What are the Characteristics of Classical Music?
What is Opera Music? News and Updates!

News   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009  

The Characteristics of Opera and Classical Music News and Updates is my personal blog about opera and classical music. It…

  • lets you know when new web pages appear on the Yusypovych website, that give you information on the characteristics of opera and classical music
  • shares my ideas and thoughts on the composers, singers and musicians following each of my performances at a house of opera, in a concert hall, or on an open air stage
  • lets you know what members of the audience (people like you!) think and how they feel after my opera and concert performances.


Myron Yusypovych Signature

P.S. Click here, if you want to read: What is The Opera?

March 24, 2023

A Concert in Odesa

It has been some time since Myron Yusypovych performed in Odesa. What prevented such performances? First, COVID quarantine measures limited in-person rehearsals and performances. Then, the full-scale invasion of Ukraine forced everyone to either join the ranks of those defending Ukraine or to find a safe place. Concerts and live-performances were not a priority.

Although the invasion and war continues, the people of Ukraine are making every effort to enjoy life as much as possible. And so, despite various air-raid alerts and resulting delays during rehearsals, the concert went on as planned.

The young piano soloist – Mariia Klymenko – performed the Piano Concert №1 by Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). Subsequently, the Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra performed Symphony №4, commonly known as the “Italian Symphony” by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).

At the end of the performance, Myron Yusypovych was repeatedly called to the stage. The evening ended with a standing ovation by the audience.

The Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra is housed in what today is called the Odesa Philharmonic Theatre. The main performance hall, where the concerts take place, used to house the city’s stock exchange. This hall has beautiful stained glass windows. Due to safety concerns, the windows have been boarded and taped. Photos of the windows were taken and printed on plastic sheeting and attached over the windows, providing a unique experience during performances.

Oh, yes! We are working on updating all spellings of the City of Odesa on our website to the Ukrainian transliteration.

Concert with the Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra in Odesa, Ukraine
Concert with the Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra in Odesa, Ukraine

February 26, 2023

A Concert Dedicated to Ukraine’s Defenders

At the beginning of the Lenten Season, a concert dedicated to all who are currently defending Ukraine’s freedom took place at Saints Peter and Paul’s Garrison Church in Lviv, Ukraine. The Garrison Church is the military chaplaincy centre of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Myron Yusypovych organised a special orchestra was for this concert. Members of the orchestra were all professional musicians. A special focus was made to include male musicians aged 60+, who are not of conscription age and are not serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The one-hour concert included musical excerpts by Tomaso Albioni (1671-1751), George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) and others. Additionally, the poetess Yulia Kurtash-Karp read passages from her poetry dedicated to those defending Ukraine and in memory of those who gave their lives protecting Ukraine.

A live recording (a new window will open) of the evening is available.

A Concert Dedicated to Ukraine’s Defenders at the Garrison Church in Lviv, Ukraine
A Concert Dedicated to Ukraine’s Defenders at the Garrison Church in Lviv, Ukraine

November 17, 2022

Variations and Elegies

A concert took place at the Lviv Philharmonic with the chamber orchestra Lviv Virtuosos and soprano-soloist Iryna Kluchkovska with Myron Yusypovych conducting.

The evening consisted of joyous music by Myroslav Skoryk (1938-2020), as well as commemorative music written by composers and dedicated to those who impacted on their lives: Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) – Two Elegiac Melodies dedicated to Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843-1900) and contemporary Ukrainian composer Yevhen StankovychElegy in Memory of Lyudkevych dedicated to Stanislav Lyudkevych (1879-1979).

Lviv Virtuosos and Myron Yusypovych in Lviv
Lviv Virtuosos and Myron Yusypovych in Lviv

August 25, 2022

Poland – Ukraine Solidarity Concert at the Wrocław Opera House

A Poland – Ukraine Solidarity Concert took place at the Wrocław Opera House conducted by Myron Yusypovych. Opera singers, choir and orchestra members of the Lviv Opera House performed.

At the beginning of the concert, Jarosław Obremski, the voivode of Lower Silesia, Poland, said: “Ukraine is paying a high price for wanting to be itself and to enrich Europe and the world with its legacy and culture.”

At the end of the concert, Krzysztof Maj, member of the board of the Lower Silesian Voivodship, Poland summarised: “This year we are telling Ukrainians that we are not just neighbours – we are friends! Let this concert of the Lviv Opera be a sign of friendship for an independent Ukraine. Let the war end as soon as possible, of course with the defeat of Russia, but the effects that are happening between the Polish and Ukrainian nations because of this – let them remain forever.”

The performers displayed the flags of Poland and Ukraine on stage. The audience responded with a standing ovation.

Poland – Ukraine Solidarity at the Wrocław Opera House
Poland – Ukraine Solidarity at the Wrocław Opera House

August 24, 2022

A Poland – Ukraine Solidarity Gala Concert

The organisers of the 60th International Moniuszko Festival (60 Międzynarodowy Festiwal Moniuszkowski) planned their Inaugural Gala in solidarity with the artists and people of Ukraine. The concert took place on August 24, 2022 in Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland.

The Gala was dedicated to the memory of the Polish composer Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819-1872) and the Ukrainian female opera singer Solomiya Krushelnytska (1872-1952). In the first part of the gala concert, the opera soloists, choir and orchestra performed excerpts from Moniuszko’s operas Halka and The Haunted Manor (Straszny dwór). The second part was dedicated to the music made famous by Krushelnytska – in particular the opera Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini (1851-1924).

Myron Yusypovych conducted the evening.

The evening began with the national anthems of Ukraine and Poland and ended with the following words read by the evening’s announcer in Polish and Ukrainian: “May our people unite in solidarity towards our common goal – Ukraine’s victory and the establishment of peace in a new and prosperous Europe. Glory to Poland! Glory to Ukraine!”

Poland – Ukraine Solidarity Gala Concert
Poland – Ukraine Solidarity Gala Concert

July 31, 2022

The Stolen Happiness Returns to the Lviv Opera Stage

The Stolen Happiness is an opera composed by Yuliy Meitus (1903-1997) with a libretto by Maksym Rylsky (1895-1964) based on the drama by Ivan Franko (1856-1916). The opera premiered on September 10, 1960 at the Lviv Opera House.

A new production was staged on May 29, 1989 at the Lviv Opera. The artistic side of the production consisted of hand embroidered authentic costumes from the Carpathian regions. The stage scenery recreated a turn-of-the-century village in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.

Now, during the war in Ukraine, Myron Yusypovych has returned the production to the original musical interpretation as envisioned by the composer. This was possible because the composer’s original hand written musical score is part of the Lviv Opera library. This unique Ukrainian language opera has once again become a showcase of Ukrainian music and part of the opera house repertoire.

The Stolen Happiness at the Lviv Opera House
The Stolen Happiness at the Lviv Opera House

July 22, 2022

Ukrainian Singers of the Past

Ukrainian singers and Ukrainian music have become very popular around the world.

Who are these singers? Some popular American singers, popular Australian singers and famous Canadian singers have Ukrainian roots. Today, some pop music artists are performing Ukrainian popular songs and Ukrainian popular music in their support for the people of Ukraine.

There are also composers who have composed Ukrainian songs that have become popular and famous.

Ukrainian Singers of the Past – Who Are They?
Ukrainian Singers of the Past – Who Are They?

March 22, 2022

The Opera Tenor Filippi - Myszuga - Myshuha

The opera tenor Filippi (also known as Myszuga and/or Myshuha) was an opera singer, who brought down the house in the major capitals of Europe. In becoming an opera singer, Filippi performed tenor opera parts in a variety of languages – Italian, Polish, German, Ukrainian… and under an assortment of names and spellings.

