Best Places in Ukraine »

[10 Aug 2009]

Odessa Opera Theatre   Once visited, Odessa Opera Theatre will forever remain in your heart. Every year, every month thousands of foreign tourists come here to make sure that it is really worthy place to see when coming to this famous city. Odessa successfully combines wit, unique sense of humor and spirit of adventurism with refinement, kind of aristocratism and rich cultural heritage. So Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet is one of the places where you can get this sense of subtlety, taste and difference, where you can touch this other side of local culture.   Odessa Opera Theatre is mostly famous because of its architecture while it’s designing and technical data are second to none theatre in Europe in this respect. At one time its building was considered one of the best in the world and still remains the most important place of interest in the city.     The Opera House has the right to be called the senior of all Odessa theaters. Odessa was granted the right to build a theater in 1804, and in 1809 its construction was completed. On February, 10 1810 the first performance took place - Russian troupe by Fortunatov staged a one-act opera by Fralih "A New Family" and a vaudeville "A Consolating Widow". But, unfortunately, in 1873 the old building burnt down, and completely it did. Any restoration was out of the question. It was a tragedy, which was relented by one circumstance only - nobody suffered in it.     Eleven years passed since laying of the first brick into the foundation of the new theatre building. Theatre 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, Italian Renaissance, Classical Rococo – such is the combination which made this heaven of muses.     The theatre is luxuriously decorated by various stucco mouldings with fine gilt. The ceiling is of a special interest. Four pictures by Lefler in the form of a locket (medallion) are in its basis. Scenes from such works by Shakespeare as "Hamlet", "A Dream in the Summer Night", "The Winter Fairytale" and "As You Like It" are depicted on them. A big chandelier in the centre of the ceiling is strikingly beautiful, with its laced details. There are many different stucco mouldings in the hall and in all the circles. Modeling of circles, side lobbies and staircases, leading to boxes is especially sophisticated. All kinds of lampions, candelabrums and bronze ornamented inlays are original and inventive.  And of course, it is impossible not to notice gold leaf abundantly used in the decoration.      In 2007, after a long period of reconstruction, the theatre was opened again. The solemnity took place on September, 22. Its  reconstruction was long and difficult, 11 years the most skilled and experienced specialists in the sphere of architecture and construction, restoration and applied art from all over Ukraine were  reconstructing the national endow destroyed by time. According to data of Cabinet Council cost of reconstruction is 25 256 410 doll. Now it has 1636 seats, total area is 8123,6 square meters.      The Theatre is interesting not only because of its architecture, but also because of its rich creative history.  It plays a big role in development of musical culture in Ukraine. Outstanding composers and singers performed at its stage. Among them are Shalapin, Caruso, Sobinov etc.      In additional to regular operas and ballets different symphony concerts, including organ ones, are held here as soon as this theatre has the best sound data in the city and built-in organ.     So being able to visit Odessa do not neglect an opportunity to see this really outstanding place as by this architecture and decoration so by quality of performances given on its stage. It will charm you once and forever…        

Tips and Advice »

[7 Aug 2009]

Perhaps the most exciting part of wooing a Russian or Ukrainian woman is travelling to her hometown to finally meet her in person.  Whether you are new to international travel or a seasoned globetrotter, anticipating both the trip and a first date can be overwhelming.  In your excitement, it is possible to overlook very important precautionary steps to help ensure a safe, trouble-free trip to meet your special lady.  Lucky for you, we’ve listed five of the most important things to keep in mind while you’re preparing for your trip!   1. First, be sure to check the consular information sheet for your destination country.  Even if you’ve travelled to the region in the past, new developments may have occurred since the last time you visited, so it is never a waste of time to check for new travel warnings or advisories.  Click the links below to visit the appropriate page for US Citizens:   Russian Federation Consular Information Sheet Ukraine Consular Information Sheet   2. U.S. citizens traveling abroad are strongly encouraged to register their travel with the Department of State to help facilitate contact in case of an emergency back home or a crisis in the region being visited.  Registration is completely free and confidential at the U.S. Department of State's Travel Registration page. 3. Make two photocopies each of your passport identification page, driver’s license or state issued photo ID, and airline tickets.  Leave one copy with a friend or relative, along with a copy of your itinerary in case they need to contact you in an emergency, and bring the other copy with you, packed in an area separate from the originals. 4. Leave at home any items you don’t need or would hate to lose.  Refrain from bringing valuables, expensive looking jewelry or unnecessary credit cards.  Don’t forget to check the items in your wallet to remove your Social Security card, library card and other items you may routinely carry that will not be needed on your trip.  If you are bringing any items to present to your lady as a gift, be sure to check the customs regulations for your destination to find out what is allowed and whether taxes may be levied for its importation. 5. Avoid looking like a tourist when you travel.  Pack clothing that will help you to blend in with the locals.  For example, most Russian and Ukrainians dress in either formal or “business casual” style clothing.  Wearing a t-shirt and jeans would immediately identify you as a foreigner and possibly draw unwanted attention.  Besides, dressing sharply will help you make a great impression with your date.