Hans Zimmer pays tribute to Ukraine musicians during London stage return
Hans Zimmer was joined by members of the Odessa Opera Orchestra for his show at the O2 arena in London (James Manning/PA)
PA Wire/PA Images - James Manning

Hans Zimmer paid tribute to the “real wonder women” in his orchestra who fled Ukraine and joined him for his tour as he returned to the London stage.

The Oscar-nominated composer was joined by members of the Odessa Opera Orchestra for his show at the O2 arena, where they were met by a standing ovation from the audience.

Half of the orchestra still remains in Ukraine so the players currently on the tour are being supported by fellow musicians from all over Europe who will be temporarily filling the gaps in the ensemble.

Hans Zimmer concertThe composer on stage at the O2 (James Manning/PAPA Wire/PA Images - James Manning

Addressing the packed arena, Zimmer said: “London, we meet again. 885 days ago we were supposed to come over here and do this and a few things have happened in that time.

“Bloody hell, the world has changed in many ways. And one of the things that is so important about music and all the people up here is we had enough of the social distancing, we want to bring all of us together without getting sick.

“But when Covid stopped us from coming 885 days ago we booked our orchestra from the Ukraine, from Odessa, and we only managed to get ten people out.”

Introducing the theme from his score for the superhero film Wonder Woman, he added: “I don’t want this to be a concert about politics, I don’t want this to be a complete downer, I want this to be what music is supposed to be, to bring us together, let us celebrate something.

Hans Zimmer concertZimmer was joined by musicians from Ukraine (James Manning/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - James Manning

“One of the things which I thought was remarkable about the people that we did bring out of the Ukraine, and the people that were left behind from the orchestra, was it was a lot of women and I know this is a really corny non-sequitur type of thing, but they taught me who the real wonder women are.

“So if you don’t mind I would like to celebrate them with a little ditty called Wonder Woman.”

During the three hour show, Zimmer also treated fans to his music from films including Gladiator, Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Dark Knight, Interstellar and The Lion King, as well as a rousing finale of his score from James Bond film No Time To Die and mind-bending thriller Inception.

The musician, who has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won one, is widely tipped to win another Oscar on Sunday night for his score from the sci-fi blockbuster Dune, which also featured in the show.

His tour, Hans Zimmer Live, continues in Europe until the end of April.

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