6th BSEC Month of Culture
1-30 November 2022
On September 23, 2022, music-lovers all around the world celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of the famous Ukrainian opera singer Solomiya Krushelnytska, whose voice and acting won the hearts of millions of people, from Lviv to Buenos Aires. This date is included in the List of Commemorations and Anniversaries observed by UNESCO.
The most renowned critics considered the opera diva as an “unforgettable Aida”, “the only Gioconda in the world” and “the most charming Chio Chi San”. According to the famous Italian music critic Rinatto Cortopassi, she was the only woman who reigned on an opera stage in the first decades of the 20th century along with four male singers -Battistini, Caruso, Tita Ruffo and Chaliapin.
Solomiya Krushelnytska was born in 1872 in a Greek Catholic priest’s family, and she was interested in music from early childhood. After finishing Lviv Conservatory with honours, she improved her vocal skills in Milan under the tutelage of the renowned professor Fausta Krespi. In 1893, she debuted professionally in the role of Leonora in a production of Donizetti's “La favorita” in Lviv.
A special place in her biography goes to Giacomo Puccini’s "Madama Butterfly". After its failure in La Scala (Milan) in 1904, she dared to sing its new edition. Her voice and acting made “Madama Butterfly” one of the best operas in the world, and the composer characterized her as “the most beautiful and charming Butterfly”.
The singer gave many concerts in Europe and America presenting works different in forms, genres, composers, epochs and countries. She always added to her repertoire Ukrainian folk songs and songs of Ukrainian composers. Krushelnytska was also a professor of vocal singing at Lviv State Conservatory.
On the day of her 150th birth anniversary, Lviv National Opera -which is named after her- presented the Grand Concert “Solomiya. Brava!”. Guest singers from all Ukrainian opera theatres, soloists, choir and orchestra of Lviv National Opera participated in the concert under the baton of Italian conductor, Alberto Veronesi.
Picture No 2: As Elsa in R. Wagner's opera "Lohengrin"
Picture No 3: Chio-Chio-san in G. Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly"
Picture No 4: Lviv Opera house interior
Picture No 5: Commemorative coin on the occasion of the soprano’s 150th Birth Anniversary. The stylized butterfly wing symbolizes her role “Madama Butterfly” (2022) |© National Bank of Ukraine |Designer: Olena Horbatovska, Engravers: Anatolii Demianenko and Volodymyr Atamanchuk
Courtesy of the Department of International Cooperation and Protocol, Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine