Ukrainian and Russian opera stars in emotional embrace after performance

As the Russia-Ukraine war escalates, two opera singers from opposing countries hug in a symbolic embrace
As the Russia-Ukraine war escalates, two opera singers from opposing countries hug in a symbolic embrace   -   Copyright  AP Photo
By Theo Farrant  & AP

Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska and Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova hugged at the end of their performance of "Aida" at the San Carlo Theatre in Naples, Sunday evening.

Monastyrska, 46, was born in Irkliiv, in central Ukraine, while Gubanova is from Moscow.

As they hugged, in a symbolic gesture of peace and friendship, the stars were applauded by the audience, and shouts of "peace, peace, peace."

Many institutions across the cultural landscape have expressed opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The sails of the Sydney Opera House were lit up in blue and yellow to show solidarity with Ukraine.

A prominent contemporary art museum called Garage in Moscow announced Saturday it was halting its work on exhibitions and postponing them "until the human and political tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine has ceased."

The mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, recently decided to suspend Russian director Valery Gergiev from leading the La Scala opera house orchestra, as he failed to condemn Russia's invasion.

Check out the video above to see this heartwarming moment.

Video editor • Theo Farrant