Rubchak, Kateryna

Image - Les Kurbas and Kateryna Rubchakova in Autumn Storm at the Ruska Besida Theater (1914). Image - Kateryna Rubchak as Sarah in I. Tohobochny's play. Image - Kateryna Rubchak's monument in Chortkiv. Image - Kateryna Rubchak as Halka in Stanislaw Moniuszko's opera.

Rubchak, Kateryna [Рубчак (Рубчакова), Катерина; Rubčak] (née Kossak), b 29 April 1881 in Chortkiv, Galicia, d 22 November 1919 in Zinkivtsi, near Kamianets-Podilskyi. Actress and singer (soprano); wife of Ivan Rubchak. Most of her brilliant theatrical and operatic career (1896–1914) was spent in the Ruska Besida Theater. Her extensive and varied repertoire included Ukrainian and Western European dramatic roles, many of which she premiered for the Galician and Bukovynian public. She performed with Les Kurbas and Vasyl Yurchak in Ivan Franko's Ukradene shchastia (Stolen Happiness) to great critical acclaim. Her best theatrical roles were in Taras Shevchenko’s Nazar Stodolia, Mykhailo Starytsky’s Tsyhanka Aza (The Gypsy Aza), Oi ne khody, Hrytsiu ... (Don’t Go to Parties, Hryts ...), Marusia Bohuslavka, Ivan Karpenko-Kary’s Khaziaïn (The Master), Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s Chorna pantera i bilyi vedmid’ (The Black Panther and White Bear), Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts, Edmond Rostand’s Les Romanesques, Arthur Schnitzler’s Liebelei, and Jacob Gordin’s Mirele Efros. Her best operatic roles were in Semen Hulak-Artemovsky’s Zaporozhian Cossack beyond the Danube, Mykola Arkas’s Kateryna, Yaroslav Y. Lopatynsky’s Enei na mandrivtsi (Aeneas on the Journey), Charles Gounod’s Faust, Johann Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, and Stanisław Moniuszko's Halka. She also sang in operettas composed by Johann Strauss, Arthus Sullivan, and Franz Lehár. In 1916–18 she headed the Theater of the Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen, and in 1919, the Chernivtsi Ukrainian Theater and the Theater of the Western Province of the Ukrainian National Republic. In 1981 UNESCO marked the centenary of her birth. A biography by P. Medvedyk was published in Kyiv (1989).

Valerian Revutsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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