Opera Tenor Filippi - Myszuga - Myschuha
Opera Tenor Filippi - Myszuga - Myschuha

December 8, 2021

3 One-Act Premieres

The Lviv Opera announced and conducted a chamber opera composition competition. A chamber opera usually consists of one act and is performed with a chamber orchestra ensemble rather than a full-scale orchestra.

In the second phase of the competition, 3 composers had the opportunity to hear a concert production of their opera performed by professional soloists, choir members and musicians of the Lviv Opera. The evening performance took place in the Lviv Opera Hall of Mirrors which, incidentally, in design is similar to the Grand Foyer at the Opera Paris.

The conductors for the evening worked in close collaboration with the composers:

  • Iryna Stasyshyn with Yevhen Petrov;
  • Yurii Bervetskyi with Volodymyr Bohatyriov;
  • Myron Yusypovych with Yevhenia Marchuk.

3 One-Act Premieres at the Lviv Opera
3 One-Act Premieres at the Lviv Opera

October 30, 2021

Opera Performance to Celebrate a Birthday

What do orchestra conductor’s do on their birthday? They conduct an opera performance.

Myron Yusypovych conducted one of his favourite operas – Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi on his birthday on October 29, 2021. This was the opera that made press headlines in Germany in December, 2000 and January, 2001 with Lyudmyla Savchuk in the lead soprano female role of Abigaille. She repeated the performance 20 years later as a special birthday gift.

Discover more about the Lviv Opera House production of Nabucco.

Birthday Performance of Verdi’s Opera Nabucco
Birthday Performance of Verdi’s Opera Nabucco

August 23, 2021

Independence Day Concert in Front of the Lviv Opera House

The Lviv Opera House presented an outdoor concert to mark the 30th Anniversary of Ukraine’s Declaration of Independence in 1991. The concert consisted of opera and classical music, as well as a light and fire show combined with a performance by a team of acrobats.

The evening’s performance was conducted by Yurii Bervetskyi and Myron Yusypovych – both resident conductors with the Lviv Opera House.

The City of Lviv is known for being a rainy city. This evening the city lived up to its reputation. The rain was light and so the evening’s performance was not cancelled. However, the audience sat and stood under umbrellas for the outdoor concert.

Ukraine Independence Day Concert – 30th Anniversary
Ukraine Independence Day Concert – 30th Anniversary

July 3, 2021

A Special Evening of Music and Art

Lubomyr Medvid, a Lviv, Ukraine based artist, born on July 10, 1941 celebrated his 80th birthday in style. The celebrations include a special retrospective art exhibit at the Art Palace in Lviv entitled “Ad hominem” and an evening of music at the Lviv Opera House.

The Verdi-Gala concert programme was augmented with visual screenings of L. Medvid’s art work entitled “Alpha and Omega”. Some of the large-scale art work was specifically created by the artist for the evening’s performance.

The Lviv Opera House administration and artists congratulated Lubomyr Medvid on stage at the conclusion of the performance.

Special Evening of Music and Art by Lubomyr Medvid
Special Evening of Music and Art by Lubomyr Medvid

June 23, 2021

Requiem Concert for Victims of Communist Repressions

On the 80th Anniversary of the massive executions of “Lontsky Prison” in Lviv, Ukraine, a Requiem Concert “Lumen Hilare / Phos Hilaron” took place at the Sts. Peter and Paul Garrison Church.

The evening included a visual projection of archival maerials in conjuction with music performed by the Lviv Virtuosos Chamber String Ensemble, conducted by Myron Yusypovych.

Requiem Concert for 1942 Communist Victims
Requiem Concert for 1942 Communist Victims

June 12, 2021

Ukrainian Popular Male Singer – Antin Derbish

Antin Derbish (1921-29991)was a Canadian baritone singer of popular Ukrainian music.

But, what makes a singer famous? Top music artists of the past, have often performed in choral groups. They have also recorded songs and music pieces by composers that lived and created at the same time.

Popular songs are often about a lost love. But, because Antin Derbish was a post-WWII involuntary emigrant, he sings about his love for his homeland – Ukraine – in a song compsed by Bohdan Wesolowskyj (1915-1971).

Antin Derbish (1921-1991) – A Popular Ukrainian Singer
Antin Derbish (1921-1991) – A Popular Ukrainian Singer

May 22, 2021

Verdi Gala at the Lviv Opera

During the 2020-2021 opera season, the Lviv Opera Theatre has been limited in its performance schedule. This is due to the COVID pandemic lock-down and restrictions.

Nevertheless, the Lviv Opera House is reviewing various options and making plans. Performances have been scheduled in keeping with all COVID restriction recommendations.

Opera conductor Myron Yusypovych has proposed an 80-minute concert entitled Verdi Gala which features some of the most popular Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) opera songs, overtures and choral favourites. Plans are underway to include the concert in the Opera House repertoire.

Lviv Opera House Verdi Gala Poster
Lviv Opera House Verdi Gala Poster

December 10, 2020

Her Highness the Opera

Her Highness the Opera was the name for a special concert at the Khmelnytsky Philharmonic that was guest conducted by Myron Yusypovych.

Soloists for the concert were Olha Abakumova (soprano), Anna Popova (mezzo-soprano) and Stepan Drobit (baritone). These soloists are resident vocal artists of the Khmelnytsky Philharmonic in the City of Khmelnytsk, Ukraine. Special guest artist of the evening was the opera tenor Mykhailo Malafii.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all members of the audience were required to wear a mask.

Opera Concert at Khnelnytsky Philharmonic
Opera Concert at Khnelnytsky Philharmonic

October 2, 2020

Myron Yusypovych Named National Artist of Ukraine

Myron Yusypovych has been named a National Artist of Ukraine and has received the People’s Artist of Ukraine Award.

A diploma and commemorative medal were presented on October 4, 2020 by the Head of The Lviv Oblast Administration, Maksym Kozytskyy on behalf of the President of Ukraine. The ceremony took place at the S. Krushelnytska National Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Lviv, Ukraine during celebrations dedicated to the 120th Anniversary of the Opera House.

The People’s Artist of Ukraine Award is registered under #018589 and was signed by the President of Ukraine on October 2, 2020.

Award Ceremony at the Lviv Opera House
Award Ceremony at the Lviv Opera House

August 29, 2020

Verdi Gala Concert at the Lviv Opera

A Verdi Gala Concert that focuses on the best of opera composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) has been added to the Lviv Opera House Theatre repertoire. The evening opens with the overture to the opera “La forza del destino”, which means “The Power of Fate”.

Indeed, Giuseppe Verdi opera often deals with the power and unpredictability of fate. And, this theme is no less relevant or, perhaps even more so, during the current pandemic.

The evening’s programme includes arias and some of the most famous opera songs from Nabucco, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, La traviata, Don Carlos and Aida. Myron Yusypovych conducts.

Verdi Gala Concert at the Lviv Opera
Verdi Gala Concert at the Lviv Opera

August 22, 2020

A Gala Concert of Ukrainian Music

A Gala Concert of Ukrainian orchestral music as well as popular art songs and arias took place at the Lviv Opera. This was the first concert that took place with the Lviv Opera House Theatre after a lengthy pause due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Included in the evening’s repertoire were arias from operas by Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912) and Semen Hulak-Artemovsky (1813-1873). Myron Yusypovych shared the podium with his fellow colleagues – conductors Ivan Cherednichenko, Iryna Stasyshyn and Yurii Bervetskyi.

Ukrainian  Music Gala at the Lviv Opera
Ukrainian Music Gala at the Lviv Opera

July 5, 2020

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Cause of Death – Myths and Facts

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died at the age of 35. To this day, Mozart’s death is shrouded in controversy and many myths abound about the cause of his death. There are claims that Mozart died of poisoning – either deliberate due to jealousy or accidental due to unsanitary conditions. More likely, Mozart died of natural causes. But, even then, the concept of what is a “natural cause” has raised controversy and extended discussion on W.A.Mozart’s cause of death.

