Bogdan Strutynskyi – General Director, Artistic Director of Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theatre. Bogdan belongs to the cast of young talented theater directors who determine the theatrical glory of Ukraine today. His constant creative search and a new word in the art were demonstrated in the first steps of directing, when after graduating in 1996 from the Kyiv State Institute of Theater Arts named after Karpenko-Kary (L. Tanyuk’s workshop), he started post graduate education at the Department of Actor’s Skills and Drama, and attended workshops of leading artists of theatrical art: V. Stanevsky (Gardzienice, Poland, 1991), B. Golubovsky (GITIS, Moscow, 1992), at the Center for Theater and Cultural Search. E. Grotowski (Wroclaw, Poland, 1995-1996), Z. Molik (Wroclaw, Poland, 1996), Richard Neochim (ACTOR’S LAB THEATER, Toronto, Canada), WILDFLECKEN THEATER (Berlin, Germany), where he mastered the specializations “Directing”, “Management and Production”.
Bogdan Strutynsky’s creative work as a director at that time demonstrates the width of his artistic preferences. Along with productions of works by Ukrainian classics (Lesya Ukrainka – “Stone Master”, Lina Kostenko – “Spring and Bright Resurrection”, Mykola Kulish – “Mina Mazailo”, Oleksandr Dovzhenko – “Enchanted Desna”, Olena Teliga – “Turn”), original interpretations of the philosophical work of Friedrich Nietzsche “So said Zarathustra”, “Anatoly” (“Happiness from Schnitzler”) by A. Schnitzler were made.
Understanding such a deep drama helped the director to master the “easy” genre – operetta. Bogdan Strutynskyi willingly shared his creative experience with young people at Kyiv State Institute of Theater Arts named after Karpenko-Kary and in the State Cultural Center named after Les Kurbas, where he worked as a teacher.
In February 2004, Bogdan Strutynskyi was appointed as Artistic Director of Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater. The director had to open a new page in the history of the creative team.
In a short time, under the guidance of the young director, Kyiv Operetta underwent radical changes. This is primarily due to the renewal of the creative staff and successful classical and modern productions. The new artistic director opened a new page in the history of the creative team. Despite the inertia of stereotypes, the director boldly introduced extraordinary events, invited young people and created favorable conditions for creative self-realization. Recent theatrical seasons have been marked for the operetta theater by significant and positive changes in the art life. Musical performances for children appeared on the stage of the operetta – “Carnival of fairy tales in Ukraine”, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” by V. Domshinsky (directed by B. Strutynskyi), “Kitty House” (directed by M. Butkovskyi), “Adventures of Pinocchio “(O. Rybnikov) and others.
In October 2004, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the theater, at the initiative of Bogdan Strutynskyi, a chamber stage was opened – “Theater in the Foyer”, where he successfully staged three plays in the following years – “Gale Dinner with Italians” (2004) and “Key on the pavement or the adventures of the wedding night “(2009) by J. Offenbach and “Coffee Cantata” by J. S. Bach (2006). In addition to the Theater in the Foyer, another stage has appeared on the posters of the National Operetta of Ukraine at the initiative of Bogdan Strutynskyi – “Musical Living Room”, where chamber vocal and instrumental evenings are held – “Evening of Romance”, “Touching to the Heart of a Genius” dedicated to the anniversary of birth of F. Chopin, “Bach in every music, God in each of us” dedicated to the International Music Day.
In 2005, “My Charming Lady” musical by F. Lowe was staged by Bogdan Strutynskyi, which showed that the Bogdan has a strong potential as a director of the musical theater, consisting of operetta and musical, and experimental research in these directions.
In 2007, for the first time on the post-Soviet territory, the heroes of the famous operetta “Mr. X” spoke and performed songs in Ukrainian due to Bogdan Strutynskyi.
For a significant personal contribution to the development of Ukrainian theatrical art, great creative achievements and high professionalism Bogdan Strutynskyi was awarded by the following titles: “Honored Artist of Ukraine” in 2007, “Knight of the Order of Merit of the III degree”, “St. Vladimir I, II and III degrees”, “Badge of Honor”.
