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The existence of the theatre in the city of Odessa began from the first days of the city's foundation. The Opera & Ballet Theatre is entitled to be called the elder among a great number of cultural institutions. Odessa strived for the right of building the theatre in 1804, and in 1809 it was already built. On the10th of February 1810 the first perfomance took place - the Russian troupe by Fortunatov staged a one -act opera by Fralih "A New Family" and a vaudeville "A Consolating Widow". But, unfortunately, in 1873 an old building was burnt. And it was burnt

 
 

completely. The restoration was our of the question. It was a tragedy, which was relented by one circum-stance - nobody suffered from it. It was suggested to draw up a draft of a new city theatre to Vienna archtects F. Felner Y. Helmer. Eleven years have passed since laying of the first brick into the foundation of the new theatre building. And the 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",which was the main in the European art from the end of the XVIth up to the middle of the XVIIIth century.

 
 

There is a sculptural group over the fromt, portraying one of the muse - a patroness of art- Melpomena. She is sitting in the chariot, harnessed by the four furious panthers, which were subdued her. A little bit lower there are sculptural groups from the ancient mythology subjects. 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 Evripid "Ippolit", on the right - an episode from the comedy by Aristophane: "The Birds".
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 maintaines in "rococo" style.

It is luxoriously decorated by various moulded 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 basis. The scenes from the works be Syakespeare: "Hamlet", "A Dream in the Summer Night", "The Winter Fairytale" & "As You Like It", are depicted on them. A big chandelier in the centre of the celling strikes by its drace of tracery details. There are many different stucco mouldings in the hall and in all the circles.

The modelling in the circles is fulfilled with a special grace. Side lobbies and along staircases, leading to the boxes. All kinds of lampions, candelabrums and bronse ornamented inlays are originally and inventively made. Perhaps, in any of the theatres, there is no so tastefully made curtain, outlined by the prominent theatrical painter - Golovin. The area of the stage is 500 sq.m. The unique acoustics allows to deliver even a whisper from the stage to any part of the hall.

The Theatre itself is interesting not only by us 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 theatre. P.Tchaikovsky, N.Rimsky-Korsakov, S.Rachmani- noff, Ezhen Izai, Pablo Sarasate and others performed their works. There appeared on the stage the actors, who glorified the home art/ the great singers: Fyodor Shalyapin, Solomiya Grushelnitskaya, Antonina Nezhdanova, Leonid Sobinov, Tito Ruffo, Batistini, Jeraldoni sang here, Anna Pavlova, the first world ballet- clancer, had been dansing here. In 1926 the theatre was awarded the title of "Academic". The theatre ballet group consists of 50 people. Among them such Hnored 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 singers troupe consists of 40 people. They are National artists of Ukraine - Lyudmila Shirina, Anatoliy Boyko, Anatoliy Kapustin and Vladimir Tarasov, the Honoured 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.

There are 25 operas, such as "Carmen", "Aida", "Il Trovatore", "La Traviata", "Cavaleria Rusticana", "I Pagliacci", "Iolanta", "Madam Batterfly", Rigoletto", and jthers are in the repertoire of theatre. The theatre 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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