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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ukrainian Language

Supplementary materials for students in their first year of study of the Ukrainian language


The Ivan Franko Ukrainian National Academic Dramatic Theatre was built in 1898, and the theatre troop, named after the famous Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko, has been performing since 1926. The repertoire consists of classical, dramatic and musical performances. Performances are in Ukrainian. For detailed information on its history, repertoire and more see the official website theatre.


Following a long petition of the Russian Empire The National Opera of Ukraine was established in Kiev in 1867. This heralded the first permanent Russian opera troupe which to be formed in Kyiv and was led by Ferdinand Berger. For more history of the opera, check out their website.

The National Opera of Ukraine boasts an impressive repertoire of Opera, Bellet, and Concerts, all of which are regularly updated with descriptions on the opera's website. 


Semen Hulak-Artemovsky (1813 – 1873) is considered to be one of the greats of Ukrainian opera.

Did You Know?

The contrast between the political situation in eastern and western 19th century Ukraine had a real impact on Ukrainian theater.  As theater was becoming more popular and the first touring theater was established in eastern Ukraine, western Ukraine saw some of its most severe repression.  The Ems ukaze of 1876 completely prohibited Ukrainian theater performance.

"The Ems Ukase prohibited the printing in the Ukrainian language of any original works or translations. Historical documents could be printed in the original orthography, but belles-lettres could appear only in Russian orthography. It also forbade the importation from abroad of Ukrainian-language publications, the staging of plays and public readings in Ukrainian, and the printing of Ukrainian lyrics to musical works. All manuscripts permissible under the new act were subject to approval by the censors before publication."

Extracted from Ems Ukase. in Encyclopedia of Ukraine.  .