Tchaikovsky and Ukraine

Apr 21, 2022

Opera Omaha denounces Putin’s invasion and the ongoing atrocities in Ukraine.

Tchaikovsky composed Eugene Onegin nearly 143 years ago and it has no connection to the actions of Russia’s current government. In fact, Tchaikovsky spent several months a year in Ukraine and had close family ties to the nation; his paternal grandfather was born there.

We are proud to present this piece by a composer that championed Ukraine throughout his lifetime. No one in Russia; whether a person, publisher, or company is involved in the creation of Opera Omaha’s production or will benefit financially from it.

We offer these performances of Tchaikovsky’s opera – not as an endorsement of the current Russian government’s actions – but as an example of a bridge that can connect and unite people across vast divides. We have heard from our community and want all to know that Opera Omaha is opposed to armed conflict anywhere in the world and stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.


  • Tchaikovsky first visited Ukraine in 1864 and thereafter often spent his summers there in Kamianka at the home of his sister and in Nyzy, where he lived during 1876–79.
  • Tchaikovsky’s paternal grandfather was born in Ukraine, and he spent time there every year.
  • At least 30 of his works have Ukrainian subjects or incorporate Ukrainian folk songs or melodies.
  • Tchaikovsky composed works such as Swan Lake, The Maid of Orleans, The Sleeping Beauty, and Eugene Onegin while living in Kamianka, Ukraine.
  • He was one of the first artists to bridge connections between Russia and Western European music of the day.

For further exploration, check out these resources:
The New York Times - Putin Says Tchaikovsky Is Being Canceled. The Met Opera Disagrees.
Interlude - The Ukrainian Factor in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1
reason - Tchaikovsky Is Canceled

Search Blog

Search by year