Discover the details of these discussions about W.A.Mozart’s cause of death.

Listen to classical music online - an excerpt above is from Symphony No.40 in G Minor K.550, Part II – Andante by W.A.Mozart.

W.A. Mozart Cause of Death?
W.A. Mozart Cause of Death?

July 4, 2020

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Biography

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) is a famous classical period composer. But who is Mozart?

Mozart was born in Salzburg, present-day Austria at a time when the city was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire (800/926-1806). As a young child, W.A.Mozart travelled the imperial capitals of Europe together with his sister and father where he performed before European royalty.

W.A.Mozart died in Vienna and almost immediately after Mozart’s death, rumours about the cause of his death began. What was the cause of Mozart’s death and Mozart’s grave remains a never-ending reason for debate and discussion.

A Mozart timeline and short biography are available for you to discover.

Discover more interesting facts about Mozart and his life.

A Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Biography
A Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Biography

May 27, 2020

The Giuseppe Verdi Requiem

Initially, Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was involved in a Requiem project dedicated to the life of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868). This didn’t work out, so Verdi decided to add to his initially composition and dedicate the Messa da Requiem to his friend Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873).

Verdi’s Requiem consists of 7 sections of which the 2nd section (and, specifically the Dies Irae) is considered to be the most operatic and dramatic. The lyrics are in Latin and describe The Day of Wrath or The Last Judgment.

Verdi's Requiem is frequently performed in churches, theatres, philharmonic halls and outdoor stages to commemorate and remember those, who have passed on and to provide comfort to those who remain.

Continue to listen and discover Verdi’s Requiem

Giuseppe Verdi Requiem
Giuseppe Verdi Requiem

April 28, 2020

Who is Giuseppe Verdi?

Verdi is a man who is associated with William Shakespeare (HINT: Verdi composed music to Shakespeare’s dramas), Wolfgang Mozart and Richard Wagner operas.

But, there is a fascinating connection between Giuseppe Verdi and Taras Shevchenko, the bard and literary prophet of the Ukrainian people. Born 5 months apart in very different geographical locations, social stratas and political circumstances, they inspired their people through their creative output.

A Verdi opera list is readily available, as well as a short Verdi biography.

Read to Discover interesting facts about who is Giuseppe Verdi?

Listen to Opera Music Online and an audio recording from the opera Otello by Giuseppe Verdi based on William Shakespeare’s drama Othello.

Who is Giuseppe Verdi?
Who is Giuseppe Verdi?

April 14, 2020

The Easter Hymn in Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni

The Feast of Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is celebrated in the spring.

The opera Cavalleria Rusticana includes and an opera song, which is a favourite Easter Hymn. In the opera story line, Cavalleria Rusticana, events begin on Easter morning joyously as befits the joyous characteristics of the day. The opera also ends on Easter Day – but, tragically.

Certainly, an opera performance is an opportunity to listen and enjoy opera music. An English translation of the Easter Hymn from the Latin is included as you listen to the Easter Hymn performed by an opera singer and choir at the Lviv Opera House.

Discover more interesting facts about the Easter Hymn in the opera Cavalleria Rusticana.

Easter Hymn in Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni
Easter Hymn in Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni

December 7, 2019

What is Next to the Opera Theatre in Odessa, Ukraine?

There are many fascinating places to explore next to the opera theater in Odessa Ukraine. You can purchase you opera house tickets, and then explore the area surrounding. Alternatively, you can attend a concert at the Odessa Philharmonia, which conveniently is also next to the opera house.

If you are a history buff, you won’t want to miss a visit to the final resting place of Louis Alexandre Andrault de Langeron (1763-1831), Governor of Odessa (1816-1820).

Did you know that the fountain next to the Opera Theatre in Odessa, has no name? Have you heard of the Odessa Steps – the ones that were featured in the famous silent film by Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948)? The Potemkin Steps, as they are often called, are close to the Opera House.

Would you like to discover an Odessa hotel where you can enjoy a view of the Opera House or the Odessa promenade – or, spend the night?

Discover more interesting facts about what is next to the Opera Theatre in Odessa, Ukraine.

View a LIVE video recording of a concert at the Odessa Philharmonia.

Next to the Opera Theatre in Odessa, Ukraine
Next to the Opera Theatre in Odessa, Ukraine

October 14, 2019

Mozart Premiere at the Lviv Opera House

Der Schauspieldirector (The Impressario) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) premiered at the Lviv Opera House on October 12, 2019. The libretto of the German language Singspiel was written by Gottlieb Stephanie (1741-1800). For this production, the singing parts are performed in the original German and the spoken parts are performed in Ukrainian.

The one-act production is a comedy. The plot-line relates the story of an opera impressario who is auditioning opera performers for an upcoming production. The interactions deal with the personal ambitions of the opera singers – each of whom considers themselves to be an opera star.

Myron Yusypovych conducts.

Der Schauspieldirector (Директор театру) at the Lviv Opera House
Der Schauspieldirector (Директор театру) at the Lviv Opera House

September 21, 2019

The Opera House in Odessa Stands at the Crossroads of the City’s History

The Opera House in Odessa is a city landmark.

The façade (or front) of the Opera House in Odessa stands on Langeron Street, named after a Governor of the City of Odessa – Louis Alexandre Andrault de Langeron (1763-1831). Directly in front of the Opera House Theatre in Odessa is Richelieu Street, named after another Governor of the City of Odessa – Armand-Emmanual-Sophie-Septimanie de Vignerot du Plessis, duc de Richelieu (1766-1822).

The best view of the Opera House in Odessa is at the crossroads of Richelieu Street and de Ribas Street, named after the first Governor of the City of Odessa – José Pascual Domingo de Ribas y Boyons (1749-1800).

The main service entrance (a.k.a. stage door) to the Opera House in Odessa is on Tchaikovsky Lane, name after the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), who spent time in Odessa and is known as a Russian composer, when in actuality, he came from a family of Ukrainian Kozak nobility.

Discover more interesting facts about the location of the Opera House in Odessa, Ukraine

Listen and view an opera performance from the 210th Opera Season Opening (August 1, 2019) at the Opera House Odessa

The Opera House in Odessa, Ukraine
The Opera House in Odessa, Ukraine

August 23, 2019

120th Season Opening at the Lviv Opera, Ukraine

The Lviv National Opera and Ballet had a grand outdoor concert to commemorate the opening of its 120th opera season. The concert was held on the square in front of the Lviv Opera House in Lviv, Ukraine.

The programme consisted of orchestral, choir and solo pieces conducted by the resident Lviv Opera House conductors. Myron Yusypovych conducted the famous “Natalka’s Aria” performed by soprano Lyubov Kachala from the opera Natalka Poltavka by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912).

A fragment of the performance (a new window will open) is available to view and enjoy.

Outdoor Concert for the Grand Opening of the 120th Opera Season in Lviv, Ukraine
Outdoor Concert for the Grand Opening of the 120th Opera Season in Lviv, Ukraine

August 1, 2019

210th Opera Season Opening in Odessa, Ukraine

The Odessa Opera opened its 210th opera season with the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. The occasion was all the more memorable because it coincided with the 225th anniversary of the founding of the City of Odessa.

The opera season opening night performance was conducted by Myron Yusypovych. Prior to the opening night performance, a press conference was held. During the press conference there was an opportunity to view the rehearsal (a new window will open) and interview the conductor and opera house administrator.

Photographs of the grand opening night (a new window will open) Aida performance were posted to social media.

