Praised for her “vivid stage presence”, “delicious” and “exceptionally powerful voice”, Ukrainian American operatic soprano Irina Petrik is quickly gaining popularity as a charismatic singing actress of today. A versatile and gifted performer, she is equally comfortable in genres ranging from opera and operetta to musical theater, jazz and traditional ethnic music. Irina is a passionate cultural ambassador for her beloved homeland and considers it her artistic mission to bring global awareness to Ukraine and its rich heritage.
A Message from Irina:
The Ukrainian Classical Voice Project is a newly founded groundbreaking educational initiative which focuses on giving voice to the underrepresented composers of Ukraine, while also celebrating and promoting my nation’s stunning musical heritage.
Introducing American and global audiences to these rarely-heard musical treasures strongly aligns with my convictions about social justice, supporting the marginalized creative groups and the concept of equality. To me, fighting for Ukrainian voice means fighting for inclusion, fair representation, diversity and artistic integrity.
We, the singing artists, educators and mentors, must always remember where we stand when it comes to the concept of social conscience. As Leonard Bernstein had once beautifully and eloquently put, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
The UCVP offers Ukrainian diction coachings for singers, IPA transcription resources, provides music scores, organizes workshops, presentations and seminars on Ukrainian art songs and operatic arias in colleges and universities across the United States and beyond. We frequently put together concerts, recitals and community events meant to spread the word about these unique masterpieces, delivering easy access to the immersive experience for both the audiences and performers.
I am humbled to have been given an opportunity to follow my purpose through music. It is endlessly exciting and meaningful to be able to introduce the world to the magic of Ukrainian vocal repertoire. As Ukraine reclaims its national identity, we can all be a part of the Ukrainian spirit through song. It is time for the voice of Ukraine to be heard. We are all Ukrainian today.
Irina helped organize and performed as a guest artist at the Ukraine Day at the Saratoga Race Track which celebrated the nation’s independence day from the former Soviet Union.
This fundraiser hosted by New York State Racing Association and the NY Capital Region branch of Ukrainian Congress Committee of America collected 60K in war aid for Ukraine.
Irina is interviewed by the News-10 ABC team about the Songs from the Heart Benefit for Ukraine concert at the renowned Troy Music Hall which she has organized with the help of her colleagues, students and local community leaders. All proceeds were sent to Ukraine as a humanitarian relief.
Visit Article Biz blog for a recent interview with Irina, originally published in BDAA Newsletter. She reflects on her childhood and discusses the importance of artistic mentorship, discovering her path and staying true to what matters most.
Serena Amato at Sery Opera Classica
Irina is interviewed by Serena Amato with Opera Classica in Naples, Italy. Please listen to their heartfelt conversation discussing life after loss, Kevin Kees Foundation and its mission by visiting the link above.
Read Irina’s exclusive interview to Vikan Magazine, Iceland. She talks about the love of her life, her late husband Kevin Kees and upcoming plans to honor his memory and artistic legacy through the newly established Kevin Kees Foundation.
Ukrainian People Magazine
Irina has recently been featured in The Ukrainian People Magazine, Chicago. She is recognized as a celebrated artist for her contribution to popularizing the art of Ukrainian traditional song in North America and beyond.
“Ms. Petrik delivers a very tongue-in-cheek, clever and unique performance as the leading lady in Die Fledermaus. As Rosalinda, she is both fragile, trusting, sweet-natured and endlessly in love; as well as feisty, strong-willed, seductive and calculating. When she finally reveals her identity in the final act to Eisenstein, the audience erupted in lengthy applause. That standing ovation was well deserved in the end – what a debut!”
“Irina brings heartbreaking sincerity to the role of Countess Almaviva. She portrays a gorgeous noble woman of tremendous substance and grace who is betrayed by the love of her life so convincingly, people in the audience were seen crying during Porgi Amor…”
“Ms. Petrik’s spectacular, rich voice filled the auditorium with sweet sounds, matched by her genuine facial expressions and infectious acting. The ultimate entertainer, she was equally convincing as the suffering Lisa, the endearing Snow Maiden, the fierce Ukrainian village girl or the passionate gypsy songstress. Her dazzling soprano soared through the romantic writing, as her tone radiated ripeness and beauty. She wore traditional native costumes to lend authenticity to the selections.”
“The most vivid presence on stage was Irina Petrik as Musetta. She made you watch, and she commanded both space and time.”
“Irina Petrik’s delicious and insouciant soprano was lovely as she soared with Puccini’s melody lines, both in arias and other combinations as Musetta.”
“Irina Petrik sings the role with an exceptionally powerful voice that contains a metallic edge. This cold tinge makes her sound a perfect expression of the character’s icy beauty.”
“Petrik gives Snegurochka all the naivety of youth…Despite this, Petrik delivers her final aria with a sweet and delicate inflection that manages to show that the character has matured.”
“Irina Petrik has a big and radiant soprano voice. She has a wonderful presence and colored every song she sang with wonderful acting skills. She seemed to be able to change characters completely in every song both with voice and drama. There was never a dull moment hearing “I Hate Men” from Kiss Me, Kate in Irina’ s interpretation, it’s not an easy song to perform but she was absolutely brilliant.”
“The chemistry between Mr. Kees and his fiancée, Irina Petrik, was palpable and sometimes playful, giving even more credence to the character’s marital bickering. Ms. Petrik, a consummate professional, delivered a heartfelt performance, engaging the audience with every swirl and sly smile. Clearly a gifted actress, she managed to sing beautifully even while beating sense into her drunken yet beloved husband.”