy Light contained in them brings flashes of awareness of a new-born world.
Through this concert-performance we remember the language of festive prayer once used by our ancestors and recognise it as a distant echo of our own voice. A cry for the Holy Light today and a baptism of healing sound. A sudden flash that all can be peace, all can be returned to us. Living today through our joyful hymns, let us awaken again our hearts to wonder and delight.
Lviv’s Word and Voice Theatre were last in Devon in August with their transcendent ‘Irmos for Ukraine’. Since then, they have continued to preserve and revitalise Ukraine’s cultural heritage while remaining an essential space for internally displaced Ukrainians as well as fundraising and providing necessary supplies for the people of Ukraine during these tumultuous months.
With the support of English patrons, Word and Voice have over the last four months created two new performances in Lviv in which displaced persons, widows, mothers of fallen soldiers have directly participated – ‘Under the Pear. Singing the marathon of peace’ and ‘For their own’. They have also launched a new theatre singing workshop for migrant children and continued their work on a new performance project about the famous 19th century Ukrainian philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda, ‘Garden of Divine Songs. Skovoroda.’ The first performance of the project premeired in December on the 300th anniversary of the philosopher's birth.
With the onset of cold weather, Russia began to launch massive missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian power plants. Along with the rest of Ukraine, Word and Voice found themselves in the dark and cold. They bought a metal stove, firewood and a generator, and continued their work. They also became one of the "heating points" in the city of Lviv.
As the Russian state continues to target Ukraine’s infrastructure, the Devon Ukrainian Association and Word and Voice are using this tour to raise funds for the Keep the Heat On campaign. All ticket sales and donations will fight the weaponisation of winter and the crimes against humanity committed by Russia through the continued heating of the Centre and its purchasing of essential supplies for the people of Lviv and Ukraine.