210th Season Opening
Aida at the Odessa Opera House – 210th Season Opening

May 16, 2019

Embroidery Day at Lviv Opera in Ukraine

Embroidery Day is a cultural diplomacy day marked on the third Thursday of May. On this day, people around the world don their embroidered shirts, dresses, cloaks…. Many communities around the world plan additional events for the weekend.

In today’s social media world, people post their photos to their social media pages with the hashtag #VyshyvankaDay. This means Embroidery Day in Ukrainian.

The Lviv Opera House in Ukraine participated in International Embroidery Day.

Embroidery Day at the Lviv Opera House, Ukraine
Embroidery Day at the Lviv Opera House, Ukraine

May 5, 2019

Opera and Classical Music Composer Stanisław Moniuszko

S.Kruszelnicka and A.Myszuga in Halka by Stanisław Moniuszko
S.Kruszelnicka and A.Myszuga in Halka by Stanisław Moniuszko

A classical music composer is one who has learned how to become a composer and whose music is enjoyed by many audiences.

As a classical music composer Stanisław Moniuszko (1819-1872) composed many types of classical music: opera, religious canons, cantatas, overtures, ballets, operettas, as well as folk song arrangements. However, Moniuszko is better known as the father of Polish opera.

An interesting and influential figure in Moniuszko's life was Aleksander Fredro (1793-1876), who was the maternal grandfather of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky (1865-1944) – one of the most influential religious leaders in early 20thC Ukraine.

The opera Halka by Stanisław Moniuszko is this classical music composer’s most famous work. It premiered in Vilnius, Lithuania as a 2 Act opera before going on to become a Polish classic as a 4 Act opera. Classical music singer Salomea Kruszelnicka (1872-1952) was destined performed the 500th performance of the soprano role of Halka in the opera Halka.

Discover interesting facts about classical music composer Stanisław Moniuszko

Listen and view a concert performance of a key aria from the opera Halka

April 8, 2019

Guest Conducting at the Dnipro Opera House

Myron Yusypovych travelled to Dnipro (formerly – Dnipropetrovsk), Ukraine to guest conduct at the Dnipro Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. The rehearsals and subsequent performances were part of a “Parade of Guest Conductors” (Парад диригентів). The goal of the project was to invite a variety of guest conductors to the Opera House prior to appointing a new Principal Conductor. Yusypovych was the first in the line-up.

Myron Yusypovych conducted a performance of the opera Pagliacci by Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) on April 5, 2019 and the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) on April 7, 2019.

Aida and Pagliacci at the Dnipro Opera House
Aida and Pagliacci at the Dnipro Opera House

March 10, 2019

Premiere of Opera Lohengrin at Lviv Opera in Ukraine

On 19 February 2019, the Lviv Opera House announced that the premiere of Richard Wagner’s epic opera Lohengrin was 10 days away. Subsequently, four premiere performances took place on March 1, 2, 6 and 7, 2019 featuring in-house and invited opera singers.

After the premieres, the full-scale opera production became part of the Lviv Opera repertoire. A short synopsis of the opera Lohengrin is available.

Musical direction of the production is by Ukrainian born, resident conductor of the Lviv Opera House – Myron Yusypovych. Stage direction of the production is by German born Michael Sturm (a new window will open). Stage design of the production is by Austrian born Mathias Engelmann (a new window will open).

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is known for his operas. Additionally, Wagner is famous for his philosophical and theoretical works – in particular for introducing the concept of opera and drama.

Premiere of Opera Lohengrin at Lviv Opera in Ukraine
Premiere Performance of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner in Lviv, Ukraine

March 3, 2019

Who Inspired Today’s Popular Music Composers of Ukraine?

Volodymyr Ivasiuk's Grave in Lviv, Ukraine
Volodymyr Ivasiuk's Grave in Lviv, Ukraine

Popular music composers create popular music. Sometimes such individuals are initially not musicians. They may be medical doctors, poets, artists and members of other professions.

Volodymyr Ivasiuk (1949-1979) (Ukrainian = Володимир Івасюк) became a popular music composer whose life was cut short at age 30. To this day his death is shrouded in mystery. Officially his death was proclaimed a suicide. However, evidence points to Ivasiuk being tortured prior to his death. Since Soviet archives are still not open, it may be a long time before we know what really happened.

Ivasiuk's hit Chervona Ruta (The Red Ruta Flower) continues to be performed regularly. Interestingly, Ivasiuk’s music was never copyrighted, and, therefore, belongs in the sphere of royalty free classical music. As a result, his tunes are often incorporated by other contemporary composers in their works.

Contemporary music composer Oksana Herasymenko composed An Elegy to the memory of Volodymyr Ivasiuk and included the Chervona Ruta (The Red Ruta Flower) theme in her work.

Discover interesting facts about Volodymyr Ivasiuk, the inspiration for many popular music composers…

February 5, 2019

Marusia Churai – A Female Among Baroque Music Composers

Marusia Churai (1625-1652/3) by Fedosii Humeniuk (1986)
Marusia Churai (1625-1652/3) by Fedosii Humeniuk (1986)

Baroque music composers lived and created during the 17th and early 18th centuries.

According to various oral and written sources, the famous female composer, Marusia Churai, was a talented poet and composer, who impacted on other Baroque and Classical period composers. Churai’s influence on Ukrainian composers is only recently becoming understood and appreciated.

Marusia Churai was born in 1625 (some sources claim 1628 or 1629) in the City of Poltava in the eastern part of Ukraine. Much of what we know about the life of Marusia Churai comes not from historical archives and documents but from literary works written after her death.

The musical tunes and songs accredited to the Baroque music composer Marusia Churai are frequently labelled as 'folk tunes'. These tunes have had a great impact on the development of classical and popular music.

Discover interesting facts about Baroque Music Composers…

November 10, 2018

Carmen – the Opera by Georges Bizet

Carmen – the Opera by Georges Bizet
Carmen – the Opera by Georges Bizet

Carmen music by Georges Bizet (1838-1875) and, Carmen opera songs are familiar to opera audiences all around the world.

Who are the main and secondary characters in Carmen, the opera? What are the main conflicts and themes in Carmen? Where does the opera Carmen take place? What Are the Names of Famous Carmen Opera Songs? How do I buy good opera seat tickets for Carmen the opera? Why does Carmen get killed in the end?

Discover interesting facts about the Opera Carmen by Bizet…

April 17, 2018

Buying Cheap Opera Tickets is Easy – If You Know How!

Lviv = Cheap Opera Tickets
Lviv = Cheap Opera Tickets

Cheap opera tickets to some of the greatest opera houses in Europe: London, Vienna, Paris, Milan, Budapest and Venice – are what everybody desires. But, coupled with cheap theater seats, everyone also wants to be able to see what is going on, on stage and to hear what the famous opera singer is singing.

Opera tickets for performances at the Lviv Opera House in Ukraine are cheap compared to tickets for performances in the grand opera houses of Europe. Buying cheap opera tickets, or even the cheapest opera tickets has its challenges. You can book opera tickets online for performances at the Lviv Opera and Ballet.

Before you buy your opera tickets online, view an online opera video showcasing the Lviv Opera House in Ukraine. On the other hand, you might want to buy tickets when you are already in Lviv.

Sometimes, cheap tickets and a good opera experience are not one and the same. And so, each of us must decide whether the opera house tickets we purchase are simply going to be cheap tickets, or whether we are going to consider other factors as well, so that we can have an amazing, best opera experience.

Discover interesting facts about buying cheap opera tickets…

February 22, 2018

Why Don’t I Recognize These Famous Composers’ Names?

Famous Composers
Famous Composers

Because She was a Female Born During the Baroque Era: The female composer Marusia Churai (1625 – 1653), who lived during the Baroque Era (1600 – 1750) in Ukraine, created several famous pieces of music. In time, the music became so popular that many began referring to it as “folk music”.