And in 2008 Bogdan Strutynsky together with choreographer Maxim Bulgakov successfully presented to the public an experimental production – a dance-plastic show “Tango of Life”.
Premiere of the Ukrainian operetta “Sorochyn Fair” by O. Ryabov (directed by B. Strutynskyi) became a significant event in the life of the theater. The performance was awarded by Kyiv Pectoral Theater Award in 2010 in the nomination “For Best Musical Performance”.
In December 2009, Kyiv Academic Operetta Theater celebrated its 75th anniversary and on this occasion the Theatre received the status of the National for its significant contribution to the national spiritual revival and high creative level. And this is a great merit of Bogdan Strutynskyi the artistic director.
However, neither the considerable age of the theater nor the high recognition of the achievements of the team did not affect the relevance, witty and romantic uplift of his various genre performances. Each new creative work of Bogdan Strutynskyi as a director is a self-sufficient artistic space, organized according to its own laws of existence.
A bright example is “Ball in Savoy” operetta by P. Abraham, which premiered with great success on October 22, 2010, and the modern romantic musical “Welcome to Ukraine or Journey to Love” based on Bogdan Strutynsky’s own libretto to the music of Ukrainian composers. the premiere of which was greeted with enthusiasm by the audience on March 25, 2011. After all, this is a unique national visiting card project, created in the art laboratory of Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater, which boldly combines Ukrainian folk, symphonic, jazz, pop music with works by Ukrainian composers, modern choreography – modern and contemporary styles organically exist with folk dance style. and bright ceremonial fairy plays – Kupala and harvest festival, percussion on braids and carols, Christmas and Easter variety were merged with the most popular pop compositions.
The premieres of concert programs staged by B. Strutynskyi: “Ukraine in Songs and Romances”, Gala Concerts for the Closing and Opening of theatrical Seasons, the Grand Final of the International Festival “Discovering Paderevsky” were sold out. And also it’s worth to mention the brand concerts: “To you My Love”, “Music of hearts”, “Music from films” (Double 1, 2, 3), “10 Tenors”, “Strauss in Operetta”, “Bravo, L’Operette!”, “Evening of Hungarian music “.
At the same time, Kyiv National Operetta is actively touring in Ukraine and abroad – the best performances of the theatre were applauded by spectators in Chernivtsi, Uzhgorod, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Donetsk.
The theater has repeatedly participated in theater festivals not only in Ukraine but also in Romania, Poland, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Hungary and Lithuania.
In October 2010, at the VI Regional Comedy Festival “Golden Applause of Bukovina” in Chernivtsi, Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater received two major honorary awards – “For Best Musical Performance” and “For Best Performance of a Women’s Part (Galyna Gregorchak)” for one-act operetta Jacques Offenbach “Gala Dinner with the Italians.”
In autumn 2011, as part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania, a large-scale international project took place – two joint Gala Concerts with leading soloists, choirs, ballet and orchestras of Kaunas State Musical Theater and Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater. in Kaunas (Lithuania) and on December 2 in Kyiv, which became a magical holiday of music and dance.
On November 19, 2011 in Bucharest (Romania) within the framework of the IV International Festival of Musical Performing Arts “Viata e frumoasa” (“Life is Beautiful!”) Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater presented “Ball in Savoy” operetta by P. Abraham to foreign audiences which was unanimously named the best performance in the history of the festival, and the audience bought even standing places to see this performance. Also, for the first time, Bogdan Strutynskyi was invited as the co-director of the grand gala concert dedicated to the opening of the festival.
At the end of 2011, on December 17, the premiere of “Chasing for two Hares” operetta by V. Ilyin and V. Lukashov based on the comedy of the same name by M. Starytskyi (stage editing and staging by B. Strutynskyi) took place in the Theatre, which differentiates of a tremendous success with the audience. and brightness of the stage as well as director’s decision.
In June 2012, Kyiv residents saw a new interpretation of Johann Strauss most famous operetta, The Gypsy Baron, staged by Bogdan Strutynskyi.
