This opera by Myroslav Skoryk can be called a breakthrough in the academic genre. The composer is also a coauthor, with Bohdan Stelmakh, of the libretto based on Ivan Franko’s famous poem Moses and written to mark the classic’s 150th anniversary. Mr. Skoryk also appears as orchestra conductor, while Anatolii Solovianenko is the stage director, Maria Levytska the scenographer, Lev Venedyktov the choir master, and Aniko Rekhviashvili the ballet master. It will be recalled that Skoryk’s opera was first staged at the Lviv Solomia Krushelnytska Opera House. The premiere, timed to the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ukraine, caused a tremendous stir among audiences, while the Kyiv production was blessed by Filaret, primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Kyiv Patriarchate (Den covered those events in Nos. 107 and 115, 2001, and No. 4, 2006).
In the view of the author, the opera Moses deals with an international topic and concerns all the peoples, particularly those fighting for independence and building a state of their own. Today, Ukraine is also trying to find its own path in a stormy sea of internal and external problems. Situations and characters are coming back like the phantasms of Moses. Although the poem was written in 1905, it seems to be about the events of today.
“I have long had an intention to create Moses,” Mr. Skoryk told The Day. “It is my father, a historian by profession, who advised me to do so. But all kinds of circumstances kept me from carrying out this project. I happened to write this opera on three continents – first in Lviv, then in America, and in the faraway Australia.”
The opera Moses is about the aspiration of our people “to break loose from slaver, to tear it out of our hearts,” about the history of Ukraine and its dreams of a radiant future. Participating in the production are the leading vocalists of Kyiv’s stage, a chorus, ballet, a symphony orchestra, and the Children’s Opera choir (artistic director Natalia Nekhotiaieva). The National Opera’s soloist Serhii Mahera will sing the main part.