Because He Composed Music for a Famous Silent Film: Luigi Russolo (1885 – 1947) is one of the key famous composers of the avant-garde and modernist period in Europe between the two World Wars. During the 1920s he collaborated with Eugène Deslaw (1899 – 1966), born Yevhen Slabchenko – an avant-garde film producer.

Because this Famous Ukrainian Composer Established Russian Classical Music: Dmytro Bortniansky (1751 – 1825) is one of the famous composers of the Classical Era of Music (1730 – 1820). Bortniansky was born on the territory of present-day Ukraine. Ironically, Bortniansky is considered the founder of Russian classical music. To add insult to injury, his Ukrainian name is frequently russified to Dmitri or Dmitry.

Because this Famous Composers’ Works Were Destroyed by Royal-Decree: Maksym Berezovsky (1745 – 1777) was born in Ukraine in Hlukhiv and went on to become a famous classical composer in his life time, although he began his musical career as a singer. At age 13, Berezovsky was taken to St. Petersburg to the Imperial Court of the Romanoff Dynasty’s Empire. Following his death, Empress Catherine II, ordered this famous composers’ works burned and destroyed.

You Do, But You Don’t Recognize Their True Origins: Most people when they hear the famous composer’s name of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) assume that he is a famous composer of Russian descent. The same could be said for Sergei Prokofiev (1891 – 1953) and Igor Stravinsky (1892 – 1971). These famous composers are Ukrainian – not Russian.

Discover interesting facts about these famous composers….

December 18, 2017

If You Hear These Popular Carmen Opera Songs –Will You Recognize Them?

Carmen’s Gypsy Opera Song
Carmen’s Gypsy Opera Song

Carmen opera songs from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet (1838-1875) have been used in commercials, films and musicals. Carmen music is instantly recognized by audiences from among the many names of operas.

The Habanera is performed by Carmen in Act I of the opera.

At the beginning of Act II, we are introduced to The Gypsy Song. Immediately following Carmen’s Gypsy Song, Escamillo, a young bullfighter, sings the famous Toreador Song.

In Act II of the opera Carmen, another one of the well known opera songs known as The Flower Song is performed.

In Act III, Micaëla sings the soprano aria – Je dis que rien m’épouvante.

Five famous opera songs from the French opera Carmen by Georges Bizet (1838-1875) have contributed to making this opera famous and popular among opera lovers around the world – notwithstanding, that it is not an Italian opera.

Listen, view and discover famous opera songs from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet.

October 23, 2017

What is the Story of The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) Opera?

Papageno and Tamino in The Magic Flute
Papageno and Tamino in The Magic Flute

A Magic Flute story synopsis can be both simple and complicated.

Upon awakening, Tamino sees Papageno, the bird-catcher, who pretends that he has killed the serpent. The Three Attendants appear and are outraged by Papageno’s lies. In Sarastro’s castle, Monostatos has been entrusted with guarding Pamina. Instead, Monostatos is making inappropriate advances.

Prince Tamino enters The Temple of Knowledge and meets a priest who enlightens him.

In Act 2, Sarastro informs the priests that Tamino has been sent to protect The Temple of Knowledge from the Queen of the Night and her attempts to usurp power.

Papageno can’t keep his promise to remain silent. His greatest wish is a glass of wine. However, Tamino is ready for the second and third challenges. As the sounds of the magic flute play in the background, Tamino and Pamina successfully go through fire and water.

Lightening strikes! Thunder roars! The powers of darkness disappear! And, thus concludes our synopsis of The Magic Flute.

Listen, view and discover the synopsis and a LIVE performance of The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) by W.A.Mozart.

September 6, 2017

The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) Opera by W.A.Mozart

The Magic Flute by W.A.Mozart
The Magic Flute by W.A.Mozart

The Magic Flute opera (originally composed as Die Zauberflöte) is the work of the famous baroque music composer – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791) and Viennese librettist – Johann Emmanuel Schikaneder (1751 – 1812).

In Vienna, Die Zauberflöte premiered on September 30, 1791 with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart personally conducting the premiere performance. Outside Vienna, The Magic Flute premiered in Lviv on September 21, 1792.

In its entirety and in the original version, The Magic Flute is quite a long opera by today’s standards – over 3 hours long. Today, a shorter, more popular version is often staged.

A short synopsis of the opera story can be done in 1 sentence: The Magic Flute opera is about Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina who overcome the forces of darkness in order that truth and love may reign in the world.

A grand opera, a German opera, a Singspiel – a unique music listening experience.

Listen, view and discover The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) by W.A.Mozart.

July 2, 2017

The Opera Nabucco Overture by Giuseppe Verdi

Verdi Opera Nabucco at Lviv Opera
Verdi Opera Nabucco at Lviv Opera

An overture to an opera is considered part of the classical opera music repertoire. Initially, the tradition (according to some analysis of opera history development in general) was to compose a Sinfonia for the introduction – a beautiful musical piece. an analysis.

The Nabucco Overture begins with the sound of three trombones which are then joined by the rest of the orchestra brass section. The use of brass instruments in the introductory notes of and opera overture is rather surprising and critics have long discussed this.

The Verdi opera Nabucco Overture includes the famous Va pensiero – Hebrew Slaves chorus. However, the more prevalent theme is the Il maledetta non ha fratelli (“The Damned One has No Brothers”) chorus from the end of Act I when Hebrew religious leaders denouce Ismael, himself a Hebrew, for raising the Babylonian King Nabucco’s ire and causing the destruction of their Holy Temple.

According to music educators, a listening map is a visual portrayal that represents the aural experience. You can explore the Rochester Philharmonic listening map for the overture to Nabucco, the famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi.

Listen, view and discover the Overture to Verdi's opera Nabucco!

May 11, 2017

Ukrainian Composers No One Talks About

Ukrainian Composers?
Ukrainian Composers?

Ukrainian music composed by Ukrainian composers is part of the best classical music repertoire. However, audiences at classical music concerts often don’t realize that when they listen to classical music, they are listening to music written by a composer with Ukrainian roots or influenced by Ukrainian music tradition. Discover some of these Ukrainian composers.

How do you define Ukrainian composers? Is there a list of Ukrainian composers?

Are you aware that Mykhailo Verbytstky, the composer of the Ukrainian national anthem, was born and died under Austrian rule and lies buried in Poland?

Famous composers such Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky are usually labeled as representative of Russian music. Instead, if we follow the traditional meaning of origin, these European composers could just as easily be labeled among the best composers of music in Ukraine.

Few individuals associate the famous Mozart name with Ukraine. But Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart lived, taught, composed and performed in Lviv for 30 years – more than half of his life.

Listen, view and discover these surprising Ukrainian composers!

April 6, 2017

Sensational Male Italian Opera Singers

Male Italian Opera Singers in Lviv
Male Italian Opera Singers in Lviv

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Italian opera singers male and female were very fashionable.

Perhaps, the most famous of the Italian opera singers, in fact, a legend, who honoured Lviv (Leopolis) with his voice, was the baritone – Mattia Battistini (1856 – 1928). He had a career that spanned almost 50 years, performing in Europe, South and North America. Battistini spent the 1907 – 1908 season at the Lviv Opera House.

No one would ever unknowingly associate the famous male Italian opera singer Alexander Filippi (1853 – 1922) with Ukraine. And yet, this was the stage name of Oleksandr Myshuha (a.k.a. Aleksandr Myszuga), a tenor, born in Novyj Vytkiv in the Radekhiv region of Ukraine. Filippi spent the 1883 – 1884 season at the Lviv Opera.

