Ukrainian Opera and Art Song Recorded Concert


Ukrainian Opera and Art Song
Performed by Taryn Plater and Perri Lo

     KnoxVan Events presents a recording of the LIVE concert on Saturday, September 17th 2022 performed by Taryn Plater and Perri Lo. Find more about the concert and the performers by visiting the performer’s page here.

About This Performance

     This concert is a heartfelt celebration of Ukrainian opera and song, introducing Vancouver audiences to hidden Ukrainian gems. 

     Please read further down this page for full translations kindly assisted by the Ukrainian Art Song Project.  

Program and Translations

A Broidered Kerchief

Music: Mykola Lysenko
Poetry: Taras Shevchenko

Broidered one, O kerchief mine,
Laced with threads so fair and fine,
I have made you for his bliss;
He will pay me with a kiss…
Kerchief mine
With colours fine!
While my tresses I unplait,
I shall saunter with my mate…
O what joy!
In the morning, folk will stare
At a waif with kerchief rare
That’s so well laced
And fine in taste.
(Translation: Watson Kirkconnell)

In My Dream I Wept
У сні я плакав

Music: Mykola Lysenko
Poetry: Heinrich Heine

In my dream I wept,
I dreamed you were in a coffin in the ground.
I woke, and teardrops
Flowed from my eyes.
In my dream I wept,
I dreamed you’d left me.
I woke, and wept
Long and bitterly.
In my dream I wept,
I dreamed you were still mine.
I woke, and still for some reason
I weep.

Don’t Ask if I Love You
Нащо, нащо тобі питати

Music: Kyrylo Stetsenko
Poetry: Oleksander Oles

Why do you ask
If I love you or not?
It is easier to tear my heart apart
Than to know the answer.
Do I love you? I don’t know,
Ask the silver stars at night,
Listen to the orchard’s rustle in the spring,
Look out in the distance from green mountain peaks.
Ask the seagull that laments,
Ask the clouds that spill their tears,
Go ask the burnt fallow fields
Drinking their last morning dew.
Ask them, because I am powerless to say.
I know only this: That you will leave
And a grave is already dug
And the golden sun has gone out.

Broken Harp Strings
Порвалися струни

Music: Kyrylo Stetsenko
Poetry: Oleksander Oles

I tore the string on my harp…
So the harp mourns mutely,
It evokes tears in others
And weeps itself.
I laugh, joke, sing,
I do not curse my fate at all,
As I pluck on the broken strings
Of my heart.

The Witness
Ой поля, ви поля

Music: Vasyl Barvinsky
Poetry: Oleksander Konysky

Oh, you fields! My mother, my homeland,
What blood and tears the wind has swept over you!
Carried everywhere, to the Dnipro and the Dniester,
and into the Black Sea, feeding the Bosphorus with blood!
Gray-haired grandfather, Dnipro!
Your waters so long given to the sea,

holding in your own eyes only tears;
and in the Dniester, the Prut,
it is not water which flows there,
not a flood which inundates the fields,
it is not water which crosses the Dnipro lands,
not water, but the peoples’ tears
separating the two shores.

Ballad of the Unexpected
Дума про Нечая

Music: Denys Sichynsky
Poetry: Unknown author

Oh it is not your time, Nechai,
To go to the tavern.
Because, Nechai,
they want to kill you.
Nechai does not listen,
And goes to the tavern,
And with the tavern-keeper’s wife,
Drinks rounds of mead and wine.
Oh flee, Nechai!
Oh flee, Cossack!
Because, for you, Nechai
All of Ukraine will weep!

Nastya’s Aria
Душа тремтить… Повернуться сподівані

From Taras Bulba
Music: Mykola Lysenko

Prelude no. 5 in D major
Music: Nikolai Kapustin

The Reaper
Понад полем іде

Music: Mykola Lysenko
Poetry: Taras Shevchenko

Across the fields he goes,
Not in swaths he mows them down,
Not in swaths but in mountains:
The earth is groaning and the sea is groaning,
Groaning and roaring.
At night the mower
Is met by screech-owls;
The mower keeps on cutting ceaselessly,
He has no pity upon anyone;
No begging will avail.
I pray you, do not beg; do not beseech;
He does not even pause to whet his scythe;
Whether it be a suburb or a city,
The hoary fellow shaves as with a razor
Without discrimination, everyone:
The peasant, the taverner,
The lonely kobzar;
The oldster as he mows intones a song
And lays his swaths of corpses mountain-high,
He does not even miss a tsar.
Me too he will not miss,
He’ll mow me down in a far, foreign land,
Behind barred windows he will strangle me…
No one will plant a cross above my grave
And no one will remember me!
(Translation: Watson Kirkconnell)

Dancing Shoes
Якби мені черевики

Music: Mykola Lysenko
Poetry: Taras Shevchenko

If I had dancing shoes,
I would go dancing.
Oh what grief!
No dancing shoes have I,
But the musicians play and play,
Adding to my sorrow!
I will go barefoot through the field,
Searching for my destiny,
Oh what a destiny!
Look at me and my good looks!
My destiny is untrue,
And ill-fated am I!
The girls are dancing

With red shoes –
I plod through the world.
Without luxury, without love,
I wear away my good looks
In servitude.

Evening Dance
Music: Stefania Turkewich
Poetry: Vira Vovk

A red sock,
A leather moccasin,
Hey there girl, beautiful as a flower,
Like blossom in a vase!
Your fragrant sheepskin jerkin,
Your buttered braids,
You proud lipped beauty –
Your words sting like a wasp!
Hey there girl, with your black plaits,
Your mother dressed you finely –
Don’t look so askance
Just because my satchel’s empty.
(Translation: Maria Lukianowicz)

The Orphan

Music: Mykola Lysenko
Poetry: Oleksander Konysky

He is not destitute whose kin reject him,
Who has no kin, no cottage to protect him;
Nor he whose horny skin rough homespun scratches,
Whose garments have been vamped with countless
While he has sturdy hands, a brain discerning,
Love for his folk, for freedom and for learning,
He is not destitute, and naught shall shame him
He is his country’s child, its folk acclaim him.
(Translation: Watson Kirkconnell)

Oh I’m a Poltavka Maid
Ой я дівчина Полтавка

From Natalka Poltavka
Music: Mykola Lysenko

Oh hush-a-bye my baby
Ой люлі, люлі, моя дитино

Music: Vasyl Barvinsky
Poetry: Taras Shevchenko

Oh hush-a-bye my child,
Day and night.
You will go, my son, through Ukraine,
Cursing us.
Oh my son, do not curse your father,
Don’t recall.
I am your cursed mother,
Curse me instead.
When I am no more, don’t go among the people,
Go to the grove.
The grove will not ask or see,
Wander there.
You will find in the grove that viburnum,
So nestle there,
For, my child,
I loved it once.
When you go into villages and houses,
Do not worry,
And when you see a mother with her children,
Do not look.

I Stood and Listened to the Spring
Стояла Я І слухала весну

Music: Kyrylo Stetsenko
Poetry: Lesia Ukrainka

I stood and listened to the spring
The spring told me a lot,
It sang to me, ringing loudly,
Then whispered secretly again.
It sang to me about love,
About youth, joys, hopes,

It sang to me again
That which, long ago, my dreams had sung.

Spring Again
Знов весна

Music: Vasyl Barvinsky
Poetry: Lesia Ukrainka

Again it is spring,
And again hopes revive in my heart,
Again I cradle dreams,
Dreams suggesting happiness.
Beautiful springtime! Lovely dreams!
My dreams of happiness!
I love you, although I know
That you are treacherous.

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