Six months ago Khrystyna Makar was taking the world by storm as she performed on some of the world's most prestigious concert halls and opera platforms.

But earlier this year her life and career were thrown into turmoil after Russian troops invaded her home country of Ukraine.

Seven weeks ago the world-renowned soprano fled to the UK where she and her two young sons gained sanctuary at Urdd Gobaith Cymru's residential camp at Llangrannog.

“Yes, it’s been extremely difficult, but we want to show the world what the people of Ukraine are like,” she said.

“We want to show that Ukraine will persevere, survive, succeed and come back victorious in the end.”

Born in Lviv in western Ukraine, Khrystyna discovered her passion for music, particularly singing, as a very young child.

“The way in which music is taught in Eastern Europe is very intense and full-on but I loved it,” she explains.

After being awarded a Master’s degree in voice at the Lviv National Music Academy, she completed her studies with Alexander Vostryakov at the Kyiv National Opera and Olga Pasichnyk at the Polish Royal Opera.

READ MORE: 'We saw the human cost of conflict': Newport man on trip to Ukraine

She then embarked on a career which took her to some of the world’s greatest concert halls such as Vienna,  Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Munich, and Geneva and performed under the baton of prominent conductors such as Lorenzo Castriota, Ferdinando Nazzaro, Mattias Georg Kedlinger, Georg Kugi.

“I hope very much that one day we’ll be able to return to Ukraine but the way we’ve been accepted here in Wales and the way we’ve been supported by the Welsh government has been wonderful. My boys, who are 12 and 16, really enjoy it here and we’re meeting some very positive, good people."

Later this summer Khrystyna will be auditioning with the Welsh National Opera with the hope that her singing career can continue.

“There’s no doubt that the war is having an effect on the way I’m delivering my music," she said.

"Once again I want to use it to show people the strength and determination of the people of Ukraine.

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“And just as it’s always been since I was a child, music continues to be so, so important to my life. This is what’s keeping me going at the moment.”

Local audiences will have an opportunity to hear Khrystyna later this summer when she performs at Rhosygilwen. The concert, which takes place on August 10, will be a Ukrainian evening of classical and folk music.

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