A UKRANIAN choir which has been visiting Malvern for over 20 years will return this autumn, in spite of turmoil in its homeland.
The Boyan Ensemble of Kiev has been delighting music lovers with annual UK tours since 1992, but because of the unrest between Ukraine and Russia, life has been hard for the singers in recent months.
Members have been threatened with conscription into the army and have lost much of their livelihood as the national economy has collapsed.
Margarete Rolle, the choir's Malvern-based UK representative, said: “The dire financial situation is a huge burden as the singers struggle to provide for their families.
“Restaurants, shops and other businesses have been closing down, and many of the members have lost their supplementary jobs singing in restaurants or working in some other capacity including music teaching, which used to help them get by. They need this tour more than ever to earn some real money."
Boyan member Mykhailo Babych said: "We are impatient to perform to our many fans, especially in Malvern. The town is like home to us in the UK - it’s where we spend our days of rest, relax with friends, climb the hills and enjoy clean air.
"Life in Kiev is not easy - there are many refugees from the war zone. Public concerts are not many, apart from when we are asked to sing at state occasions like the recent Independence Day celebrations in Kiev’s Independence Square. We don’t want complain about our circumstances - we just want perform in the UK where there is much appreciation for our singing."
Because this year's tour has been arranged so quickly, the search is on for people who can put choir members up for the nights when they pass through Malvern.
Anyone who can provide bed and breakfast on Monday, October 6, and Tuesday, October. 21 is urged to call 01684 892343.
The ensemble is performing in Great Malvern Priory on Tuesday, October 21. Tickets (£15-£18) are available from Rhubarb, 23 Church Street.