Opera

Moses

M. Skoryk
Moses
opera in 2 acts
2 h. 30 min.

Libretto by Bohdan Stelmakh and Myroslav Skoryk based on the poem of the same name by Ivan Franko

Lviv Opera commissioned the opera Moses to the Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the theatre. A two-act opera with a prologue and an epilogue or a stage parable, as it is sometimes called, has synthesized the leading ideas of Franko’s work i.e. the interpretation of the biblical plot and the allegory of self-awareness of the Ukrainian nation.

On October 31, the opera will be performed under the baton of guest conductor Andrii Yurkevych (Ukraine-Italy). The leading role of Moses will be played by guest soloist, bass of National Opera of Ukraine (Kyiv) Serhiy Magera.

Sung in Ukrainian

Stages
Диригент-постановник

Mykhailo Dutchak People's аrtist of Ukraine

Режисер-постановник

Zbignev Khshanovskyi Honored artist of Poland

Балетмейстер-постановник

Sergyj Naenko Honored Artist of Ukraine

Художники-постановники

Tadey Ryndzak People's Artist of Ukraine

Mykhailo Ryndzak People's Artist of Ukraine

Художник костюмів

Oksana Zinchenko Honored Artist of Ukraine

Хормейстер

Vadym Yatsenko Winner of Ukrainian competition

Libretto
Prologue

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.

Epilogue

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
Opera “Moses” by M. Skoryk

The administration of Lviv Opera asked composer Myroslav Skoryk to write an opera on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the theatre. And a great opera Moses based on the libretto by Bohdan Stelmakh and the poem of the same name by Ivan Franko has been created by the Maestro. Myroslav Skoryk once again applied the poetry of Ivan Franko and emphasised his reason for this. He explained that was the dream of the composer’s father, for whom Franko’s poetry was a very important national impulse and not only European but global spiritual phenomenon [Kyianovska L. Myroslav Skoryk: man and artist. Lviv: “Yi”. P. 68].

The opera Moses was premiered on June 23, 2001, and was conducted by the composer. First performances of the opera were presented during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Lviv, and the Holy Father blessed the creators of the opera. This is the only performance in the history of independent Ukraine which was financed by the Vatican and received a papal blessing.

The two-act opera with prologue and epilogue, or a theatrical parable as it has been called by the researchers, synthesized both the leading ideas of Franko’s work i.e. the interpretation of the biblical plot and allegory of self-awareness of the Ukrainian nation, and the original musical solution – the traditions of national music and modern style.

Like the literary source, the opera Moses is not only about the universal symbol of the prophet, who by God’s providence had to turn slaves into the people, but also about the striving of our people for getting out of slavery, snatching it out of the heart, about the history of Ukraine and its future.

The creative team of the iconic modern Ukrainian opera were choirmaster Bohdan Heriavenko, set designers Mykhailo and Tadei Ryndzak, costume designer Oksana Zinchenko, choreographer Serhii Naienko, and director Zbigniew Chrzanowski. The opera was conducted by the composer or by Mykhailo Dutchak, who was then the chief conductor of the theatre. The concept of the opera is based on the leading role of Moses, which was played by bass Oleksandr Hromysh during the premiere.

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Upcoming events
2021
31
Oct.
Sunday
18:00-20:30 | 50-500 grn
Львівський національний академічний театр опери та балету
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Moses

Yuriy Trytsetskyy Honored artist of Ukraine

Aviron

Oleksandr Zozulya

Yuriy Shevchuk winner of the international competition

Datan

Andriy Benuyk winner of the international competition

Azazel

Andriy Savka

Lia

Lyubov Kachala People’s Artist of Ukraine

Vira Koltun

Svitlana Mamchur People`s Artist of Ukraine

Jehoshua

Vitaliy Voytko

Oleh Lykhach People’s Artist of Ukraine

Roman Trochymuk Honored artist of Ukraine

Johaveda

Tetyana Vakhnovska Honored artist of Ukraine

Nataliya Datsko People’s Artist of Ukraine

Poet

Orest Sydir People’s Artist of Ukraine

Simeon, herdsman

Andriy Benuyk winner of the international competition

Yuriy Shevchuk winner of the international competition

Jehovah voice

Volodymyr Dutchak

Vaal priestesses

Yuliya Mykhalikha-Roma

Julia Ryza

Solo dances

Yuliya Yermolenko

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