Solenyk, Karpo

Solenyk, Karpo [Соленик, Карпо], b 26 May 1811 in Lepel, Vitsebsk gubernia, Belarus, d 19 October 1851 in Kharkiv. Actor and one of the pioneers of Ukrainian professional theater. He studied at Vilnius University (1829–31) and first appeared on stage in 1832 as part of I. Shtein’s troupe in Kharkiv. He worked with Liudvig Mlotkovsky’s troupe (1833–42) in Kursk, Kyiv, and Kharkiv and then continued acting in Kharkiv, from which he toured extensively as a guest actor throughout Russian-ruled Ukraine. He twice refused an invitation to join the Imperial Theater in Saint Petersburg. Solenyk’s creative mastery was most evident in comic roles from the Ukrainian repertoire, including Ivan Kotliarevsky’s Natalka Poltavka (Natalka from Poltava) and Moskal'-charivnyk (The Muscovite-Sorcerer), Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko’s Svatannia na Honcharivtsi (Matchmaking at Honcharivka) and Shel'menko-denshchyk (Shelmenko the Orderly), V. Dmytrenko’s Kum-miroshnyk (The Godfather-Miller), and Vechir na khutori (Evening on a Khutir), based on Nikolai Gogol. He also played over 60 roles (in Russian) from works by Gogol, William Shakespeare, Molière, Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, and D. Lensky. Biographies of Solenyk have been written by Oleksander Kysil (1928), M. Dibrovenko (1951) and A. Hrim (1963).

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

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