Chystiakova, Valentyna

Image - Valentyna Chystiakova Image - Valentyna Chystiakova as Oksana in the Berezil production based on Taras Shevchenko's Haidamaky (1924). Image - Yosyp Hirniak and Valentyna Chystiakova in Les Kurbas' production of M. Kulish's Peoples Malakhii in Berezil (1928). Image - Anatol Petrytsky's portrait of Valentyna Chystiakova (1922).

Chystiakova, Valentyna [Čystjakova], b 18 April 1900 in Saint Petersburg, d 19 May 1984 in Kharkiv. (Photo: Valentyna Chystiakova.) Dramatic actress, accomplished in various styles and trained in the school of her husband, Les Kurbas, and his company. Chystiakova began her stage career with the theater Molodyi Teatr in Kyiv in 1918 and later joined the short-lived Shevchenko First Theater of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic and the Kyiv Drama Theater (Kyidramte) companies, performing in Bila Tserkva and Uman (1920–2). In 1922–3 Chystiakova was a member of the Berezil theater and, from 1934 to 1959, of the Kharkiv Ukrainian Drama Theater. She became a lecturer at the Kharkiv Theater Institute (later Kharkiv Institute of Arts) in 1959. Chystiakova's acting range was quite broad, from the melodramatic to the deeply psychological. Among her finer depictions were the roles of Oksana in Haidamaky (based on Taras Shevchenko's poem), the multimillionaire's daughter in G. Kaiser's Gas II, Isabella in Prosper Mérimée's La Jacquerie, Liubunia in Mykola Kulish's Narodnyi Malakhii (The People's Malakhii), Odarka in Marko Kropyvnytsky's Dai sertsiu voliu (Give the Heart Freedom), Kateryna in A. Ostrovsky's Groza (Storm), Lady Milford in Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller's Kabale und Liebe, and especially the leading role in a dramatization of Honore de Balzac's Eugénie Grandet. Chystiakova also appeared in films. Her dramatic career was documented by Yosyp Kyselov in Razom z zhyttiam (Together with Life, Kyiv 1972).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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