The appearance of “Gypsy Baron” on the stage of the Kyiv Operetta is not a coincidence, because due to the complexity and richness of the music, this operetta has become a characteristic feature of the theater’s repertoire, which has inexhaustible creative potential and technical capabilities.
The director of the play Bogdan Strutynskyi boldly uses new technologies – a number of special effects that are achieved through multimedia and space play of scenery. The performance consists of numbers with elements of acrobatics, a drum defile and a live horse on stage. A separate trend was gypsy authenticity: gypsy folk music and a stylized marriage ritual of water purification, where a real gypsy 100-year-old handkerchief from the Austro-Hungarian Empire was used.
In November of the same year, the Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater successfully presented Ukraine with the operetta “Gypsy Baron” at the V International Music Festival of Performing Arts “Viata e frumoasa!”, which is traditionally held at the Bucharest National Operetta Theater “Ion Dacian”.
And on November 30, 2012, on the occasion of the National Day of Romania, the second joint concert with the Bucharest National Operetta Theater “Ion Dacian” in Ukraine took place on the stage of the Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater.
On May 15, 2013, during the celebrations on the occasion of the All-Ukrainian Day of Cultural Employees and Experts of Folk Art on behalf of Oleksandr Popov the Mayor, Kyiv City State Administration awarded Bogdan Strutynskyi the Artistic Director of the National Operetta of Ukraine, by the title of the Honored Artist of Ukraine for the development of the national culture and high professionalism.
On May 17, 2013 Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater opened the IX International Theater Festival “Classics Today” (Dniprodzerzhynsk city) with “Gala Dinner with Italians”. a bright and incendiary opera-buff by J. Offenbach. Galyna Gregorchak-Odrynska soloist-vocalist of Kyiv National Operetta Theater won the nomination “Best Actress”.
On June 8 and June 9, 2013, on the initiative of Bogdan Strutynskyi, who became the author of the idea, for the first time in Ukraine the International Music Festival “O-FEST”. an event of world importance took place. This musical-theatrical project, founded by the Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater, harmoniously combines classical and open-air formats. The main program of the festival includes operetta, musical and opera performed by the festival participants, and also you can listen to jazz, folk, pop music, modern poetry, sound installations and many innovations. The festival was attended by vocalists from Ukraine, Russia, Austria, France, Romania, Lithuania, Poland, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran and other countries.
The organizers of the festival are Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater and Bucha City Council.
After the Festival a premiere of “Kiss me Kate” musical by C. Porter was staged in the Theatre. The days of the premiere of the musical were marked by the slogan: SOLD OUT!
The National Operetta uses modern powerful technical capabilities: additional powerful acoustic amplifiers, 30 new super-sensitive radio microphones, complex scenery-transformers 8 meters high – especially for this musical,. The musical is incredibly complex both in stage and in technical terms. The space is maximum transformed, complex scenery is changed directly in front of the audience, and the latter become witnesses of the real back stage life of the theater. Scenery and costumes for “Kiss me, Kat!” created by the famous Lithuanian artist Vilma Galiatskaite-Dabkiene, who worked with the best directors – Rimas Tuminas and Eimuntas Nyakrosius.
In August 2013, the National Union of Theater Actors of Ukraine unanimously elected Bogdan Strutynskyi the artistic director of the National Operetta of Ukraine Chairman of the Guild of Directors of Ukraine, created on the initiative of the National Union of Theater Actors of Ukraine.
On the International Music Day on October 1, 2013, the Art and Concert Center named after Ivan Kozlovsky of the National Operetta of Ukraine (50-B Khreschatyk Street) was opened. The premiere of the musical performance “Ivan Kozlovsky – Faith, Hope, Love” was staged at that day for Kyiv residents and guests of the city. Ivan Kozlovsky Art and Concert Center is another creative laboratory of Kyiv Operetta Theater, which was opened on June 9, 2013 as part of the program of the First International Music Festival “O-FEST 2013” and whose main activity will be around the opera genre. After all, Ivan Kozlovsky, first of all, is an outstanding tenor of the twentieth century, opera and chamber singer.
