Thanks to the legendary “Chervona Ruta” (Red Rue), which has been ringing on radio waves, from TV screens, and at various concerts in not only Ukraine, September is now the time of a Ukrainian song fest.
It will be recalled that on September 13, 1970, the author Volodymyr Ivasiuk and Olena Kuznetsova sang this song for the first time on Chernivtsi’s Teatralna Square in a live nationwide TV program, “Good Mood Tune.”
“Chervona Ruta” first became a feast of the Ukrainian song in 2000, when, on the initiative of Paraskovia Nechaieva, the first director of the Chernivtsi Oblast Volodymyr Ivasiuk Memorial Museum, a celebration was held to mark the 30th anniversary of the song’s first performance. Since then, this event has been the centerpiece of a regional Ukrainian song festival, the latest of which took place last week in Chernivtsi. Due to bad autumnal weather, the fest was moved from Teatralna Square, where “Chervona Ruta” and “Vodohrai” (Fountain) were first sung, to the stage of the Olha Kobylianska Music and Drama Theater. The well-known singers, soloists of the Chernivtsi Oblast Philharmonic Society, Vasyl Peniuk, Leonid Korinets, and Vasyl Danyliuk, as well as young artists, sang Ivasiuk’s hits. Korinets also sang, for the first time, a song by the 16-year-old Viktoria Voloshchuk. Hundreds of Chernivtsi residents came to honor the memory of Volodymyr Ivasiuk and hear his songs. At the end of the fest, both singers and audiences sang “Chervona Ruta.”
“This is the fifth festival of the Ukrainian song devoted to the first performance of Volodymyr Ivasiuk’s “Chervona Ruta” and “Vodohrai,” says Ostap SAVCHUK, artistic director of the Oblast Philharmonic Society. “That was a great event for Chernivtsi and Bukovyna, reputedly a country of songs. It pleases us that this fest involves youth and children. This year’s concert gathered about 40 participants. We want the ‘Chervona Ruta’ event to be not only a national, but also an international festival of Volodymyr Ivasiuk’s songs.”