Romanian opera star Gheorghiu to perform in aid of New York's Met musicians

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Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu has announced she will lend her voice to help the musicians of New York's Metropolitan Opera (Met), deprived of their pay because of virus-related cancellations of their shows.

"On February 21, through the wonders of technology, I will perform for you Dvorak's 'Song to the Moon' and Anton Pann's 'Tatal Nostru' (Our Father) in a special arrangement by (composer) Andrei Tudor," she wrote on Facebook late Sunday.

Considered one of the world's greatest opera singers, Gheorghiu, 55, will perform in Bucharest alongside pianist Alexandru Petrovici, to the accompaniment of the Met Orchestra from New York.

Tickets for the performance, which can be watched online, have gone on sale for $15 (12.5 euros).

Gheorghiu said the proceeds would "benefit over 150 Met musicians in need".

In an interview with the Romanian channel Digi24, Gheorghiu said that the musicians "had not received their salaries for a year and were in a very difficult situation".

The soprano rejected the term "charity concert", stressing that she felt a "human and professional need" to support the cause.

"An artist is important only alongside one's artistic family," she said. "Without an orchestra or choir we cannot do anything."

Gheorghiu will perform for the recital in Bucharest's elegant Athenaeum concert hall, built by the French architect Albert Galleron and inaugurated in 1888.

"This is my cathedral," Gheorghiu said of the venue, recalling that she gave her first recital there at the age of 17.

The Met's general manager Peter Gelb told AFP in September that his institution was going through "the most difficult period" in 137 years of existence.

The last eight weeks of the 2019-20 season and the whole of the following one have been cancelled, which is expected to result in a shortfall of $154 million.

(AFP)