a jazz musical inspired by the 1929 show about Kharkiv, Ukraine
created by Serhiy Zhadan (text), Anthony Coleman (music) and Virlana Tkacz (direction)
with Yara Arts Group
Radio 477! coming to La MaMa March 10 -19, 2023
La MaMa Experimental Theatre
66 East 4th St, New York City
PS 21 Performance Spaces for the 21st Century
2980 NY-66, Chatham, New York 12037
PS 21 in Chatham, NY - "Many Ukrainians have made this part of New York state their favorite summer spot. It is a short drive from Hunter, New Paltz, Albany and just down the road from the Plast Camp in East Chatham."
George Drance, Silvana Gonzalez, Akiko Hiroshima, Susan Hwang, Petro Ninovskyi, Julian Kytasty and Lesya Verba
plus live orchestra: led by Anthony Coleman (piano) with: Ron Horton (trumpet), Marty Ehrlich (clarinet), Melissa Elledge (accordion), Aliya Ultan (cello), Anna Abondolo (bass), James Paul Nadien (drums)
English translations: Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps with Anthony Coleman
Movement: Shigeko Suga, Costumes: Keiko Obremski, Lights: Margaret Peebles
Projections & graphics: Waldemart Klyuzko with Darien Fiorino,
stage manager: Yula Deglina
June 17, 2022
Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd St New York City
George Drance, Darien Fiorino, Silvana Gonzalez, Akiko Hiroshima, Susan Hwang, Maksym Lozynskyj, Jeremy Vance and Lesya Verba
Anthony Coleman (piano) Hannah Dunton (bass), Frank London (trumpet), Erica Mancini (accordionist), Satoshi Takeishi (drums, percussion), Francesca Ter-Berg (cello), Doug Wieselman (clarinet)
Dedicated to all the artists who worked on “Hello, This Is Radio 477!” which opened at the Berezil Theatre in Kharkiv, Ukraine January 9, 1929.
RADIO 477! is inspired by Hello, This Is Radio 477! a 1929 jazz musical revue performed in Kharkiv about Kharkiv. It envisioned a Ukrainian popular culture in step with the latest trends in Europe and America. Radio 477, Kharkiv’s radio station, was one of the most powerful in the country; it represented new technology and the future. Long assumed to have been destroyed, Yuliy Meitus’s score for this show was recently discovered in the archives. Only fragments of the script exist, but the programs include a detailed list of scenes. Hello, This Is Radio 477! was structured like a typical German revue of the time, with a satirical look at city life in the first act, popular dances in the second, and a longer dramatic scene as the final act. We follow the show’s structure and are inspired by songs by Yuliy Meitus.
Yuliy Meitus,. one of Ukraine’s great 20th century composers, was born in 1903 to a Jewish family in Kropyvnytsky, Ukraine. In 1919 he graduated from the local music school and moved to Kharkiv, where he studied composition with Semen Bogatyryov at the Kharkiv Institute of Music and Drama, graduating in 1931. From 1923 to 1924 he was the concertmaster for the Kharkiv Opera Society and organized the first jazz band in Ukraine in 1925. From 1927 to 1933 Meitus created the music for 15 productions at the Berezil Theatre in Kharkiv, many directed by the Ukrainian director Les Kurbas. It was believed that all of Meitus’s music for the Berezil shows was destroyed after Kurbas was arrested in 1933. But the recent find of the conductor’s score for this show gives us hope more of his Berezil scores will be located. Today, Yuliy Meitus is best known for his 14 operas, numerous orchestral works and about 300 songs set to poetry, Virlana Tkacz
The first workshop of Radio 477 was in Kharkiv in November 2021 and included performers: Olena Bazhenova, Kateryna Kharpova, Artem Kochergin, Armen Kaloyan, Yaroslav Podshyvalov, Alina Pribytkova, Pavlo Saveliev and Olya Zubkova musicians: Serhiy Dikarev, Dima Faustov, Polina Faustova, Anatoli Komar, Vladislav Leonenko and Grygoriy Mishchenko. It was made possible by Tetiana Pylypiuk and the Slovo Building Residency at the Kharkiv Literary Museum, Yana Partola and the Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts in Kharkiv, Vira Lahutina and the Regional Centre of Culture and Arts of Kharkiv, Tanya Turko and the Theatre Museum at the Shevchenko Theatre and all the friends of Yara Arts Group.
Video 1: Scene & song "Dance" performed by George Drance, Silvana Gonzalez, Akiko Hiroshima, Susan Hwang, Maksym Lozynskyj, Jeremy Vance and Lesya Verba.
video 2 "New & Old Song" from "Radio 477!" performed by George Drance, Silvana Gonzalez, Akiko Hiroshima, Susan Hwang, Maksym Lozynskyj, Jeremy Vance and Lesya Verba. video 3 "Fish's Song" from "Radio 477!" performed by Susan Hwang
videos from work-in-progress presentation at Bohemian National Hall, June 17, 2022.
Kurbas: New Worlds
bilingual (English- Ukrainian) museum catalog on Les Kurbas
includes section on Radio 477! see pages 282-319
Kurbas Virtual Events
Yara Arts Group from La MaMa Experimental Theatre and the Museum of Theatre, Music and Cinema of Ukraine present a series of virtual events about the series of museum exhibitions on Les Kurbas they mounted in Ukraine 2017-2018. Les Kurbas was an innovative Ukrainian theatre director who worked in Kyiv and Kharkiv in the 1920s and was a forerunner in the use of new media in theatre. The three part series will premiere in February 2022 and includes virtual events about “Kurbas in Kyiv” “Kurbas in Kharkiv” and “Kurbas: New Worlds.” The virtual events are in Ukrainian. They are free and can be viewed any time after their premiere through the links here.
or more on the exhibition "Kurbas in Kyiv"
for more on the exhibition "Kurbas in Kharkiv"
for more on the exhibition "Kurbas: New Worlds"
The new series opens with "Kurbas in Kyiv." It introduces the three curators: Virlana Tkacz, Tetiana Rudenko and Waldemart Klyuzko and tells how they came together as a team to create the exposition “Kurbas in Kyiv” at the Museum of Theatre, Music and Cinema in Kyiv. This exhibition featured costumes, design models, photographs and films from Les Kurbas’s work in Kyiv at the Young Theatre (1917-1920) and the Berezil Artistic Association (1922-1926). Included in the exhibition were recordings by Yara actors reading scenes from Kurbas’s shows. Kurbas in Kyiv premieres February 10, 2022 and can be viewed any time after through the links above.
“Les Kurbas Events” virtual events are all free and can be viewed at any time through the links above. They are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Self-Reliance (NY) FCU and friends of Yara Arts Group.