Very little is known about the Italian opera singer Augusto Dianni born in Rome in 1873 and died in Lviv on August 8, 1938. Dianni performed at the Lviv Opera House during the 1903 – 1918 seasons and then taught at the Musical Academy (then known as the Galician Music Society) until his death in Lviv.

Francesco Malapena was born in Naples in 1972 and is a member of the popular opera ensemble The Great Italian Tenors. View and listen to his performance from the opera Rigoletto by G.Verdi, at the Lviv Opera House.

Listen, view and discover Italian Opera Singers who performed in Lviv!

February 13, 2017

Tremendous Italian Opera Singers

Who Are Italian Opera Singers Today?
Who Are Italian Opera Singers Today?

The history of opera music begins in Italy, where Italian opera composers have written music for Italian opera singers. By definition, an Italian opera singer is someone born in Italy, who speaks Italian as a native language, and, performs operas that have been written by Italian speaking composers, who were also born in Italy.

An appreciation for the male high voice is characteristic of Italian opera. Historically, a special category of Italian opera singers are the castrati. Today, the Italian tenor is very popular.

Currently, female opera singers and male opera singers of non-Italian heritage are able to establish a successful opera singing career.

We have compiled a list of opera singersmale and female that are considered to be Italian opera singers.

Listen, view and discover Italian Opera Singers!

November 1, 2016

Baton Conducting – Opera and Classical MusicNotes

Baton Conducting Techniques
Baton Conducting Techniques

Music conducting and particularly baton conducting by famous conductors is viewed and analyzed by those who wish to better understand how to conduct an orchestra. There are specific techniques that need to be mastered before someone can actually get up in front of a group of musicians and lead them using a conductor’s baton.

The origin of the word ‘baton’ dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

But, baton conducting is much more than the wielding of a thin stick to the beat of the music score. For conducting, the baton is an extension of the conductor’s arm, elongating the length of the arm and making it more visible. Interestingly, not all conductors have a desire to master the skills of baton conducting.

If you wish, you have an opportunity to view an orchestra conductor performance and analyse the baton conducting techniques.

Listen, view and discover Baton Conducting with Myron Yusypovych!

September 30, 2016

10 Famous Opera Songs

Famous Opera Songs
Famous Opera Songs

All over the world, famous opera songs are an important part of the repertoire of opera music and classical music concerts. Most famous opera music includes French and Italian opera songs.

During a performance, the theatre audience will often welcome the most famous opera songs with a round of applause. After all, recent brain research has confirmed that the more familiar we are with a song, the more we tend to have an emotional reaction to it. Famous opera singers perform famous opera songs in opera concerts all over the world. Opera chorus songs are often a very popular part of an opera performance. Opera songs and opera music have been used consistently in promotional campaigns by products having nothing in common with opera.

But, how do opera songs become famous?

Recently, Matthew J. Salganik, professor of sociology at Princeton University, has conducted research into:

  • how individuals pick and choose the songs they enjoy?
  • to what extent are listeners influenced by how others have reacted to a song?
  • can our preferences influence what song becomes famous?

Listen, view and discover 10 Famous Opera Songs performed by opera singers!

July 11, 2016

Interesting Fun Facts About Cavalleria Rusticana, the Opera by Pietro Mascagni

Cavalleria Rusticana
Cavalleria Rusticana

Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni is an opera music classic.

“For many opera buffs, Pietro Mascagni is not as well known as the titans of opera, such as, Wagner, Verdi, Puccini or the genius Mozart or Rossini,” states opera conductor Myron Yusypovych.

Giovanni Verga (1840 – 1922) is the author of the original short-story Cavalleria Rusticana written in 1880. In the seminal short story, Turiddu, a young Sicilian tries to rekindle an old flame’s interest by courting another woman. Later this story became the basis for a drama, an opera and a film.

The two short operas – Pagliacci Cavalleria Rusticana are the part of the standard Italian opera music repertoire. In the jargon of the opera world, these 2 short operas are often referred to as operatic twins or Cav and Pav.

The famous Italian operas Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are labeled verismo. In attempting to explain the style, many have focused on the musical aspects of the works, even contrasting verismo with bel canto. However, ironically for opera, it is not the musical elements that are central in verismo, but the topic chosen for the opera’s libretto.

June 23, 2016

Famous Italian Operas Everyone Ought to Know

Italian Opera Clowns
Italian Opera Clowns

When you hear the word opera, do you think of famous Italian operas? After all, Italy is where opera was born.

One of the most well-known Italian operas is Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, more commonly knows as the clown opera.

Listen to opera music online from the opera Pagliacci: the opening scene of the opera; the scene between the female Nedda and the evil Tonio as he lusts for her; the Intermezzo in the opera.

Some of the greatest operas include famous opera songs that have been created by famous composers from Italy and in present-day Italy – Vincenzo Bellini, Pietro Mascagni, Giuseppe Verdi to name just a few. If you are interested, we have a list of famous operas composed by Italian composers on the territory of present-day Italy!

There was a time when opera music was composed exclusively to Italian language lyrics. Bel canto and verismo are two opera styles that began in Italy. Today, famous Italian opera singers continue to cultivate the best of Italian opera as part of popular culture.

May 3, 2016

Which is The Best Opera by Vincenzo Bellini? Norma

Norma, A Vincenzo Bellini Opera
Norma, A Vincenzo Bellini Opera

Norma is an opera in 2 Acts with music composed by Vincenzo Bellini (1801 – 1835) in the bel canto tradition of Italian opera. Norma was Bellini's favourite opera. The libretto for the opera Norma was written by Felice Romani (1788 – 1865) and was based on a many different literary and dramatic sources.

A synopsis of the opera will inevitably focus on the love triangle: 2 Druid priestesses and a Roman proconsul. But, interestingly, the opera plot of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma should rightly be viewed from the perspective of the political situation of the day as it was a time of great political change in Europe. Disguised as struggles taking place in ancient Greece or Rome, the ideas of liberation from the control of foreign powers were present in many Italian operas of the early 19thC. Norma by Vincenzo Bellini is no exception.

The first Norma was a famous female Italian opera singerGiuditta Pasta (1797 – 1865). More than 100 years later, Maria Callas (1923 – 1977) made the role famous. More recently, Sondra Radvanovsky (b.1969) and Cecilia Bartoli (b.1966) have performed the role to great reviews.

Listen to opera music online - Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma. Read a translation of the online opera music you are hearing

January 21, 2016

3 Amazing Female Italian Opera Singers

S.Krusceniski in Salome by R.Strauss
S.Krusceniski in Salome by R.Strauss

A behind-the-scenes look at 3 secret Italian opera singers who performed in Ukraine – Lviv and Odesa.

Gemma Bellincioni (1864 – 1950) performed for the first time at the age of 6 although there is conflicting information on when and how she made her operatic debut. She is famously remembered as the female singer who premiered the role of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana on May 17, 1890.

Salomea Krusceniski (1872 – 1952) made her operatic debut on April 15, 1893. Listen to an audio clip of her perform the aria Ritorna Vincitor from Act I of the Italian opera Aida, recorded in Milan, in 1907.

The story of the Italian premiere of the opera Salome by Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949) involves two female Italian opera singers – Gemma Bellincioni and Salomea Krusceniski. Discover the real date of the premiere – was it December 21 or 22, 1906?

Maria Guleghina (1959 - ) is considered one of today’s leading dramatic sopranos. When asked about her heritage, Maria Guleghina replies: “I have Ukrainian blood as well as Armenian, Jewish and Polish blood…I even feel Italian…

October 15, 2015

Best Halloween Songs for the Opera Enthusiast

Best Halloween Songs
Best Halloween Songs

In many cultures around the world, it is believed that on a certain night of the year the souls of the departed return to earth. Halloween is that special night of costumes, decorations and parties when the departed seem to be among us. Playing music that evokes the emotions and images of Halloween is a good way to enhance the evening.

