Premiere "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors"

I. Nebesnyi
Duration 0 годин, 0 хвилин

Premiere "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors"

Duration 0 годин, 0 хвилин

Ballet in 2 acts

Experience the enchanting story of love, both earthly and divine, based on the legendary novel by Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi.

Lviv National Opera is proud to present the world premiere of the ballet “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”, featuring music by Ivan Nebesnyi and libretto by Vasyl Vovkun!

This poetic tale, set on the threshold of truth and legend, reality and fantasy, is presented to the audience by an international team of directors in a modern interpretation. Witness the well-known love story of Ivan and Marichka, whose families are sworn enemies, embodied in the neoclassical choreography of the renowned Ukrainian ballet master Artem Shoshyn. The spectacular set design of the Lithuanian artist Arvydas Buinauskas brings the characters to the postmodern world and represents a philosophical interpretation of the place of human in nature. The artistic images of the ballet characters are complemented by Nataliia Mishchenko’s costumes, which range from authentic to modern models, recreating Hutsul clothing. The vibrant music of Ivan Nebesnyi, which has absorbed the power of Hutsul authenticity, is performed by the orchestra of Lviv Opera under the baton of conductor Yurii Bervetskyi.

Don’t miss the grandest event of the season!

The project is supported by the Lviv Regional Military Administration. The official partner is the Kozytskyi Charity Foundation. The principal partner is the Shuvar Market of Agricultural Products LLC.


Stage conductor

Assistant choreographer


Officials and performers


Olga Pylypeiko

Roksolyana Iskra

Anastasia Bondar


Maksym Kadykalo

Serhiy Aleksandrov

Arsen Marusenko


Olena Mycko

Romana Dumanska

Jaryna Kotys

Mariana Gress

Maryna Hulega


Artur Kokoev

Ilya Ustynenkov

Dmytro Kolomiets

Oleksandr Omelchenko


Romana Dumanska

Uljana Korchevska

Victoria Zvarych

Event Libretto

Act I

Scene One

Ivan plays the dentsivka1, but he fills that something is missing in his music. Once, he heard music that touched him deep in his heart. Ivan looks around at the rocks and is petrified. Chuhaister2 sits on a stone with his eyes closed. He plays his floyara3. Ivan is horrified to see how goats, peeking out from behind the branches, shake their heads. When Ivan finally gets his voice out, Chuhaister disappears into the rock, and all the other creatures turn into tree roots. Ivan rans away in fear until he collapses. When he regaines consciousness, he pickes up his dentsivka and starts playing. The joy he feels fills his heart and lifts him to his feet. He throws his dentsivka into the grass, puts his arms akimbo, and whirls in a wild dance. This is how Ivan has discovered what he had been looking for in the forest.

Scene Two

People stroll through the mountains and valleys, returning home from church. Suddenly, a crowd gathers on the narrow path between the rock and the river Cheremosh. Among them are two families, the Huteniuks and the Paliichuks. A dispute arises between them and it soon turns into a bloody fight. Amidst the chaos, little Ivan rushes into the fray and accidentally bumps into a small girl who is trembling with fear. Without thinking, he slaps her across the face. However, to his surprise, the girl gives him candy in return. After a while, they find themselves sitting together, the screeching of the fight and the angry roar of the river now forgotten. She is telling him that her name is Marichka, that she has already been tending sheep and more. Her words are interesting and relatable to both of them, and Ivan finds himself captivated by the soft gaze of her black eyes.

Scene Three

Ivan and Marichka grow up together, and when they get older, they become different. Marichka smiled slyly and hugged Ivan around the neck. Ivan and Marichka confess their love to each other.

Scene Four

Ivan bids farewell to Marichka and confesses his love to her. Men invite him to go with them to the mountain meadow, polonyna. Ivan knows that the parting with Marichka will be long.

Scene Five

On a warm spring morning, Ivan and his companions are on their way to the meadow. However, Ivan falls behind and gets lost, and while trying to catch up, he sees strange forest creatures that disappear when he tries to touch them. Eventually, Ivan manages to catch up with his comrades. At the pasture, the shepherds are busy trying to find a suitable spot for them and their sheep to spend the night. The chief shepherd is extracting living Fire, which is believed to protect them from evil spirits.

Scene Six

During the summer, Ivan has many adventures. Once, he sees a strange picture – a green valley and a single blackened fir tree. Suddenly, fog covers the fir tree, and Chuhaister appears, followed by some strange mystical creatures. The deer start appearing one after the other, and each newcomer has more magnificent antlers than the previous one. The roe deer appear too, their thin legs trembling, and they start grazing on the grass. At that moment, Chuhaister convinces Water to descend from the mountain.

