We are proud that we continue to support Ukraine on the cultural front. The heroism of these Ukrainian mothers in the face of Russian atrocities is a story that should be emphasized theatrically
Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Theater, New York City Center, Ukrainian composer Maksym Kolomiets will write an opera about Ukrainian children kidnapped and deported by Russia to a libretto American playwright George Brunt. General Director of the Metropolitan Opera, Peter Gelb expects that the new opera may be presented in the 2027 or 2028 season.
This was reported on September 11 by representatives of the Metropolitan Opera, or the Met for short, and Lincoln Center, quoted by the Voice of America.
According to the plot of the opera, a Ukrainian mother goes to Russia to save her forcibly deported daughter. The story that will be presented in the opera is fictional, however, it is based on real events in Ukraine and the stories of Ukrainian mothers who experienced similar journeys to Russia in search of their children.
As you know, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belovaaccused of abducting children from Ukraine.
“This will be a story about motherhood and childhood, about this strange, very difficult situation, when mothers save their children and face many difficulties,” Kolomiets said in a telephone conversation, reports AR. “For people, for listeners, it will be clear.”
“We are proud that we continue to support Ukraine on the cultural front. The heroism of these Ukrainian mothers in the face of Russian atrocities is a story that should be emphasized theatrically, and it is in the good creative hands of Maxim and George,” said Peter Gelb, whose words are quoted in the opera’s press release.
“Lincoln Center Theater is honored to be a part of this commission and we look forward to this wonderful opera,” said Andre Bishop, Artistic Director of Lincoln Center Theater.
According to Gelb, the idea to order a Ukrainian opera was born during a meeting last fall with the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, who was visiting New York at the time. After the meeting, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine invited Ukrainian composers to apply for the competition. Kolomiec was chosen from among 72 applicants as a result of the selection conducted by the artistic team of the Metropolitan Opera under the leadership of Director of Order Programs Paul Cremo.
To collaborate with Kolomyitsa, Gelb decided to invite George Brant, who already collaborates with Met. In particular, his work Grounded, a collaboration with composer Janine Tesori, will premiere at the Washington National Opera on October 28, and will begin performances at the Met in the fall of 2024. “I felt it was important to have an English-speaking librettist working with the composer so that the story would have the widest possible audience,” noted Gelb.
Composer Maksym Kolomiets is the author of solo instrumental, chamber and orchestral works. He wrote two operas – “Espenbaum”, performed in a concert version, and “Night”, excerpts of which premiered in August 2020 at the Ukrainian Radio Recording House, performed by the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra. His music has been performed at international festivals, including the MATA Festival (New York), Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Darmstadt), New Talents (Cologne), Donaueschinge Musiktage, (Donaueschingen), Warsaw Autumn (Warsaw), and the Ukrainian Festival of Contemporary Music (New -York), among others. Kolomiets has been living in Germany since 2022.
Gelb is a longtime supporter of Ukraine, and was one of the first to ban it Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko perform at the Met, and also contributed to the tour of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra under the leadership of his wife, Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson.
“I hope that it will become a full-fledged opera and, hopefully, on our stage,” said Gelb.
The article uses AR materials.