2 h. 30 min..

Opera in 2 acts, 5 scenes, prologue and epilogue

Libretto B.Stelmach

Language: original language


Mykhailo Dutchak People’s Artist of Ukraine


Zbignev Khshanovskyi Honored artist of Poland


Sergyj Naenko Honored Artist of Ukraine


Tadey Ryndzak People's Artist of Ukraine

Mykhailo Ryndzak People's Artist of Ukraine

Художник костюмів

Oksana Zinchenko Honored Artist of Ukraine


Vasyl Koval Winner of Ukrainian competition


Poet speaks to the people, which moan in the yoke of slavery “as a paralytic on the cross-road”. Poet asks difficult question:
“Was it in vain that so many hearts burnt
with sacred love offering you their body and soul?
And then answers affirmatively:
“Oh no! Your destiny is no tears and sighs alone!
I believe in the strength of your spirit and
in the resurrection day of your rising”.

Act 1

Scene 1

Desert in Sinai. Morning. Jehoshua wakes up his beloved Lia with tender words. Nearby small children are building sand houses. This game amazes the young couple, because children have seen nothing but desert. They play in the “city”. The word “city” “got in the blood and soul of the kids” as a dream.
Aviron and Datan approach with their supporters. They reproach Moses and his followers for the sore trials and the endless road.
“Where is the splendid Promised Land
Moses has been speaking about for 40 years?
Prophets lied! In the desert we shall live and die! How long?”
Moses’s followers are dreaming about happy life in the Promised Land:
“There are deep leafy forests and green grass.
Prosperity and fame are waiting there for us!”
An ardent word duel between opponents nearly turns into a fight.

Scene 2

Moses comes out of a tent. He answers that leading people to Palestine, he executes Jehovah’s will.
Moses tells the fairy tale about trees which were electing their king. The proud Lebanese cedar and a splendid palm-tree and a tender birch refused. Only a blackthorn took this heavy duty.
“I shall gain a field for you, though I need none,
and I shall trail down for you to reach the sky!”
Moses compares the blackthorn’s actions with modesty of people chosen by God “to be a light in the darkness”.
Aviron objects such interpretation. He mocks at Moses and threatens him. Moses is in despair. He leaves and his opponents begin the ceremony of worshiping of the Golden Calf and then departure to the East.

Act 2

Scene 1

Desert. Moses is deep in his thoughts. He appeals to God, so that God listens to his prayers and gives answer to his doubts which torment his soul.
“Forty years I toiled and taught trying
to make nation out of slaves!
But I got only mockery and stones…”
Azazel, an evil spirit, appears. He increases Moses’s spiritual confusion.
“What if the voice which inspired
you for that unhappy quest was not
one of God but that of your own?”
Moses objects strongly. He ascends the mountains and prays raising his hands. People see him in conversation with God and are afraid of God’s punishment for violation of His Commandments.

Scene 2

The ghost of his mother approaches to Moses. She pities her son and advises not to trust Jehovah. Moses cannot listen to this…
“No love in your words I see, only despair.
Hold off, the demon of darkness!”
But Johaveda continues her advance – now together with Azazel. This terrific duet brings Moses to despair.
“Alas to my misfortune, shall my people ever
be free from slavery? Jehovah cheated us!”

Scene 3

Jehovah’s voice addressing Moses is heard over the desert.
“Your doubt shall be punished,
your eyes will see Promised Land,
but your feet will never step in,
your bones will rot here”.
Terrible storm smashes Moses off. People are mourning him:
“That was giving sense to very life
and brought light and warmth has vanished”.
Crowd led by Jehoshua and Lia enters. Aviron and Datan are condemned to death. The rest are convinced that they will reach the goal Moses led them to and will reach the Promised Land.


Poet is convinced of the happy future of his people:
“The time will come and 
you will shine among the free people,
around the world from Caucasus to Beskids,
through sees and oceans you’ll send a voice
of freedom and will live free
in own house and work on own land”.

About show
Короткий опис

Opera “Moses” composed by M. Skoryk is the only musical and theatrical work of art, which for the first time in the history of independent Ukraine was financed by Vatican and received a papal blessing during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ukraine (June 23, 2001).  The opera libretto is based on Ivan Franko poem of the same name. Like the literary source, the opera “Moses” is not only about the universal symbol of the prophet, who freed his people from slavery by God Providence, it is also about the history of Ukraine, about its future, about the desire of our people “to get out of slavery, to pull it out of hearts”.

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print*The theater reserves the right to replace performers
11 September 2017
print*The theater reserves the right to replace performers