Opera-ballet in 2 acts
Libretto: Marina Cherkashina-Gubarenko, Lev Mikhailov, George Kovtun
based on the eponymous novel by Mykola Gogol

Running time with intervals: 2 h. 40 min.

Producing ConductorAleksandru SAMOILĂ
Producing Director and Choreographer - George KOVTUN, People's Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan, Honoured Art Worker of the Russian Federation
Producing Stage Designer and Costume Designer - Zlata TSIRTSENS
Producing Choirmaster - Leonid BUTENKO, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine


There is Gogol's tomb on the stage and a nest with a strange egg. At midnight the glow becomes visible in the tomb, the obelisk moves away and Gogol's ghost appears. People in the black clothes scurry around. The writer watches them and in every person he recognizes the character of his works. Gogol turns into an Owl-man and flies to the Moon, as if he returns to the Past.

From the egg, which has been created by Gogol-bird, appears a young noble lady – Pannochka. Seeing the image – the fruit of his imagination- Gogol sends her to the world of the people.

Act I

Scene 1

In the family of Sotnik, a noble man, a beautiful daughter is born. According to the custom the villagers come to have a look at the child. From the very beginning they are very suspicious because of a very unusual behaviour of the girl, but soon this impression disappears and everyone admires the beauty of a young Pannochka.

Some  time passes. Gogol, interfering in the lives of his characters, brings to the stage the clerk Nikita and Khoma. Pannochka amuses herself with Nikita. Khoma sees the young  beauty and falls in love with her.

After having amused herself, Pannochka murders Nikita. Cossack Sheptun's daughter sees it.


Fair. Everyone is here now. People trade, have fun and dance. Khoma and a bagel seller, Bublichnitsa are also here. Sotnik appears with Pannochka, Nanny, Svirid and Dorosh. People are fascinated and frightened with the beauty of Pannochka. Saucy Bublichnitsa flirts with guys, but loves Khoma. It notices Pannochka. 

Scene 3

Cossack Sheptun, his wife and daughter met with Pannochka near the lake. There isn't any sign of tragedy, but at the end of the meeting the daughter dies. The same fate befalls the wife. Gogol realizes that his characters have their own independent lives.

Scene 4

Meeting with Khoma ends with the death of Pannochka.


Act II

Scene 1

Pannochka's burial service. Sotnik promises to fulfill the wish of his daughter. He orders to bring Khoma from Brother's Monastery for the burial service during the night. 

Scene 2

Khoma is with Bublichnitsa. Dorosh and Svirid come in. They tell him about Sotnik's desire. Khoma tries to refuse, but his attempt is vain. 

Scene 3

Sotnik leaves Khoma with Pannochka in church. Khoma starts the burial service. Pannochka comes to life. By the morning she had called all demons and monsters from the world beyond the grave. The main monster is Viy. When Khoma encounters Viy's eyes, he dies.

Gogol is on the stage, solidified in granite.


Gogol – Dmitry Bartosh, Denys Vasyl’ev 

Khoma Brut, a philosopher – Yuriy Dudar, Olexandr Stryuk

Khoma Brut’ s soul – Denys Vasil'ev, Bogdan Chabanyuk

Sotnik, a noble man – Mykola Subbota

Sotnik’ s soul – Vadym Krusser,  Bogdan Chabanyuk

Sotnik’s wife – Khrystyna Vetchynkina, Olena Vorontsova, Anastasiya Martynenko, Catheryna Tomashek 

Pannochka, Sotnik’s daughter – Catheryna Burdik, Maria Ryazantseva, Oksana Chepil’

Dorosh, Sotnik’s servant – Honored Artist of Ukraine Dmytro Pavlyuk, Dmytro Sebov

Svirid, Sotnik’s servant – Sergiy Krasnykh, Andriy Perfilov

Nanny – Honored Artist of Ukraine Olena Starodubtseva, Maryna Godulyan, Natalia Kadantseva,

Bublichnitsa, a bagel seller – Honored Artist of Ukraine Tetyana Spas'ka, Zoreslava Dolga, Ilona Skrypnyk

Sweets seller – Honored Artist of Ukraine Vera Revenko, Iryna Repetiy 

Mykyta – Roman Kalin, Victor Tomashek

Cossack Sheptun – Stanislav Varankin, Mykola Vorivodin

Cossack Sheptun’s wife – Lyudmila Grekova, Maryna Stryzhakova

Cossack Sheptun’s daughter – Catheryna Bartosh, Anna Tyutyunnik

Priest – Vadym Andriyanov

Dishes seller – Andriy Ripack

Voice – Honored Artist of Ukraine Nataliya Shevchenko, Alina Voroh, Anastasia Golub, Nadiya Sychuk 

Solo in the orchestra:
Violin – Honored Artist of Ukraine Oksana Moldavanova, Olexandr Anisismov
Cello – Volodymyr Avryatov, Natalia Marmusevych
Flute – Pavlo Kotovschykov, Olexandr Protas 
Trumpet – Vitaly Buynyts’kyy, Vitaly Paszkowskyy 
Соrno – Vitaly Buynyts’kyy, Vitaly Paszkowskyy 
Corno inglese – Yulia Kuzmina, Yuriy Shpiley 
Timpani – Svyatoslav Janchuk, Volodymyr Turovs’kyy 
Bells – Uliana Ripack

Вallet, сhorus, orchestra, mimans of the theatre, Children’s Choir «Gems of Odessa» (Artistic director – Larisa Harbuz)

Conductors - the chief conductor of the theatre Olexandru Samoile, Honored Artist of Ukraine Igor Shavruk, Vitaliy Kovalchuk

Georgy Kovtun about the production «Viy»

 Gogol is a great master of phantasmagoria


The methods of phantasmagoria transmission are complicated as they don't have any real rationales or logical foundation. In my opinion, in «Viy» the author succeeded to create an amasing contrast of gloomy plot and ironic attitude to the characters.

By the way, the legend about the young lady (Pannochka) and Viy is quite widespread, there are many similar stories in the folk traditions of any nation.

Gogol encourages us to pay attention not only to the plot, but also to the peculiarities of the presentation, confirming the relevance of the idea – «how" is more important than «what».

The administration of Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre offered me to set the opera-ballet «Viy» by outstanding Ukrainian composer Vitaly Gubarenko. At first I wanted to refuse, but my inner adventurism made my blood boil up, so I was absolutely interested in this work.

Odessa audience knows perfectly well the first production of «Viy» in 1984, so I decided to have a look at the backhistory of  relationship by Khoma and Young Noble Lady – Pannochka. At the end of his life Gubarenko wrote choreographic scenes on the base of opera-ballet music. It seems to me rather interesting to combine the opera-ballet and the choreographic scenes. The performance is full of mysticism, which is revealed with the help of music, painting, dance and voice.

         Nikolai Gogol is plunged into the play as its protagonist. He created his characters, but after being born, they start to clash with the author. 


November, 2020