Taras Bulba


The story was the basis of an opera, Taras Bulba, by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko, first performed in 1924 some 12 years after the composer's death. The opera's libretto was written by Mykhailo Starytsky, the composer's cousin.

Czech composer Leoš Janáček's Taras Bulba, a symphonic rhapsody for orchestra, was written in the years 1915–1918, inspired in part by the mass slaughter of World War I. The composition was first performed on 9 October 1921 by František Neumann, and in Prague on 9 November 1924 by Václav Talich and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

The story has been adapted to film many times:

  • Taras Bulba (1909), a silent film adaptation, directed by Aleksandr Drankov
  • Taras Bulba (1924), made in Germany by the Russian exile Joseph N. Ermolieff
  • Taras Bulba (1935), a German production, directed by Russian director Alexis Granovsky, with noted decor by Andrei Andreyev
  • The Rebel Son (1936), a British film starring Harry Baur with a supporting cast of significant British actors
  • Taras Bulba (1962), an American adaption starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis and directed by J. Lee Thompson; this adaptation featured a significant musical score by Franz Waxman, which received an Academy Award nomination. Bernard Herrmann called it "the score of a lifetime". Among its pieces, "The Ride to Dubno" has become a standard concert piece and has been recorded many times. Another, "The Sleigh Ride", uses a folk chant known in Ukrainian as "Schedryk" ("Bountiful"), the same melody of which was used in the popular Christmas song "Carol of the Bells", as a counterpoint to Waxman's own melody. The 12-minute finale, an upbeat march as the Cossacks ride into Dubno, is based on a Ukrainian folk song.
  • Taras Bulba (2009), directed by Vladimir Bortko, commissioned by the Russian state TV and paid for totally by the Russian Ministry of Culture. It includes Ukrainian, Russian and Polish actors such as Bohdan Stupka (as Taras Bulba), Ada Rogovtseva (as Taras Bulba's wife), Igor Petrenko (as Andriy Bulba), Vladimir Vdovichenkov (as Ostap Bulba) and Magdalena Mielcarz (as a Polish noble girl). The movie was filmed at several locations in Ukraine such as Zaporizhia, Khotyn and Kamianets-Podilskyi during 2007. The screenplay used the 1842 edition of the novel.
  • Veer (2010), a Hindi movie

The Macedonian rock band Stereotipovi has a song dedicated to Taras on their 1999 album Seks so zamislen protivnik.

The 2007 Jane Smiley book "10 Days in the Hills" features a film producer trying to film a new version of "Taras Bulba."

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