Ochyma Cultury: Ievhen Stankovych and Ihor Shamo

Several weeks ago we posted Marko Robert Stech’s television segment Ochyma Cultury («Очима культури») № 97, dedicated to prominent Lviv artists Roman Selsky and Magrit (Reich) Selska. Dr. Stech, a Canadian literary scholar, cultural historian, and writer regularly produces television segments dedicated to little-known and/or underappreciated phenomena in Ukrainian culture for the Kontakt Ukrainian Television Network in Canada. Selected Ochyma Cultury television segments are translated into English, recorded, and produced by scholarly editor and television producer Tania Stech in a series Eye on Culture.

Today we suggest another Ochyma Cultury television segment which features an interesting story about cultural links, cooperation, and mutual influences between artists and cultural figures of Ukrainian and Jewish origins in Ukraine. Ochyma Cultury № 94 is dedicated primarily to the creative legacy of one of Ukraine’s most prominent contemporary composers, Ievhen Stankovych. Among his numerous compositions, Stankovych composed a number of works on Jewish themes, including the Kaddish-Requiem Babyn Yar. This masterful and prolific composer was also a co-creator of a unique for its time musical genre of “folk opera,” represented by his opera When the Fern Blooms. However, this segment also tells the story of the second co-creator of this characteristically Ukrainian genre—a composer of Jewish origin, Ihor Shamo. In the 1960s, after accidentally encountering an ancient Ukrainian folk festival in the village of Iatran in southern Ukraine, Shamo became so fascinated with Ukrainian folklore that he wrote a unique choral folk opera The Yatran Games.

Ochyma Cultury № 94 about Ievhen Stankovych and Ihor Shamo:

And those who would like to see the continuation of the story about nonconformist Ukrainian cultural figures of the 1960s generation, may wish to watch the next TV segment, Ochyma Cultury № 95, about the elitist group of poets who called themselves the “Kyiv School of Poets”: