I stand with Ukraine

Today’s post isn’t about music. It’s about what’s going on in Ukraine.

(Well, there will be music at the end, but I didn’t know that when I started writing.)

My parents were from Eastern Europe. My mother was from Estonia, one of the three Baltic countries that were occupied by the Soviet Union from 1940-1991. In fact, she escaped from Estonia during the second occupation of 1944 (there was a brief period where the Nazis were in charge) and fled to …. Germany.

I asked why Germany and not SWEDEN, to where a lot of Estonians had fled. Her answer was, “That’s the way the boat was going.”

Makes sense. I guess.

My dad was from Slovenia, which has a rather confusing history, but it was part of Yugoslavia beginning in 1918 and lasting until 1989. He had been held in an Italian prison camp until after the war was over, and went to Germany, where he met my mom in a DP camp.

That’s displaced persons. Displaced persons are defined as:

third-country national or stateless person who has had to leave their country or region of origin, or has been evacuated, particularly in response to an appeal by international organisations, and is unable to return in safe and durable conditions because of the situation prevailing in that country …. in particular:
(i) a person who has fled areas of armed conflict or endemic violence;
(ii) a person at serious risk of, or who has been the victim of, systematic or generalised violations of their human rights.

What it comes right down to is that my parents were refugees.

I know very little about my parents’ wartime experiences. They didn’t want to talk about them. I knew that my grandmother was raped and murdered by Communist soldiers and that my father found her dead. I didn’t know the circumstances under which this happened and how he found her until after he had died. It’s very graphic and horrific – let’s just say they guaranteed that she couldn’t run away. Or put up any kind of struggle.

(This explains why I wasn’t allowed to wear red as a child, when all I wanted was to wear a red plaid jumper on my first day of first grade. “What are you, a Communist?” “No, Daddy, I’m six.”)

So what does my family history have to do with Ukraine?

The people in Ukraine are fighting for their own sovereignty. Like the Estonians and the Slovenians and so many others, they fought hard for their independence, and gained it in 1991 when the Soviet Union fell.

Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe, after Russia.

If Putin can overcome Ukraine, what about the other countries?

What about the tiny little Baltic countries?

What about Poland? Or the Czech Republic?

Or all the countries that were swallowed up by the Soviet Union that gained their independence only a little over 20 years ago, after 70+ years of Soviet dominance?

What about the Russian people who are not being informed of what’s going on? Who are threatened with imprisonment for using the word “war” instead of “peacekeeping mission?” Who are being thrown into jail for protesting what’s going on?

I stand with Ukraine.

Not THE Ukraine, because that’s a region in the Soviet Union. Ukraine is a country, a sovereign country.

Flag against sky. estonian flag stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
And so is Estonia
Slovenia flag: its meaning, history and design – Lonely Planet
And so is Slovenia

Can’t we all just – let it go? (I had to make it about music SOMEHOW.)



Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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