Dmytro Hnatyuk and Ivan Drach
Dmytro Hnatyuk (1925-2016) was an outstanding singer at the Kiev Opera and Ballet Theatre and appeared as a soloist in many songs. He became a member of the
National Academy of Arts of Ukraine in 1996.
Hnatyuk was a People's Artist of Ukraine, a People's Artist of the Ukrainian SSR, a professor of the Tchaikovsky Music Academy. In 2005 he was awarded with the Hero of Ukraine, the highest award of Ukraine. In 1960 he also was granted the title of the People's Artist of the USSR.
"You can do nothing, when a person loves the Motherland! Will you ever damage that love? No, and I am sure, because this love has been my support through life. If I stayed in the West, without Ukraine, I would not be able to sing, I would not be able to live! I would die of nostalgia”, said Hnatyuk.
Hnatyuk was elected as the head of the Musical Society of Ukraine and as the head of the Kiyvan Theatrical Society. In 1988, he became the director of the State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Hnatyuk sang in many operas by Ukrainian and worldwide composers.
Hnatyuk has recorded more than 15 records. In total, the concert repertoire includes more than 85 pieces of national and world classics — from Sydor Vorobkevych based in Bukovyna to Joseph Haydn, Austria. Dmytro Hnatyuk left a significant contribution in the history of Ukrainian opera.
Ivan Drach (1945-2021) was a prominent screenwriter, literary critic, political activist and poet known for his poetry collections. He was a honorary academician of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine.
Ivan Drach began his creative path during the “Khrushchev thaw”. He made his debut in 1961, when the Kyiv Literary Gazette published his poem-tragedy Knife in the Sun. His works are known in Ukraine and abroad. His poetry has been translated into German, Polish, Czech, Belarusian, Azerbaijani, Latvian, Moldavian, and other languages.
Ivan Drach is also Known for the human rights activism and his participation in the Soviet dissident movement. In 1989 he created Rukh or People's Movement of Ukraine, first official Ukrainian pro-reform organization.
In the parliamentary elections of March 2002, Drach became a deputy. After that he headed the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council. Other positions included the chairmanship of the Ukrainian Intelligentsia Congress and heading the Writers' Union.
During his life, Ivan Drach actively promoted the use of the Ukrainian language and whilst serving as Ukraine's minister of communication, he proposed wide-ranging measures, including setting quotas for Ukrainian-language broadcasts and tax breaks for Ukrainian publishing. "Take a holistic view of culture and music, study our [Ukrainian] culture more thoroughly. Knowledge of culture, even the culture of our enemy, makes us richer”, pointed out Drach.
In 2006, Ivan Drach was awarded the title Hero of Ukraine. He also received an Antonovych prize (1991) for literary works and poetry. Ivan Drach wrote more than 15 scripts for the famous Ukrainian films such as The Stone Cross (1968), Propala Hramota (1972), Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (1983) and others. Drach was one of the leading Ukrainian poets and cultural figures.