“Vulnerable children always have been the pain in my heart and I have been trying my best to help them, as millions of other people are doing.”
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Maria Guleghina, the world celebrated soprano, is also known for her support of charitable causes for children, frequently performing in fundraising events. On 12 February 2009, Ms. Guleghina was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for children.
"To make a real difference to all children, we have to unite. I am thrilled to be working with UNICEF to help the children of the world who are impacted by poverty, hunger or caught in conflict – and whose voices must be heard," she said upon her appointment.
Throughout her career, the singer has been involved in children’s causes, frequently giving charity concerts on their behalf. For example, she has raised funds for survivors of the earthquake in Armenia, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the Beslan school terrorist attack and for street children in Moscow.
Ms. Guleghina is one of several participating artists for Music of Life Foundation, which offers opportunities to musically gifted children with disabilities and special needs. Children are fully integrated into performances, playing in the orchestra and singing with the professional choirs; the UNESCO World Children’s Choir, for example, has performed with Ms. Guleghina. UNESCO is a strong supporter of the foundation.
Ms. Guleghina was engaged by UNICEF to perform, along with other artists, in a concert on Child Protection Day in June 2007 in Moscow. The singer became very involved in organizing the event and delivered a rousing performance.
Maria Guleghina was born in Odessa, Ukraine. She has appeared with the world’s leading singers and conductors and performed in major opera houses including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s La Scala, London’s Royal Opera and the Paris Opera.
Among Ms. Guleghina’s various musical prizes are the Giovanni Zanatello Prize for her debut at the Arena di Verona, the Maria Zamboni Gold Medal, the 1999 Gold Medal at the Osaka Festival, the 2001 Bellini Prize and the Arte e Operosita nel mondo prize from Milan.
Other honours are the Orden of Holy Olga, the Highest Orden of the Russian Orthodox Church by Patriarch Alexis of Russia. In 2006, she was appointed on the Honorary Board of the International Paralympics Committee.
Maria Guleghina lives in Luxembourg.