So, what are the best Halloween songs? Interestingly, some of the best Halloween songs are opera songs that are part of the classical music opera repertoire.

The Queen of the Night in the opera The Magic Flute by W.A.Mozart is as close as we can get to an opera character singing one of the best Halloween songs. One of the scariest songs in the opera repertoire is Le veau d’or est toujours debout sung by Mephistopheles in the opera Faust by C. Gounod.

And, one of the most creepy highlights and another best from among potential Halloween songs for opera singing is in Il trovatore by G. Verdi. Watch a video clip of Azucena, the witch, sing about her mother’s burning at the stake.

July 17, 2015

Creating a New Youth Orchestra – Classical MusicNotes

Youth Orchestra
Youth Orchestra

I am compelled by an extraordinary event that happened in the cultural life of Lviv. Specifically, I am referring to the creation of a new youth symphony orchestra UNYSO – Ukrainian National Youth Symphony Orchestra….

Giving young musicians an opportunity to learn how to take the first steps in the difficult and exciting art of symphonic performance, is both altruistic and appropriate….

The nurturing of a musician is not just the teaching of the craft of performance, be it on a violin or a French horn. It is first and most importantly, the nurturing and development of a creative free thinker, capable, through the craft of music, to express the essence and the content of this business. After all, this is exactly why the listener comes to the concert hall….

Continue reading conductor Myron Yusypovych's MusicNotes on creating a youth orchestra.

July 9, 2015

Best-Selling Mozart Balls

Mozart Balls
Mozart Balls

Mozart Balls are chocolates named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most famous opera and baroque music composers.

Mirabell chocolate is the largest producer and distributor of Mozartkugeln. Other chocolate confectioners, have also been inspired by Mozart music to create Mozart marzipan balls.

There are claims that the original Mozart Balls were produced in Vienna. Not to be outdone, the German Reber company has also laid claim to Mozart Balls.

As you discover the history of the Mozart balls you might want to munch on some chocolate and listen to classical Mozart music online – the 4th part of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No.13 for Strings in G major), K.525 by W.A.Mozart.

June 18, 2015

Famous Operettas in an Opera House

Vivat Operetta!
Vivat Operetta!

Is it possible to prepare a quality classical operetta concert program and perform it on a «prestigious» opera stage?

Judging by the results of the program «=Vivat Operetta!, which I was able to view at the S.Krushelnytska National Opera and Ballet House in Lviv, Ukraine, I would say a definite – YES!

A grand opera theatre, which the Lviv Opera House is, has large human, tangible and infrastructure resources and so, is able to provide the highest level of creative opportunities to produce the best examples of any genre.

Continue reading conductor Myron Yusypovych's MusicNotes on famous operettas in an opera house.

June 4, 2015

7 Interesting Facts About Nabucco, the Opera

Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi
Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi

7. The opera Nabucco has a very complicated plot

6. Temistocle Solera based the libretto on a French play and an Italian ballet

5. Nabucco was an ancient historical Babylonian ruler

4. Biblical texts were the inspiration for Nabucco, the opera

3. Nabucco is the opera that began Verdi’s career as an opera composer

2. Va, pensiero, The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, is from the opera Nabucco

1. The Nabucco overture introduces the opera’s musical themes (continue to listen to opera music online …)

May 19, 2015

Performing Wagner's Opera Music

Performing Wagner's Opera Music
Performing Wagner's Opera Music

Performing Wagner's music is a challenge both from the artistic as well as, the professional levels. It demands a high level of performance craftsmanship and maturity. Although it may be possible to approach the musical works of other classical, romatic and even contemporary composers casually, in Wagner can be disastrous.

By virtue of habit an audience wants «to grab onto» comprehensible and familiar melodies, rhythms and harmonies… But, in Wagner audiences are exposed to something more bountenous and offbeat.

Continue reading conductor Myron Yusypovych's MusicNotes on Wagner operas…..

May 4, 2015

Mozart’s Grave: The Truth and The Lies

Mozart’s Grave Monument
Mozart’s Grave Monument

Mozart’s grave is at St. Marx Cemetery (Sankt Marxer Friedhof) in Vienna, Austria. However, the exact location of Mozart’s grave at the cemetery, his final resting place, is unknown, which for some makes this fact extremely unusual.

Some “experts” claim that Mozart was buried in a pauper’s grave. The Hollywood film Amadeus implies that Mozart was buried in a pit filled with other bodies using a reusable coffin. Dr. Joseph Hyrtl (1810 – 1894), a former rector of the University of Vienna, at one time claimed that he had found Mozart's skull.

Certainly, there appears to be a great deal of speculation about Mozart’s grave. But, the truth is much simpler and much less dramatic.

Listen to classical music online – the Lacrimosa and Domine Jesu Christe from the Requiem Mass in D minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as you discover the details of Mozart's grave.

April 2, 2015

The Art of Creating Live Classical Music Concerts' Programs

Live Classical Music Concerts' Programs
Live Classical Music Concerts' Programs

The key to overcoming I don't understand classical music., and Live classical music concerts are not for me! is hidden in whether or not a live concert program adheres to certain principles of drama. Moreover, this is true of both philharmonic and opera stages.

When building live classical music concert programs, it is important to keep in mind some basic principles concerning the human capacity to perceive.

Continue reading conductor Myron Yusypovych's MusicNotes on live classical music concerts' programs……

March 13, 2015

Opera and Drama

Wagner’s Ideas in Opera and Drama
Wagner’s Ideas in Opera and Drama

In Opera and Drama, the great composer Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883) presents his idea that drama is an essential component of the opera genre.

Wagner created a visual diagram (21st century readers would call it an info-graphic) of his ideas. Unfortunately, the diagram was not published in Opera and Drama but is reproduced for our readers here in translation.

While writing this work from October 1850 to January 1851, Wagner exchanged frequent letters with Theodor Uhlig (1822 – 1853), a musician and colleague. Of course, both the seminal work and the letters were written in German.

Interestingly, the word drama is originally from the Greek word meaning action. In Greek times, the word drama meant a play performed on stage – either a tragedy or a comedy. In the 19th century, drama came to depict a third type of theatrical genre, whose purpose was to evoke emotions in the audience.

Opera highlights tend to be full of drama.

February 20, 2015

A Ukrainian Angels Gallery – MusicNotes

Ukrainian Angels Gallery
Ukrainian Angels Gallery

A Ukrainian angels gallery stands on the main squares of many Ukrainian cities – a tribute to the Heavenly Hundred, the modern spiritual angels of Ukraine.

Watch the video gallery to familiarize yourself with a gallery of faces, victims of modern state-sponsored aggression against its own people. These are the beautiful Ukrainian angels.

The final 8 minutes of the video, which are featured in the video clip, are a tribute to the Heavenly Hundred angels. The gallery incorporates the work of Taras Shevchenko, a poet, artist and political prisoner of conscience who penned the work Kavkaz (The Caucasus), and Stanislav Liudkevych, a Ukrainian composer.

The Revolution of Dignity took place on Ukrainian soil in the winter of 2013-2014. But, the first Ukrainian angel was Serhiy Nigoyan, a Ukrainian citizen of Armenian background.

Jewish, Christian and Islam traditions – all have angels that act as messengers between Heaven and Earth. In the Christian tradition, angels are not only messengers between God and His people. They are also guardians.

The Heavenly Hundred! The Ukrainian Angels!

February 14, 2015

Paris Opera House Tour

Paris Opera House Tour
Paris Opera House Tour

During a tour of Paris, the Opera House, also known as the Op?ra de Paris, the Opera Garnier and the Opera Paris, is a must-see.

