Fox Mykyta

I. Nebesnyi
Fox Mykyta
120 Minutes.

Opera in 2 acts

Lviv National Opera presents the opera “Fox Mykyta” by the Ukrainian composer Ivan Nebesnyi, which was written specially for our theatre. Libretto is written by the director Vasyl Vovkun and is based on the famous fairy-tale “Fox Mykyta” by Ivan Franko.

The opera is suitable for family viewing. Our fairy tale with its entertaining storyline, humour and adventures of the cunning Fox conceals burning social issues. The world of the animals, which are the main characters of the opera, is strikingly similar to the human society with all its laws of struggle for existence. “Who … cares when we have heads so wise and sly?”.  It is wisdom and slyness that help Fox Mykyta to overcome all challenges and to become a winner.

Opera “Fox Mykyta” by Ivan Nebesnyi hides many surprises: powerful sound (along with the orchestra we will hear traditional Ukrainian instruments: cymbals, banduras, jew’s harp and trembitas), contemporary set design, bright costumes and masks as well as modern 3D projection and light technologies.

The performance won prize as “The best musical performance in opera / operetta / musical genre” by ІV Ukrainian theatrical festival-award “GRA” (2021).


The opera is performed in Ukrainian


Chief conductor – Teodor Kuchar (USA)

Conductor – Iryna Stasyshyn

Director – Vasyl Vovkun

Set designer – Tadei Ryndzak 

Lighting designer – Arvydas Buinauskas (Lithuania)

3D mapping – Svitlana Reinish, Yurii Kostenko

Masks designer – Liudmyla Tabachkova

Assistant of masks designer – Anzhela Horodyska

Choreographer – Marcello Algeri (Italy)  

Costume designer – Anna Ipatieva (Kyiv)

Chorus master – Vadym Yatsenko

Act 1

The spring has come. King Lion summons all animals to the court of law. Only Fox Mykyta, who is accused, doesn’t come. However he is severely criticized by the animals. Wolf, Dog Hector, Cat Purry and Lynx Rys, who have tried to stand up for the little Rabbit Jack, have suffered from his slyness. Only Badger Babye tries to justify Fox Mykyta as a very pious man who keeps the fast the whole year. He remarks that all other animals are no saint. They did injustice to others and laid the blame on Mykyta.  The only hope is a wise decision of King Lion. The King orders Bear to bring Fox to the court.

However, Mykyta doesn’t hurry to obey the royal decree.  He offers Bear to steal some honey from reach farmer Jim. Bear yearns to eat honey, but his paws are caught in the trap! And before the escape he is whipped. The next royal messenger is coward Cat Purry. But he also gets into trouble. Cat wants to eat mice in a house of the village prefect, but gets caught in the noose and barely escapes from the prefect’s whip. Ragged he returns to the palace. King Lion is furious! Badger Babye, uncle of Fox Mykyta, visits his nephew. He persuades Fox to go to the court and demonstrate his wisdom, make enemies stop gossiping and beg King Lion temper justice with mercy. But King Lion is relentless and orders Fox Mykyta to go to the tribunal, where old goats and donkeys hold a session.

Deaf Donkey announces the verdict – to hang Mykyta on the gallows. Animals can’t wait to see the execution, but Fox begs King Lion for confession and tells about King Pee’s priceless treasure. Lion listens carefully: what treasure and where is it? Fox invents a story about the treasure hidden in Chornohora Mountains. The treasure was found by his father, who, together with Bear, Wolf and Cat, planned to rebel against the King Lion! But Mykyta stopped his father, proving loyalty to his King!

King Lion rewards the courage of Fox Mykyta and grants him pardon. Fox promises to show the King where the treasure is hidden, but only after his return from pilgrimage (in his last hour Fox swore to visit Rome and Jerusalem). Meanwhile, the Fox offenders, Bear, Wolf and Cat, are imprisoned.

Act 2

Fox Mykyta is preparing for the pilgrimage. He asks Lion for Bear’s bag and Wolf’s boots. Having his wish granted, Fox leaves the royal palace and he returns home to his wife and children, accompanied by Goat and Rabbit. Fox Mykyta warmly invites Rabbit into the house, reminds Rabbit’s testimony against Fox in the court of law and kills him. Meanwhile Goat grazes grass in the yard. Mykyta gives Goat a bag with letters for the King. Goat hands the bag to Lion, but instead of letters King finds there the head of Rabbit. King Lion growls angrily and kills Goat.

Badger Babye pays visit to Fox again. Mykyta wants to go to the royal palace, but Vixen asks her husband to stay at home. Fox answers that he has the best help – his wisdom! On the way to the royal palace, Fox and Badger Babye meet procession headed by Cock. Fox Mykyta kills Cock for lunch.  Badger Babye says that it is a bad idea, because Queen Lioness is his patroness. Instead, Fox Mykyta tells the story about Monkey Froozya, who is secretly in love with him.

Fox Mykyta comes to the royal palace and says miserably that he is not guilty of the death of Rabbit and Goat, and it was they who had to bring treasure to Lion King. Wolf orders Fox to stop lying and challenges him to a duel to decide once and for all who is an honest person and who is a liar.  Monkey Froozya decides to help Fox and shears him. Only his tail is still fluffy to throw sand into the Wolf’s eyes. These tricks help Mykyta to win the duel. King Lion appoints Fox Mykyta on the post of chancellor to defend the state with his wisdom, which Fox showed in the duel. All animals praise Fox Mykyta! 

