A Ukrainian choir will sing at the theater festival in Avignon

A Ukrainian choir will sing at the theater festival in Avignon


“Mothers. A wartime song”, Marta Gurnytska

Esra Rotthoff

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One of the oldest theater festivals in Europe, The Festival d’Avignon, will host a performance dedicated to the full-scale invasion with the participation of a Ukrainian choir. The director of the production was a playwright and writer, the founder of the Institute of Political Voice at the Maxim Gorky Theater in Berlin Marta Gurnytska.

Avignon Festival published program of the event on Wednesday, April 3.

This is xor women who came from Ukraine, Poland and Belarus to talk about the war and together resist the forces of destruction. When traditional music meets the political demands of today, the scene becomes an opportunity for a newly created community.”says the description of the play.

Ukrainian ethnic music and traditional children’s games were used in the production. A folk singer advised the team on these issues Anna Okhrimchuk and actress Venera Ibrahimova. The choir included women from 9 to 72 years old, each of whom had experienced the war: evacuation from Mariupol, Kyiv, Irpen, and Kharkiv, rescue from political persecution, refugee shelter.

4,448 mothers and children died in Ukraine from the beginning of the full-scale invasion to 29 spring 2023

4,448 mothers and children died in Ukraine from the beginning of the full-scale invasion to 29 spring 2023

A Polish historian and theater director also participated in the creation of the play Olga Birskawhich supports Ukraine in its social networks and investigates the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Marta Gurnytska toldwhich opens the performance with a Ukrainian charity song.

The ritual of chanting alms was performed only by women or women and children. It was always addressed to a specific person. People believed in the power of the song, believed that her words and wishes would surely come true. Today, these sung wishes are addressed to all people, for a new time, for a lifetime“, the director added.

Fragment from the play

Fragment from the play

Bartek Warzecha

Libretto from the play “Mothers. “Song of Wartime” was shown at the theater festival in Avignon in 2023. The premiere took place in September of the same year at the Powshechny Theater in Poland.

The process of creating a production

The process of creating a production

Michał Rumas

The project within the framework of the 78th Avignon Festival is co-financed by the city of Warsaw, and the Ukrainian Institute, Polish public organizations and Warsaw theaters – Teatr Dramatyczny (Drama Theater) and Nowy Teatr (New Theater) are involved in supporting the play.

About the festival

The festival in the French city of Avignon is one of the oldest and most prestigious theatrical events in Europe. In July, festival directors, critics and theatergoers gather there to see new groups. Well, of course, during the festival, those present agree on cooperation or tours.

Theater troupes present national programs of different countries. In 2022, a Ukrainian pavilion appeared at the Avignon Festival for the first time since independence Pavillons du Futur.

The event was founded in 1947 and has been held annually since then. The creator was the French theater director and actor Jean Vilar, who formed the program of the festival. All managers after him also have full freedom and the opportunity to build their own structure of a theatrical event.

Every year, about 300 plays from representatives of different countries are staged in Avignon, most of them are original modern works and were premiered in the framework of this festival. More than 125,000 tickets are sold for performances.


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