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Music

Opera Gala: The stars speak out

Eleven international opera stars have blocked the day in their datebooks. They are performing at the Opera Gala of the AIDS Foundation in Bonn free of charge - and told DW why.

On May 9, the fourth annual Festive Opera Gala is being staged at the Bonn Opera. Together with the Chorus of the Bonn Theater and the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under the direction of Stefan Blunier, eleven young international opera stars are performing without pay. The proceeds go to the German AIDS-Foundation, which supports HIV-und AIDS-affected persons in Germany and abroad. Deutsche Welle is a media partner of the event. We asked several soloists why they decided to participate.

4. Bonner Operngala Sumi Hwang

Sumi Hwang

Sumi Hwang, soprano, South Korea:

I'm doing it because it's a beautiful thing. We get no payment but it's simply a great honor that I'm able to be here and to sing.

Roman Burdenko, baritone, Russia:

I'm participating in this charity concert for a double reason. Today is the 9th of May, the date of victory in the Second World War, and it's a day to help people suffering from AIDS. I always try to participate in concerts to help people with problems. It's not about money or material things. If culture is our instrument, we have to use it to help people.

Tenor Leonardo Caimi

Leonardo Caimi

Leonardo Caimi, tenor, Italy:

I'm so happy to lend my humble voice to this very important evening and for the ideas of the Foundation. I'm sure it will be a great evening.

Jessica Pratt, soprano, Australia:

I think it's important that we all try and help, spread the word and do whatever we can as singers and as artists. So when they asked me, I was very honored and pleased to be a part of it. I think this is an established charity, it's not something that just popped up overnight and it's got a trustworthy name, so that's important.

4. Bonner Operngala Solistin Manuela Uhl

Manuela Uhl

Manuela Uhl, soprano, Germany

I think it's a fabulous sign and a moving moment if you see what people from so many different nations can achieve if they have a common goal. So it's a great honor for me to be able to participate.

Maria Piscitelli, soprano, Italy:

It's very important to support the scientific research and to remind the people of this fundamental idea of humanity.

4. Bonner Operngala Solist Mario Chang

Mario Chang

Mario Chang, tenor, Guatemala:

I believe in the project. I believe in the meaning of this, and I think if I love what I do I can't put a price on it. That's why I do it for free because I believe in the cause and in what I do. I hope that in the concert we can open some hearts and minds and wallets also.

4. Bonner Operngala Solistin Lena Belkina

Lena Belkina

Lena Belkina, mezzo-soprano, Ukraine:

It's a great honor for me to have been invited by the German AIDS Foundation - because great artists are singing here and because we can do a good thing. We do it for the world, for the people. I know that music can heal, and I hope the people feel the beauty of music inside.

DW will broadcast a report on the 4th Festival Opera Gala in Bonn for the AIDS Foundation on May 11 in the television program "Euromaxx". The May 16 edition of "Sarah's Music" will be dedicated to the event as well. The complete program will be available als audio on demand in the broadcast Concert Hour from May 15-29.

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