About show

Family opera of Ivan Nebesnyi “Fox Mykyta” was written specially for Lviv National Opera, in order to broaden the modern Ukrainian opera repertoire for children and adults. The opera was first performed on February 21, 2020.

Libretto was written by the director Vasyl Vovkun and was based on the poem “Fox Mykyta” by Ivan Franko, which was first published in 1890 in Lviv children’s magazine “Dzvinok”. The following year, the magazine edition of the poem was published as a book. Right after its publishing, the fairy tale achieved great popularity. “I love my “Fox Mykyta” most of all because I wrote it for my children…,” said Ivan Franko. Indeed, the first listeners and readers of the poem were the children of the writer – Andrii, Taras, Petro and Hanna. However, Franko’s fairy tale has become popular not only among children but also among adults, because “Fox Mykyta” is interesting for both children and adults.

The fictional world of Franko’s poem is considered to be a model of social reality: in the fairy tale the main characters are animals which obey the law of the struggle for survival, but their behaviour is similar to the human one. Animals lead social and political life, hold certain positions, have strong family ties, visit each other, sue, quarrel, reconcile, cry, laugh, love and hate… In this society, where the truth, as well as the concept of good and evil, are nominal, deception, deceit, bribery and protection are valued… From up to down – everyone is corrupted and protected, and King Lion is n’t an exception. Having heard about the treasure of King Horokh, he rehabilitates Fox Mykyta and appoints him Chancellor of State… Director Vasyl Vovkun combined incompatible – “human” and “brutal”, which created the main conceptual humorous and satirical effect of the performance.

The basis of the compositional production of “Fox Mykyta” is the trial, distinguished by the author of the libretto Vasyl Vovkun and the composer Ivan Nebesnyi as the central idea of the performance. Fox Mykyta wins the lawsuit using his slyness and formidable talent. “We smile and sympathize with him, feeling jealous, because he is a brilliant showman, a talented actor, an excellent director, a successful human and animal. And we try to recognise our friends and acquaintances in Fox Mykyta. However, we do not admit that we are his closest relatives.” says director and librettist Vasyl Vovkun.

An international team of creators consists of director Vasyl Vovkun, conductors Teodor Kuchar (USA) and Iryna Stasyshyn, choirmaster – Vadym Yatsenko, choreographer Marcello Algeri (Italy), set designer Tadei Ryndzak, costume designer Anna Ipatieva, lighting designer Arvidas Buinauskas (Lithuania), 3D mapping Svitlana Reinish, mask designer Liudmyla Tabachkova.

The costumes to the opera “Fox Mykyta”, designed by the artist Anna Ipatieva, are elaborate and individual. Rich robes of Lion and Lioness are impressive and clearly distinguishable. The style of other characters is related to a certain animal and their clothes resemble those of modern people with elements of military camouflage because as Ivan Franko’s literary character Fox Mykyta says: “Our life’s a never-ending war”. The artist strongly emphasizes the concept of “never-ending war” as far as it is still topical. Animals’ hats are transparent and airy, made of metal wires.

3D mapping and complex spectacular lighting design are important elements of the scenography. However, there is an element which contrasts with the colourful and mobile stage constructions. This is a fixed huge circle with giant mistletoes inside of it. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant, which is considered sacred by many nations, a symbol of strength, revival, freedom from restrictions, but also vulnerability to a world of chaos.

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Fox Mykyta

Oleh Lanovyy winner of the international competition

Vitaliy Rozdaihora winner of the international competition


Anastasiya Kornutyak winner of the international competition

Hanna Nosova winner of the international competitions

King Lion

Petro Radeyko winner of the international competition

Yurii Shevchuk winner of the international competition

Queen Lioness

Oksana Mocherad

Monkey Froozya

Olesia Bubela winner of the international competition

Luydmyla Korsun Honored Artist of Ukraine

Mariana Mazur winner of the international competitions


Andrii Beniuk winner of the international competition


Yurii Trytsetskyi Honored artist of Ukraine

Dmytro Kokotko

Ihor Mikhnevych


Oleg Sadetsky Honored artist of Ukraine

Mykola Kuzjmych

Dog Hector

Vitaliy Voytko

Ihor Znatynyak

Cat Purry

Vitalij Zagorbenskyj winner of the international competition

Mykola Kornutyak winner of the international competition

Badger Babye

Oleksandr Zozulya

Vitalij Zagorbenskyj winner of the international competition

Lynx Rys

Lyubov Kuchar

Iryna Tchikel


Volodymyr Dutchak

Dmytro Kokotko


Yuriy Hetsko

Rabbit Jack

Vitaliy Voytko

Ihor Znatynyak

Farmer Jim

Ivan Borhes-Samko

Oleksandr Petruk

Village prefect

Volodymyr Dutchak

Stanislav Bodnar

Dmytro Kokotko

Yurii Trytsetskyi Honored artist of Ukraine

Court official

Vasyl Matvijiv

Ihor Kuzjmych

print*The theater reserves the right to replace performers
print*The theater reserves the right to replace performers