The most spectacular sight on a tour at the Paris Opera House is the Grand Staircase, which leads to the Grand Foyer and the auditorium.

The most controversial part of a Paris Opera House tour is the famous chandelier featured so prominently in The Phantom of the Opera. Did it, or did it not, fall? Discover for yourself.

The most confusing part of the tour is the front fa?ade, which Claude Debussy once claimed was exactly the same as the Paris train station. Decide for yourself.

The most disappointing part of a Paris Opera House tour is that you won’t be able to see the underground lake.

Listen to Opera Music Online: “Nei giardin del bello” from Act II of Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi as you glimpse a Paris Opera House tour online.

December 15, 2014

Verdi Opera and Operas

Verdi Opera
Verdi Opera

Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) is an integral part of the Italian opera. During his lifetime, Verdi composed 28 operas. Click for a list of Verdi operas with links to details about some of the operas.

Verdi created a unique character in his operas – the opera chorus. Some of the music has become part of popular culture: “Va, pensiero” (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from the opera Nabucco and “Coro d’intruduzione” from the opera Ernani.

Interestingly, “Verdi work” is a clue that consistently appears in newspaper crossword puzzles.

Is there an art to conducting Verdi opera? You judge! After all, …it is the audience that has to become convinced….

June 2, 2014

Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart – the Lviv (Lemberg) Mozart

Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart sculpted by Volodymyr Tsisaryk
Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart sculpted by Volodymyr Tsisaryk

Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart was the younger son of the famous classical music composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Franz Xaver lived most of his life in Lviv, Ukraine. Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart is often referred to as “the other Mozart”.

During the Soviet period, when various aspects of Lviv history were discussed, the name of Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart was consistently suppressed. Interestingly, Mozart had a great impact on the musical life and musical events in Lviv (Lemberg).

Discover a variety of Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart interesting facts that have become available since Ukraine’s independence.

Click to listen to Mozart –and The First Day of Spring op.28 (Der erste Frьhlingstag) by Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart performed in Lviv by the Galician Academic Chamber Choir and the Lviv Virtuosos Chamber Orchestra.

May 16, 2014

Baton Conducting, the Conductor, Magicians and Charlatans

Baton Conducting
Baton Conducting

For many people, those who do not regularly attend symphony concerts or opera productions, as well as, those who love opera and classical music, the role played by the individual dressed in tails (no, not the violin or clarinet players) and holding the little baton in his or her hand is, for the most, quite strange and incomprehensible.

For, while conducting almost a hundred and sometimes even two hundred people on a concert stage or an opera house theatre, the conductor’s baton is not a “magical” prop used to perfect this mystical craft. This instrument is, to a greater or lesser extent, necessary. But, instrumental to the success or lack of communication that must transpire between the conductor and the orchestra, choir, soloists, it is not.

In all truth, the skill or lack thereof of the person standing at the conductor’s podium is not due to his or her baton. For if he or she is not a true musician, then even a golden baton will not help. On the other hand, a true conductor can even do completely without a conductor’s baton.

Continue reading conductor Myron Yusypovych’s MusicNotes on baton conducting……

May 12, 2014

Opera Fudge and Opera Caramels Pack an Operatic Punch

Opera Fudge Variety
Opera Fudge Variety

Opera fudge and opera caramels are confectionaries. The word “confectionary” is a fancy term for all types of candies and chocolates. What is the difference between opera fudge and opera caramels? The difference is in the way opera fudge and opera caramels are made.

Both opera fudge and opera caramels are made from sugar and milk ingredients (butter, milk, cream). However, the ingredients are used differently, which provides for a very different mouthfeel.

Opera fudge and opera caramel recipes are meant for those who either enjoy their time in the kitchen or like to spend time perfecting details. For those who prefer attending the opera to dabbling in the kitchen, there is an easier opera fudge recipe.

As you read and discover the delights of opera fundge, listen to opera music onlineIsoldes Liebestod from the opera Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner.

April 21, 2014

Lohengrin, The Opera by Richard Wagner – A SHORT Synopsis

Famous Opera Tenor Menzinsky as Lohengrin
Famous Opera Tenor Menzinsky as Lohengrin

A 2 sentence synopsis of the German legend of Lohengrin, that was made into a full-length opera by Richard Wagner, reads as follows:

A shinning-knight arrives on a swan-driven boat to rescue a damsel-in-distress, who must promise never to ask for his true identity. After being rescued, she breaks her promise and the knight departs – never to be seen again.

The Lohengrin opera is significantly more involved than the 2 sentence summary above.

The story line for the opera Lohengrin, as envisioned by the composer and lyricist, Richard Wagner, develops over 3 full acts. Click to read the short act-by-act synopsis.

As you read the synopsis, listen to opera music online – the Vorspiel (Prelude) to Act I of Lohengrin, the opera by Richard Wagner. Conducted by Myron Yusypovych.

April 14, 2014

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – A Famous Young Prodigy

Young Mozart at 6 Years Old
Young Mozart at 6 Years Old

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – a young music prodigy had a very ambitious father, who gave him music lessons, discovered his talent and promoted him in the palaces of Europe. The biography of Mozart as a young child is a story of travel, musical performance and composition.

  • In Vienna, Austria the Mozarts stayed at Schloss Schönbrunn and performed for the Empress Maria Theresa.

  • In Paris and Versailles, France, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart stayed at the Chateau de Versailles and performed for Queen Consort Marie Leszczinska.

  • Young Mozart spent over a year in London, England.

Continue reading to discover more interesting facts about Mozart, as a young child.

View an opera video-clip of a young opera singer performing one of the most difficult arias from the Mozart repertoire.

March 15, 2014

Kavkaz by Taras Shevchenko and Stanislav Lyudkevych – Classical MusicNotes

Shevchenko's Kavkaz, music by Lyudevych
Shevchenko's Kavkaz, music by Lyudevych

Back in my student days, when I first came across the monumental work Kavkaz (The Caucases) by S.Lyudkevych (Liudkevych), composed in 1905, I was overtaken by disbelief that such a work was almost completely unknown in the world of music and I cherished the dream and staunch hope that, one day, I would have the opportunity to perform it.

And so it came to be!

Continue reading Classical MusicNotes by Myron Yusypovych.

January 13, 2014

In 1892 Leoncavallo Premiered His Opera and…

Opera and Ballet Premieres in 1892
Opera and Ballet Premieres in 1892

In 1892, 3 other opera composers premiered their operas as well – one in German, one in Russian and one in French.

In 1892, Leoncavallo claimed that the opera Pagliacci was based on a true life event from his personal past. However, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding Leoncavallo’s claim. Interestingly, some historians claim that Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924) is also based on a true story that took place in Japan in 1892.

In 1892, young opera singers, who would go on to become famous opera singers were developing their careers:

  • Modest Mencinsky would go on to become the lead tenor at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Gemma Bellincioni would sing the premiere of Cavalleria Rusticana
  • Mattia Battistini would travel in a special train coach car and tour Eastern Europe like no one before him
  • Adamo Didur would become the director of the Lviv Opera House
  • Solomiya Krushelnytska would have her name grace an opera house.

In 1892, young Ukrainian composers were beginning their difficult and arduous career paths. 1892 was the year that the Tsarist regime of Alexander III in Moscow issued a decree forbidding the translation of all Russian language works into Ukrainian. In time, each of the composers would endure prosecution:

  • Yaroslav Yaroslavenko would be denied the right to have his opera, orchestral and choir works published by authorities in Moscow
  • Mykola Leontovych would be assassinated by a Soviet State security agent while visiting his father's village home
  • Kyrylo Stetsenko would die mysteriously from typhus complications shortly after the establishment of the Soviet State in Ukraine.

Continue reading about these opera and classical music events that took place in 1892.

Listen to opera music online - the Intermezzo from the opera Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo.