Maria Zankovetska

Maria Zankovetska (Ukrainian: Марія Заньковецька, Mariia Zankovetska; Maria Kostyantynivna Adasovska; August 4, 1854 – October 4, 1934) was a Ukrainian theater actress. There are some sources that date her birth to August 3, 1860.

Maria Zankovetska
Maria Zankovetska (before 1917).jpg
Maria Adasovska

August 4, 1854
Zankiv, Nizhyn County, Chernihiv Governorate
DiedOctober 4, 1934(1934-10-04) (aged 80)
OccupationTheater actress
Years active1876-1934
Maria Zankovetska in the role of "Tsvirkunka", 1892


Maria was born into a family of an impoverished landowner and nobleman Kostyantyn Kostyantynovych Adasovsky and a Chernihiv city resident (burgess) Maria Vasylivna Nefedova in a village of Zanky, Nizhyn County, Chernihiv Governorate (today - in Nizhyn Raion). She had many siblings. Maria was a graduate of the Chernihiv City Female Gymnasium.

In 1876 Maria came out on a stage of the Nizhyn theater. The city of Nizhyn became her native town where she kept her own building. Her professional career started on October 27, 1882 in the Yelizavetgrad City Theater (Kirovohrad) under the management of Marko Kropyvnytsky. Her first role was Natalka from the Kotlyarevsky play "Natalka Poltavka". Later Maria participated among the most popular and professional Ukrainian troupes of Marko Kropyvnytsky, Mykhailo Starytsky, Mykola Sadovsky, Panas Saksahansky. Her stage name Zankovetska was derived from the name of the village where she was born.

The professional career of Zankovetska's (repertoire) accounted for over 30 roles. Her characters were dramatic heroes. Maria sang in a mezzo-soprano voice. The actress created images that were penetrated with a real drama and a fiery comedy. She glorified with her play ordinary common people revealing the immensity of their souls. Having a charming voice, a dramatic soprano, she incomparably performed in plays the Ukrainian folk songs.

Zankovetska demanded the opening in Nizhyn of a permanent state theater. In 1918 she organized a people's theater "Ukrainian troupe under direction of M. Zankovetska", where she played such actors as Borys Romanytsky, Andriy Rotmyrov and others. Several plays were set among which were "Natalka Poltavka", "Hetman Doroshenko", "Aza the Gypsy". Recognizing her stage merits, in June 1918 the Hetman of Ukraine Pavlo Skoropadsky approved the adoption by the Council of Ministers of a resolution on the appointment of a lifetime state pension for Zankovetska.

In 1922 Ukraine triumphantly celebrated the 40th anniversary of Zankovetska's career. She was the first person in Ukraine whom the government awarded the high title of the People's Artist of the republic.

Zankovetska died on October 4, 1934. She is buried at the Baikove Cemetery, in Kiev.

List of selected theatrical rolesEdit

  • 1882 - Natalka ("Natalka Poltavka", Ivan Kotlyarevsky)
  • 1882 - Halya ("Nazar Stodolya", Taras Shevchenko)
  • 1882 - Tsvirkunka ("Black Sea sailors", Mykhailo Starytsky)
  • 1883 - Olena ("Hlytai or the Spider", Marko Kropyvnytsky)
  • 1887 - Kharytyna ("Serf maiden", Ivan Karpenko-Karyi)
  • 1889 - Katrya ("Not destined", Mykhailo Starytsky)
  • 1891 - Aksyusha ("Forest", Alexander Ostrovsky)
  • 1892 - Aza ("Aza the Gypsy", Mykhailo Starytsky)
  • Ulyana Kvitchyna ("Wedding in Honcharivka")
  • Yo ("Loss of Nadiya", Herman Heijermans)


  • 1909 - Natalka (Natalka Poltavka)
  • 1923 - Mother (Ostap Bandura)

External linksEdit

  • Т.І. Лазанська. ЗАНЬКОВЕЦЬКА Марія Костянтинівна (in Ukrainian). Енциклопедія історії України: Т. 3: Е-Й / Редкол.: В. А. Смолій (голова) та ін. НАН України. Інститут історії України. - К.: В-во «Наукова думка», 2005. - 672 с.: іл. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  • Photo Archives of Zankovetska
  • Leo Tolstoy asked Maria Zankovetska for a tissue. 04.08.2009
  • Melpomene of the Ukrainian stage. Triumph and tragedy. To the 150th anniversary of the birthday of Maria Zankovetska. «Mirror Weekly». № 31 (506) 7 — 13 August 2004.
  • Profile at hrono
  • Profile