Ukrainian Baroque in Vienna
As a part of the bilateral Year of Culture Ukraine-Austria
On November 2, the orchestra "Open Opera Ukraine" performed its first overseas concert under the direction of Austrian-Ukrainian conductor Ilia Korol
"Ukraine and Austria: Baroque Meetings" concert performed by Open Opera Ukraine combined vocal and instrumental works of the two countries to introduce different baroque periods of the XVII-XVIII centuries - the least recognised musical era in the history of Ukraine-Austria relations.
A sound of the local Ukrainian instrument – pipe or Ukrainian longitudinal flute – became peculiar for the concert, replacing its classic European counterpart the block flute.
Ilia Korol is a well-known violinist and conductor worldwide. Born in Kyiv, he has been living in Austria for over 20 years and was granted the Austrian citizenship for his considerable musical achievements. Along with the romantic and contemporary repertoire, the musician pays much attention to ancient music and authentic performance. From 2008 to 2010, Illya taught ancient music at the Mozarteum University Salzburg.

"That was our first concert abroad, and we were unsure if we could find our audience. But thanks to the collaboration with the Ukrainian Institute, the hall was completely filled! The audience listened to our music with a great interest. It was especially pleasing as some of the music of Ukrainian Baroque was performed here for the first time," says Halyna Hrygorenko, producer general of the Open Opera Ukraine

"In particular, the audience was enthusiastic about Berezovsky's sonata by Bozhen Korchynsky (Ukrainian transverse flute) and Olga Shadrina-Lychak (harpsichord). Soloists Natalia Khmilevska and Inna Guseva fascinated Austrians with their emotional performance. And Schmelzer's Balletti caused a standing ovation. The orchestra had an encore performance!"

The concert took place in the Eroika Hall of Palais Lobkowitz, which hosted concerts and musical evenings of Count Lobkowitz in the 19th century. The hall is named after Beethoven's Third Symphony – "Heroic" – as it was performed there for the first time.
The concert "Ukraine and Austria: Baroque Meetings" was organised by the Ukrainian Institute in collaboration with the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Austria under the bilateral year of culture.

Open Opera Ukraine is an independent project which shapes a new culture of perception of intellectual music via contemporary opera productions, audience development and professionalism of young people.

Photo: Gerhard Flekatsch