Mykola Arkas
Opera in 3 Acts
Libretto by Mykola Arkas and Diodor Bobyr based on Taras Shevchenko’s story
Music edition by Gleb Taranov

Running time with intervals: 2 hours 25 min

Conductors – Igor Tchernetsky, Valery Regrut

Producing director – George Dykiy
Producing designer – Natalia Bevzenko-Zinkina, Honoured Artist of Ukraine
Stage managers – Natalya Grigor, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine, Sergey Krasnykh

Act І

Andrew is in love with Catherina, but she does not return his love. Since the Russian soldiers came to stay in their village her heart has belonged to the young Ivan, junior officer. Andrew warns the girl that the solders will leave soon and Catherina will stay alone. Catherina does not want to believe his words but the seeds of doubt and worries start growing in her heart. Why did not Ivan tell her about leaving himself?

Girls and young men get together for a village party. Everybody is having fun, however, Catherina is being sad. Ivan appears and cheers her up. She believes his insincere words full of hypocrisy. 

Act II

Andrew’s warning has become true – Ivan left Catherina and their baby. Catherina’s elderly parents can hardly keep up with the shame on them and their only daughter. Catherina is the only person who still believes that Ivan will come back.

Andrew’s feelings toward Catherina have not changed; he still loves her. Despite all the misfortunes he is trying to convince Catherina’s parents to agree with his proposal to Catherina. They are touched by Andrew’s loyalty but are afraid that if Andrew and Catherina get married everyone will know the whole story. They refuse. Having lost the last hope Andrew is in despair. Father is scolding Mother. She was not too good at looking after her daughter. Father orders Mother to send their daughter away, off the sight-off the heart.

The poor girl is pleading her mother not to send her away with the baby in arms. However, unwritten rules the villagers follow cannot be changed.


Catherina is walking through the woods wearing worn out rough clothes. She is carrying her baby in the arms. Tired to death she sits down, sings a lullaby to her baby and falls asleep. The girl dreams of a recent past: cheerful friends, smiling mother and father who are waiting for her at her native house. Shе also dreams of Ivan who meets Catherina with sincere love.

A faraway soldiers’ song is heard. The girl wakes up and sees an officer. She recognizes her beloved Ivan: “My sweetheart, where have you been?” The young man turns away from begging Catherina: «Go away, woman, I do not know you...».

The soldiers feel deep sympathy towards the girl, but they have no rights or hope, just as Catherina. She tries to show Ivan his son, but the noble leaves. The miserable mother hugs her child for the last time, covers him with her coat and leaves on the road heading towards the river…


Father – Anatoliy Boyko, People’s Artist of Ukraine, Honoured Artist of Ukraine Dmytro Pavlyuk 

Mother – Lyudmyla Shirina, People’s Artist of Ukraine, Valentyna Vasylyiva, People’s Artist of Ukraine, Nadiya Shakun, Honoured Artist of Ukraine
Catherina – Vera Revenko People’s Artist of Ukraine, Julia Tereshchuk
Ivan, junior officer – Pavlo Yermolenko, Honoured Artist of Ukraine, Yury Dudar, Oleksiy Gruzin
Andrew – Mykola Subbota, Valery Regrut
Oksana, Catherina’s friend – Natalya Kadantseva
Odarka, Catherina’s friend – Catherina Tsymbalyuk, Iryna Oleksiv

Young men, girls, soldiers – the chorus artists and supes 


November, 2020