Veresai, Ostap [Veresaj], b 1803 in Kaliuzhyntsi, Pryluky county, Poltava gubernia, d April 1890 in Sokyryntsi, Pryluky county, Poltava gubernia. (Photo: Ostap Veresai.) Kobza player and singer (tenor). A peasant who became blind in his early youth, he studied from 1818 with S. Koshovy and other kobzars. By the 1860s he was the most renowned performer of Ukrainian epic and historical songs. In 1873 he appeared in recital for the Southwestern Branch of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society and in 1875 concertized in Saint Petersburg. His repertoire included the dumas Kinless Fedir, Three Brothers from Azov, and Oleksii Popovych. Veresai's artistry was studied by ethnographers such as Oleksander Rusov and Pavlo Chubynsky, as well as by Mykola Lysenko, who wrote a monograph on the works in Veresai's repertoire (1873, 1978).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine