Odessa Ukraine Travel Guide - The Odessa Opera
Are you a connoisseur of good cultural attractions? The rich heritage
of Odessa can be experienced by a night at The Odessa Opera Theater.
Enjoy one of 30 or so different operas and bask in the luxuriously
ornamented theater of Baroque architectural style.
The existence of the theater in the city of Odessa began from the first
days of the city's foundation. The Opera & Ballet Theater is
entitled to be called the elder among a great number of cultural
institutions. Odessa strived for the right of building the theater in
1804, and in 1809 it was already built. On the10th of February 1810 the
first performance took place - the Russian troupe by Fortunatov staged
a one -act opera by Fralih "A New Family" and a vaudeville "A
Consolating Widow". Unfortunately, in 1873 the old building was burnt.
And it was burnt completely. The restoration was out of the question.
It was a tragedy, which was relented by one circumstance - nobody
suffered from it. It was suggested to draw up a draft of a new city
theatre to Vienna architects F. Felner Y. Helmer. Eleven years have
passed since laying of the first brick into the foundation of the new
theater building. And the theater opening took place on the 1st of
October 1887. The building of Odessa Opera and Ballet House was
fulfilled in the style of Vienna "baroque", which was the main in the
European art from the end of the XVIth up to the middle of the XVIIIth
There is a sculptural group over the
front, portraying one of the muses - a patron of art- Melpomena. She is
sitting in a chariot, harnessed by four furious panthers which
were subdued by her. A bit lower there are sculptural groups
from ancient mythology. At the bottom, near the central entrance,
on the high pedestals, two sculptural groups are set up, personifying
Comedy and Tragedy: on the left - a fragment from the tragedy by Euripi
"Ippolit", on the right - an episode from the comedy by Aristophanes:
Along the pediment of the building in the bays of the upper
circle the busts of the brilliant Russian art & literature
creators. Pushkin, Glinka, Griboyedov, Gogol are placed. The most
beautiful part of the building is its hall. Its architecture is
maintained in "rococo" style.
It is luxuriously decorated by various molded ornaments with
the fine gilt. The ceiling is of a special interest. Four pictures by
Lefler in the form of a locket (medallion) are in its bases. The scenes
from the works are Shakespeare: "Hamlet", "A Dream in the Summer
Night", "The Winter Fairytale" & "As You like It", is depicted on
them. A big chandelier in the center of the ceiling strikes by its
drake of tracery details. There are many different stucco moldings in
the hall and in all the circles.
The modeling in the circles is fulfilled with a special grace.
Side lobbies and along staircases, leading to the boxes. All kinds of
lampions, candelabrums and bronze ornamented inlays are originally and
inventively made. Perhaps, in any of the theaters, there is none so
tastefully-made curtains, outlined by the prominent theatrical painter
- Golovin. The area of the stage is 500 Esq. The unique acoustics
allows to deliver even a whisper from the stage to any part of the
The Theater itself is interesting not only by its architecture,
but by its rich creative biography. The great merit in the development
of musical culture in the south of our country belongs, to this
theater. P.Tchaikovsky, N.Rimsky-Korsakov, S.Rachmaninoff, Ezhen Izai,
Pablo Sarasate and others performed their works. There appeared on the
stage are the actors, who glorified the home art/ the great singers:
Fyodor Chaliapin, Solomiya Grushelnitskaya, Antonina Nezhdanova, Leonid
Sobinov, Tito Ruffo, Batistini, Jeraldoni sang here, Anna Pavlova, the
first world ballet-dancer, had been dancing here. In 1926 the theater
was awarded the title of "Academic". The theater ballet group consists
of 50 people. Among them such Honored ballet dances of Ukraine as
Andrey Musorin and Yelenaa Kamenskih - the participants of the Farewell
Tour of Rudolf Nuriyev, and others. "Jizelle", "Sleeping Beauty",
"Nut-Cracker", "Don Quihote", "Chopiniana", "Un Ballo in Maschera",
"Hunchback Horse", "Carmen-Suite" are in the repertoire of the theatre.
The ballet dancers were touring in Canada, Japan, Vietnam, Ceylon,
China, Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland, South Korea, Italy, Spain and
Portugal - with Maya Plisetskaya and in Indonesia, Switzerland, Sweden
and other countries. The opera singer's troupe consists of 40 people.
They are National artists of Ukraine - Lyudmila Shirina, Anatoliy
Boyko, Anatoliy Kapustin and Vladimir Tarasov, the Honored artists of
Ukraine: Anisimova Tatyana, Irina Berlizova and Nataja Yutesh, Pavel
Yermolenko, Laureates of International Contests. Viktor Mityushkin,
Shalva Mukeria, Natlja Shvchenko, Ruslan Zinevich and others.
More or less 30 operas, such as "Carmen", "Aida", "Il
Trovatore", "La Traviata", "Cavaleria Rusticana", "I Pagliacci",
"Iolanta", "Madam Butterfly", Rigoletto", and others are in the
repertoire of the theater. The theater opera singers were appearing on
the stages of Spain, Italy, France, Finland, Japan, Hungary, Bulgaria,
Romania, Belgium, Greece and the individual opera soloists -
practically in all the countries of the world.
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