London charity auction raises more than £600,000 in aid of the “Gift of Life” charity
On 16 January, the sister Gift of Life foundation organised a charity concert and auction to raise money in support of Russian children suffering from cancer. These were attended, among others, by the British actor Vanessa Redgrave and fellow actor Dina Korzun, co-founder of Gift of Life. The other co-founder, actor Chulpan Khamatova, acted out a duet with the actor Ralph Fiennes, best known to Russian audiences for his role as Lord Voldemort in the series of Harry Potter films. Actors recited lines and famous sonnets from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the music of Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet played by the Musica Aeterna orchestra, conducted by Teodor Currentzis.
“Being here today on the same stage as this amazing orchestra and Teodor himself has been an unforgettable gift for me. It’s a real privilege to be able to support Chulpan, Dina and all of you here today who do so much to help children”, said Redgrave.
“It’s a great honour to help the Gift of Life charity and be a witness to the wonderful work they’re doing”, said Fiennes. This evening’s theme is one of love and, of course, life, which we’ve experienced through the work of two great artists, Prokofiev and Shakespeare, and together we’ve been able to help children. Thank you all so much for your support!”
A charity auction took place after the concert. Among the guests were the actress Olga Kurylenko; patron of Gift of Life Princess Catherine Galitzine; the writer Mikhail Zhvanetsky; the ballerina Natalia Osipova; the actor Charlotte Carroll and the artist Erik Bulatov. The conductor, Teodor Currentzis, provided several auction lots, one of which was a trip to the Salzburg music festival, including dinner with the festival’s President and a walk with the conductor himself. This particular lot was purchased by a philanthropist for £19,000.
The sum of £50,000 was paid for Chulpan Khamatova’s 2017 diary, which included autographs of many of her fellow artistes and friends. Natalia Osipova put forward her own auction lot, namely a ticket to see the ballet Sleeping Beauty performed by the London Royal Ballet Company, as well as a tour of the theatre. This was purchased for £20,000.
All money raised will go to Gift of Life to help with the diagnosis and treatment of thousands of children with oncohematological and other serious illnesses.
A recording of the charity concert can be seen on the Gift of Life channel on YouTube.