YPC returns from World Holocaust Forum 2020 in Israel

February 6, 2020

Last month, YPC and Artistic Director and Founder Francisco Núñez, were invited to represent America at the World Holocaust Forum, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The event took place at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin.

On January 23, YPC joined an international choir of singers from Royal Opera House in the U.K., the Opera Garnier/Bastille & Radio France; and the Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing” from Russia in a program of movements from Requiems by Mozart, Karl Jenkins, and Saint Saëns with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia conducted by renowned Maestro Vladimir Spivakov at Yad Vashem.

Francisco J. Núñez and choristers at Yad Vashem

The performance was attended by 46 world leaders, among them French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prince Charles from the U.K. and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from America, each of whom laid a wreath onstage, pledging “Never again is now.”

While in Israel, the singers visited various cities, had wonderful conversations with many of the people they met in their travels, and found their pre-conceptions of Israel completely changed.  Here is what one of the choristers said:

“Just as I have come to understand that Israel is just like any other country in that it has a rich culture and history and is a thriving society, I want people to understand how beautiful it truly is. As a nation, it is garners the love of its people, who are very proud of their country and who have a strong sense of nationalism. Israel’s history and culture are constantly intertwined as the old lives alongside the new. This is not something you see every day. And finally, the people in Israel are just like any other — they live their lives normally. But what makes them different is their genuine desire to help others who may or may not be different from them. I experienced this generosity firsthand many times.” – Iandra

In addition to rehearsals, YPC choristers filled their schedule with meaningful excursions, from swimming in the Dead Sea to food and graffiti tours and visiting the Old City.