French artist Laurent Ban (2nd L) receives an interview with Xinhua in Paris, France, March 3, 2020. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
PARIS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- An eye-catching music video popped up on renowned Chinese social media platform Weibo last week, in which 40 artists from France, Canada, Italy and other countries sing a song entitled "Together" to show their solidarity with and love for China and its people during this difficult time.
When hearing about the situation in China due to the virus, "I decided to do something," said Laurent Ban, a leading French musical actor and one of the co-sponsors of the project.
"There are great and experienced doctors in the world, especially in China, to fight the virus. But I'm a musician; I'm not a doctor," said the French artist, known for his role as the lead actor in musicals such as "Mozart L'Opera Rock," "Notre Dame de Paris" and "Don Juan."
"I thought to myself, what could I do as an artist to help the Chinese people, to show them that we are thinking about them?" he told Xinhua on Tuesday about how he began preparing a special song for the people of China.
Ban asked his team about the feasibility of his idea and received full support. He then contacted composer Christophe Houssein and explained his idea. Houssein composed the song and wrote the lyrics in just a few days.
"I wanted to write a song specifically for the Chinese people. I wrote this song to show there's hope and also to show people that we live on the same planet," said Houssein. "Even if Paris is 8,904 kilometers away from Wuhan, we are connected by our emotions."
Ban in turn got in touch with other artists he knew through different French-language musicals.
"I started to call my artist friends. I said, 'Guys would you help me for this? We can sing all together and tell our friends in China: We are together.' Most of them agreed. It was difficult to find a day when everyone could come. After some work with the schedule, I booked a good studio and we recorded the song," Ban said.
Altogether, the project involved 40 musical actors and actresses.
Chiara Di Bari, one of the artists who joined Ban, has lived in Beijing when she was a child.
She said "I understand very well that the first reaction is to be scared. But I think our mind and love is more powerful than fear."
"I believe the virus will be defeated. People all around the world are working on this. It will be defeated. Now we have to be together, as the song says," she added.
Since the music video for the song was posted on Weibo on Feb. 26, it has been viewed more than 1.7 million times.
"I'm from Hubei (the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China). This moved me to tears. I have such fond memories of the French musicals. I hope we can see each other again in Chinese theaters once the outbreak is over," one Weibo user commented on the video.
Ban travels a lot around the world for tours and musicals, usually spending months in China.
"It is the country where I went to the most during my career. I met a lot of people there. This is the first time in recent years that I'm not in China for the beginning of a new year," he said.
"I believe we will move on from this situation. And I will come back to China. Stay strong, Wuhan! Stay, strong China!" he added.