Today, the following productions of Bogdan Strutynskyi are still popular among the audience – “Mademoiselle Nitush” by F. Herve, “Truffaldino from Bergamo” by O. Kolker.
According to Decree of the President of Ukraine № 27/2015 “On awarding state awards of Ukraine on the occasion of the Day of Unity of Ukraine” for significant personal contribution to state building, cultural and educational development of the Ukrainian state, many years of hard work and high professionalism Bogdan Strutynskyi was awarded with the title “Honoured Artist of Ukraine”.
March 27, 2015 – the premiere of the world-famous Broadway musical “Sugar Or Someone Like it Hot” by J. Stein directed by Bogdan Strutynskyi. The premiere of the musical was attended by Dieter Topp the director of the European Cultural Forum. At the end of the performance he presented the team of the National Operetta with the Honorary Medal of the European Cultural Forum “For the great potential and high quality of performances of the National Operetta of Ukraine”.
On the eve of the premiere on March 23, a solemn ceremony of awarding the nominees and winners of “Kyiv Pectoral 2014” took place. The National Operetta of Ukraine won the main prize in three nominations at once: a special award “For significant contribution to the development of theatrical art”, which was awarded by the team of the National Operetta of Ukraine and artistic director Bogdan Strutynskyi; “For the best musical performance” the prize was won by the musical “Truffaldino from Bergamo” by O. Kolker; “For the best directorial debut” the prize was won by the chief choreographer of the theater Vadym Prokopenko with the ballet extravaganza “Carmen Suite” by J. Bizet.
On November 11, 2016, the National Operetta of Ukraine had premiere of Imre Kalman’s operetta “Countess Maritsa” staged by Bogdan Strutynsky, which is considered to be the “most Hungarian” operetta of the composer. The new production of the world-famous operetta has an in-depth motivational sense of the main characters, modern language, and current interpretation.
On May 6-8, 2016, the First International Art Festival of the Carpathian Region “Carpathian Space-2016”, initiated by the National Operetta of Ukraine, took place in Ivano-Frankivsk. The festival culture, which is supported by the theater of national status, evidences on the positive direction of the social movement in the country. International cooperation at this level serves to confirm the peaceful development of our country. In addition, the festival is a new form of interaction between spectators and theater, which today actualizes the Ukrainian musical theater.
The Carpathian Space Festival – 2016 was attended by representatives of creative, political and diplomatic representatives of Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, GUAM countries: Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as honored guests from Estonia.
Bogdan Strutynskyi is the author of the idea and the founder of the festival The festival has been existing for three years and during this time has managed to expand the circle of international partners. In 2018, the Carpathian Space united together 18 participating countries: Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Switzerland, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, France, Mexico, Belarus, Slovakia, Romania, the Czech Republic .
On February 15, 2016, the collection of application forms for participation in the International Competition-Laboratory of productions by young directors in the genre of small theater productions and the International Competition-Laboratory of productions by young directors in the genre of operetta / musical / opera buff “Musical Art Project” was launched. International competition-laboratories of productions by young directors, the founder of which is the National Operetta of Ukraine, aim to identify and support young directors who work in these areas.
On January 29, 2016, the National Operetta presented the premiere, which reopened the theater for spectators. The first production of “Love Monologue based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s play “Love Answer to a Man Sitting in a Chair” took place. This event was eagerly awaited in the capital, because by staging a mono-play, a genre atypical for the National Operetta, the theater dared to take a bold step and opened a new milestone in the repertoire policy of the Theatre.
During a press conference before the performance, Bogdan Strutynskyi, artistic director of the theater and director of the one-man show, Honoured Artist of Ukraine, said: “We always say that the operetta theater is a theater of a wilde profile, and this project today only confirms this. Indeed, we are taking a certain exam. And I would like our audience love this project as much as we love it. “
On October 3, 2016, the Congress of the National Union of Theater Actors of Ukraine took place. s Artist of Ukraine Bogdan Strutynsky the Honoured Artist of Ukraine was elected as Headof the Union.
