Three months ahead of the European Elections, Europa Nostra and its President Plácido Domingo renew their call for participation in the #Ode2Joy Challenge as a way of celebrating our shared cultural heritage and European values. For Europe Day on 9 May 2019, all citizens in Europe and beyond are invited to take up this challenge. Plácido Domingo has set the tone by releasing his own enthusiastic contribution to the #Ode2Joy Challenge.
The video was recorded in the historic Opera theatre of Sao Carlos in Lisbon, Portugal, during the rehearsals for the final gala evening of the 2018 Operalia’s World Opera Competition. Maestro Domingo conducted a brief performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” sang by a powerful chorus of 40 rising opera stars coming from 22 different countries in and beyond the European continent.
“It made me very happy to see the creativity and passion put into so many different contributions to our #Ode2Joy Challenge during the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018. From renowned artists, choral ensembles and orchestras, to enthusiastic citizens of all ages, all were inspiring and sometimes very funny. Above all, they communicated something we have in common: a belief in our shared values and a love for our shared cultural heritage,” said Plácido Domingo.
Since 9 May 2018, over 130 contributions to the #Ode2Joy Challenge have been filmed at heritage sites and shared online from over 25 countries across Europe and beyond (e.g. by Maltese Tenor Joseph Calleja, Portuguese Fado singer Katia Guerreiro, the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, or the European Union Youth Orchestra as well as by civil society organisations, such as ERIH (European Route of Industrial Heritage), E-FAITH (European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage), or the European Historic Houses Association.
The relaunch of the #Ode2Joy Challenge was announced on the occasion of the “Civil Society for rEUnaissance” event organised one week ago in Brussels by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and its President Luca Jahier. During the musical intermezzo, a most creative #Ode2Joy Challenge contribution by “Euphonia” was for the first time performed live by Valentina Volpe Andreazza and her team of creative artists from Milan (Italy).
The Presidents of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the European Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, took part in this EESC event, as well as numerous representatives from European Movements and Civil Society Organisations.
Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic was one of the six inspirational speakers at the event, the only one coming from the wider field of culture. On this occasion, she stated: “At a time when Europe is facing important societal and political challenges, let’s not forget that Europe is first and foremost a project of peace and a project of culture, a community of citizens with a shared cultural heritage! For us, Beethoven’s and Schiller’s Ode to Joy is both a symbol and an inspiration for the necessary mobilisation of citizens for the future of Europe.”