Preloader Operavision
Lviv National Opera / Olena Khramova
20.08.2021 at 19h00 CET
Friday, August 20, 2021 - 19:00

Lviv National Opera

When the Fern Blooms

A magical world beckons on the shortest night of the year

Operas | Stankovych

Part folklore, part opera-ballet, this féerie presents local pagan traditions on the day of the summer solstice and historical events from Cossack times to the more recent 2014 Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity.


After forty years of oblivion and ban by the Soviet authorities, Ukrainian composer Yevhen Stankovych's opera-ballet When the Fern Blooms finally premiered at the Lviv National Opera in 2017. Unique in its genre, this impressive performance combines millennia-old folk traditions with an expressive musical language, choral singing and contemporary choreography set against spectacular scenery.

This world premiere was recorded on 15 December 2017 at Lviv National Opera.


Sung in Ukrainian. Subtitles are available in English with the option of auto-translation into over 100 other languages.

Available from
20.08.2021 at 19h00 CET

Available until
20.02.2022 at 12h00 CET

SoloistsNina Matviienko, Mykhailo Malafii
Chorus soloistsOlena Romaniv, Iryna Chikel, Liliia Sobchyshyn
Principal dancersSerhii Kachura, Dariia Kosmina,Nataliia Pelio, Olena Chernichenko, Mariia Potapova, Zoriana Dvorska
BalletLviv National Opera Ballet
ChorusLviv National Opera Chorus
OrchestraLviv National Opera Orchestra

MusicYevhen Stankovych
TextOleksandr Stelmashenko
ConductorVolodymyr Sirenko
DirectorVasyl Vovkun
Set DesignerTadei Ryndzak
Costume DesignerHanna Ipatieva
Lighting DesignerDmytro Tsyperdiuk
ChoreographerArtem Shoshyn, Serhii Naienko
Chorus MasterVasyl Koval, Iryna Koval
Film productionThe Little Films
Film directorSerhii Krutsenko

Act I. ‘Kupala’
'Human Kupala Night', 'Mermaid Kupala Night', 'Witch Kupala Night', 'Fern Flower'

Summer solstice. The magical power of the Kupala bonfire. Jumping over it, people go through the ritual purification. At Kupala Night not only humans, but also mermaids and witches join the celebration.  
The legend has it that the flower of the fern – a dream flower with magical properties – blooms for a moment on the shortest Kupala Night. Does this flower symbolise the moment of love, a liberating passion that helps to understand human nature and the world on the shortest summer night?

Act II. 'Heroic'

The ‘golden age’ of the legendary pagan times or the humanist era, where the harmony of man and nature prevailed in all its manifestations of the completeness of being, is contrasted with the era of humanitarian crises, the threat of wars and chaos in Ukraine starting with the Cossacks to modern times.

Weapons are forged.
Battles are raging.
Death is coming.

The hope of a newborn son, blessed by his native land and his mother, is the future of Ukraine, its leader and sage.