Scene Seven

Water rushes down the mountain, knocking Marichka off her feet as she walks along Cheremosh River, carrying her downstream among the rocks into the valley. The river carries Marichka while people watch as waves twirl her. They hear her screams and pleas but cannot save her. Chuhaister also observes this tragic scene from afar.

Scene Eight

Ivan rushes down the mountains in a desperate attempt to find Marichka alive, but his efforts are in vain. He is unable to accept the fact that Marichka is no longer with him. As he walks along the river, his heart is filled with anger and malice towards its constant noise and boiling fury. Eventually, he finds her body. Ivan bids farewell to his beloved. His heart is filled with unbearable sorrow.

Act II

Scene One

There was no news about Ivan for six years until he revealed that he had been working as a shepherd on the Hungarian side of the mountains. After traveling for another year, he finally married Palahna, a woman from a wealthy family. Wedding of Ivan and Palahna. The bride’s dance. Parents congratulate the newlyweds. Guests dance a wedding dance. Suddenly, Ivan rushed out in the middle of the dance and covered his ears. All guests stand still.

Scene Two

Ivan sees Marichka. He wants to touch her, but she vanishes.

Scene Three

Time passes, but Ivan still cannot fall in love with Palahna. They are unhappy in marriage. One morning, while Ivan is still asleep, Palahna takes a mirror and a candle and ventures into the forest for fortune-telling.

Scene Four

Palahna ventures into the forest to practice witchcraft. She steps on the damp grass and shivers slightly from the morning chill. Before the Annunciation, she buried salt, a bread roll, and a necklace in an anthill, which she now needs to retrieve. She wants to make Ivan fall in love with her. While casting a spell, she sees his heart, but realizes that Marichka already has it. Palahna tries desperately to win Ivan’s love, but he continuously pushes her away until she finds herself in Chuhaister’s arms. Later, Palahna sees Yura, who practices witchcraft to avert the storm. Palahna becomes his mistress, but the only obstacle in their way of being together is Ivan. Thus, they both agree to get rid of him.

Scene Five

In the inn, Palahna drinks with Yura-Chuhaister every day, and openly kisses and hugs him. She does not even bother to hide the fact that she has a lover, and this has become the talk of the town. Ivan is also aware of the situation, but he remains indifferent to it all. While Palahna seems to be thriving in her happiness, Ivan appears to be growing weaker and more tired day by day. Casting a spell, Palahna and Yura persuade the villagers to get rid of Ivan. They succeed – Ivan dies.

Scene Six

Marichka descends from heaven to take her beloved. Ivan hears Marichka’s voice and responds to it. The two beloved ones are finally reunited, and they are now happy.

Scene Seven

The sound of trembita1 echoed through the mountains, mourning the death of Ivan. As new guests arrived in the dark of the night, people respectfully bowed in front of the body and shifted on the benches to make place for newcomers. The feast began, with guests taking turns getting up from their seats to join the lively and crowded rooms of the house. Everyone seems to have forgotten about the body. Only three women remain with the departed looking mournfully with glassy eyes. The merriment is in full swing. Guests recount their adventures and laugh loudly, patting each other’s backs and winking at their servants. The wooden floor trembles from the ritual dance and copper coins, dropped by generous people for otherworld ferryman, quietly jingle atop a deceased man’s chest. Trembitas sob sadly behind the window.

Short Description

Балет на 2 дії

Історія про кохання земне та небесне за легендарною повістю Михайла Коцюбинського. Львівська національна опера презентує світову прем’єру балету “Тіні забутих предків” на музику Івана Небесного та лібрето Василя Вовкуна!

Поетична оповідь на межі реальності та легенди, дійсності та фантазії постане перед глядачем у модерновій візії міжнародної команди постановників. Відома історія кохання Івана та Марічки з двох ворогуючих родів втілиться у неокласичній хореографії відомого українського балетмейстера Артема Шошина.

Видовищна сценографія литовського митця Арвідаса Буйнаускаса переносить героїв у сучасний постмодерністський світ та є філософським переосмисленням місця людини серед природи. Художні образи персонажів балету довершать костюми Наталії Міщенко, що пересотворюють гуцульське вбрання від автентики до модерних зразків. Колоритна музика Івана Небесного, що увібрала силу гуцульської автентики, прозвучить у виконанні оркестру Львівської опери під орудою диригента Юрія Бервецького. Станьте свідками найграндіознішої події сезону!

Проєкт реалізується за підтримки Львівської обласної військової адміністрації. Офіційний партнер – Kozytskyi Charity Foundation. Генеральний партнер – ТЗОВ “РСП “ШУВАР”