Chornobyldorf (Ukraine) making it to TOP-6 world best operas

Chornobyldorf, an archaeological opera by Ukrainian composers Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko, has been listed among the six best operas and music-theater performances by the global Music Theater Now network. 

Music Theater Now is a competition founded by the International Theater Institute and the Operadagen Rotterdam, supported by the world’s leading contemporary opera festivals. Every three years, a jury judges more than 500 newly created performances from over 50 countries. In May 2022, the winners will be able to present their work in Rotterdam to hosts of international festivals representing all continents, from Buenos Aires to Shanghai and Sydney. The composers were already favored by this competition’s jury in 2018, when their first opera Iyov made it to TOP-10 Music Theater Now for the 2015–2018 seasons.

Jury Statement:

“Chornobyldorf gives you an overwhelming, again and again surprising, archaic as well as contemporary artistic vision of what life could be like after an apocalypse. It’s a real spectacle which combines a wealth of rituals, visuals, movements and sounds you think you have somehow and at the same time never experienced.

The gravitational force of the production pulls the audience into its own world and at the same time invites for individual reflections about the state of society.“

(Jury of MTNow 2021)


The archaeological opera shows descendants of humanity who survive a number of catastrophes and find themselves in a world after the death of capitalism, opera, and philosophy. Wandering among the ruins of nuclear power plants, abandoned churches, theaters, and galleries, they try to recreate a lost civilization through archaeological ritual performances. Once again misinterpreted, symbols and signs gradually disappear  into the white noise of nature.

Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko are the composers, directors, and playwrights of the opera. Choreographer: Khrystyna Slobodianiuk. The play brought together artists and performers such as Marichka Shtyrbulova, Ihor Zavgorodnyi, Maria Potapenko, Susanna Karpenko, and Oleksii Zaiets. Anna Kirsh, Maryana Golovko, Andryi Koshman, Ruslan Kirsh, and Andryi Nadolskyi. The legendary Ukrainian poet Yurii Izdryk and the Austrian actress Anne Bennent play special roles in the performance. 

Producers: Olha Diatel (proto produkciia) and Georg Stecker (Musiktheatertage WIEN).

The creative group of the archaeological opera was also joined by the artist Kateryna Markush (costumes and installations), Yevhen Bal (instrument constructor and performer) a camera crew of camera operators Denys Melnyk and Anna Sorokolit and sound director Andrii Nidzelskyi, electronic musician and composer Georgyi Potopalskyi, lighting designers Maria Volkova and Svitlana Zmeeva, artist and music instruments constructor Yevhenii Bal, video artist Dmytro Tentiuk, sound director Vyacheslav Sobolev, technical director Yaroslav Kornienko, and assistant director Volodymyr Burkovets.

For reference: 

Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko are Ukrainian composers who have been working together since 2007.

Over this period, they have created 10 operas and music-theater performances here (Iyov, Gaz, Aerophonia, Dream-opera neprOsti, Wozzeck, Chornobyldorf, Opera Lingua, and other) by inviting directors Vlad Troitskyi, Rostyslav Derzhypilskyi, and Virlana Tkazc, artists of the Nova Opera ensemble, Ukrainian writers Yurii Izdryk and Taras Prokhasko, and many other creative people.

Roman Grygoriv is the music director of the National Presidential Orchestra of Ukraine. Illia Razumeiko is a PhD student at the Artistic Research Center of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko have founded the Porto Franko 2010–2018 festival (Ivano-Frankivsk), are actively involved with film music (documentary and feature films, directors Semen Mozhovyi Story of the Winter Garden, The Holiday of Chrysanthemums, Serhii Lysenko Ex, Zaza Buadze The Mother of the Apostles and The Umbrella Sky, Leonid Kanter Myth).

Winners of T. H. Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine for their IYOV requiem opera.


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