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…