On March 27, 2017, on the International Theater Day, the most famous and oldest theatrical award of Ukraine in the entire post-Soviet space – Kyiv Pektoral – celebrated its 25th anniversary. Operetta “Countess Maritsa” by I. Kalman staged by Bogdan Strutynskyi received an award in the nomination “For the best musical performance”. Another “Kyiv Pektoral” was awarded to Arsen Kurbanov the artist of the National Operetta in the nomination “Best Male Supporting Actor” for the role of Baron Zupan in the play “Countess Maritsa”.
On March 17-19, 2017, on the initiative of the Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theater, the spring International Conference “Opera Europa-2017 in Kyiv” took place for the first time in Ukraine. Kyiv Operetta became an associate member of the Opera Europe organization.
On April 7, 2017, the National Operetta of Ukraine presented the premiere of the comic opera “The Barber of Seville, staged by Bogdan Strutynsky. For the first time, the National Operetta staged The “Barber of Seville”, a work recognized as a world masterpiece of musical art. The fate of “The Barber of Seville” is triumphant, this Rossini opera became one of the best comic operas in the history of this genre.
On June 26, 2017, Bogdan Strutynskyi became the coordinator for the cultural sphere of the National Forum “Transformation of Ukraine”.
In 2017, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary to Ukraine Erno Keshken on behalf of the President of Hungary Janos Ader presented Bogdan Strutynskyi with Hungarian Golden Cross “For Merits”. The award was presented in recognition of the presentation in Ukraine of works of Hungarian classical art and the operetta genre, for strengthening of Hungarian-Ukrainian cultural relations.
On March 6, 2018, the presentation of the First All-Ukrainian Theater Festival-Award “GRA” (Great Real Art) took place. The founder and organizer of the Festival-Award is the National Union of Theater Actors of Ukraine. “GRA” has no analogues among Ukrainian cultural and artistic events. The main goal of the Festival is to unite all the theaters of Ukraine and present their best achievements to Ukraine and the international community, to promote national theatrical art in all its genres, styles and forms, to identify leading trends and stimulate the development of Ukrainian theatrical competitive environment.
The premiere of the world-famous musical “Fiedler on the Roof” directed by Bogdan Strutynskyi took place in the National Operetta of Ukraine on March 29, 2018. “Fiedler on the Roof” is a musical in the top five in the world. It has been performed on Broadway more than 3,000 times in almost nine years, and in 1965 the play won nine of the most prestigious Tony Awards.
On June 16, 2018 Kyiv National Operetta Theater hosted a double premiere: a new play “Accompanist” and the opening of the experimental stage Stage_Lab. Mono-performance of Asya Sereda-Goldun “Accompanist” staged by Oleksandr Bilozub was produced as the first performance on the Satge_Lab.
The experimental stage Stage_Lab was presented on the ground floor of the National Operetta of Ukraine. This is a new stage, where various performances of chamber format will be created for a small audience (~ 40 people).
It is no exaggeration to say that Bogdan Strutynskyi became a symbol of the revival of classical operetta as a genre, turning the only operetta theater in Ukraine into an elite theater with its own brand. Undoubtedly, this is a great merit of the inspired work of the whole creative team and the active work of the artistic director. Under the motto “Kyiv Operetta – a step to the holiday”, he returned the audience to the Operetta Theater, completely changing the approach to the functioning of the theater, which, despite the predominance of classical repertoire, ceased to be conservative in nature. Today Bogdan Strutynskyi positions the National Operetta as a theater of a wide profile, where classical operetta, modern and classical musicals are successfully performed, various concert programs are widely presented and various creative experiments are boldly embodied. It is a full-fledged, multifunctional musical theater with a clearly defined development strategy, which constantly expands the worldview of its troupe and its audience, learning a variety of styles and directions, invites artists from other theaters and countries and constantly looking for new creative ideas. After all, a modern competitive theater must anticipate the tastes of the public, promote the formation of new aesthetic priorities, acquainting the audience with the best achievements of the world musical theater. And today the theater is successfully presenting itself internationally with different tours and festivals feeling itself in the European context.