They received standing ovations everywhere, they were the sound track of the Lincoln Center Global Exchange, they sang at the United Nations as well as for the Clinton Foundation and the royal family of Sweden. With their performances, they in effect bore witness to how art can be crucial in overcoming the barriers set by poverty and inequality.
In the heart of New York City, a crucible for the performing arts (from the Metropolitan Theatre to the American Ballet, and the Julliard School), the children of the Voices of Haiti were among the musical stars of a two-day meeting organized by the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts that brought to the attention of the world the relationship between philanthropy and art, and the importance of using the latter in overcoming conflicts and improving quality of life.
This was a prestigious first experience for the choir of the Voices of Haiti, who sang on the 15 September at the Alice Tully Hall. It was the result of an ambitious musical project of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation in collaboration with the St. Luc Foundation. This vocal group of sixty children was set up by selecting from among the over 12,000 students of Haiti’s schools, thanks to the program implemented by the Italian foundation which bears the name of the most beloved tenor in the world, together with the local partner mentioned above.
The United States tour of the children’s choir unfolded into a number of other events, which marked their first public appearance: Friday, September 16 (at 10 am), Voices of Haiti performed at the Headquarters of the United Nations, where they sang at the opening ceremony of the meeting “Solutions to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for Children,” sponsored by the Italian and Swedish Missions at the U.N. and organized by the USA World Childhood Foundation. The subject of the conference was both the protection of children from abuse and the role of education as a remedy and as a prevention strategy for healthy growth.
They later performed at Radio City Music Hall and took part – along with Maestro Andrea Bocelli – in the extraordinary show for Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday. On the same evening, Voices of Haiti performed at the fundraising Childhood Thank You Gala, in the presence of HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden. During the weekend, as an integral part of the project, some interdisciplinary initiatives were organized for the benefit of the choir singers, such as a private cruise around Manhattan, as far as the Statue of Liberty, and a theatre evening on Broadway to see the musical “The Lion King.” On Monday, September 19, they first spent the morning at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, founded by Tony Bennett, and then performed on the stage of the Metropolitan Ballroom, for the Clinton Global Citizen Awards in conjunction with the annual CGI 2016 Meeting organized by the Clinton Foundation.