Hulak-Artemovsky, Semen

Hulak-Artemovsky, Semen [Гулак-Артемовський, Семен; Hulak-Artemovs’kyj], b 16 February 1813 in Horodyshche (Cherkasy region), Cherkasy county, Kyiv gubernia, d 17 April 1873 in Moscow. Composer, opera singer, actor, and dramatist. He was the nephew of Petro Hulak-Artemovsky and a close friend of Taras Shevchenko. A graduate of the Kyiv Theological Seminary, he studied voice in Saint Petersburg and Florence (1839–42). He was noted for his dramatic talent and his powerful, rich baritone voice. From 1842 Hulak-Artemovsky was the leading soloist at the Mariinskii Theater and the Italian Opera in Saint Petersburg. His repertoire included over 50 operatic roles, including Ruslan in Mikhail Glinka's Ruslan and Liudmila, Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Antonio and Lord Ashton in G. Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix and Lucia di Lammermoor. He wrote the comic opera Zaporozhets’ za Dunaiem (Zaporozhian Cossack beyond the Danube, 1863), in which he sang the part of Karas; the divertissement Ukraïns’ke vesillia (The Ukrainian Wedding, 1851), in which he sang the father-in-law; the vaudeville Nich na Ivan Kupala (Saint John's Eve, 1852); and several art songs. As an actor he appeared in roles such as Vybornyi and Chupryna in Ivan Kotliarevsky's Natalka Poltavka (Natalka from Poltava) and Moskal’-charivnyk (The Muscovite-Sorcerer).

Kaufman, L. S.S. Hulak-Artemovs’kyi (Kyiv 1962)

Wasyl Wytwycky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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