Opera houses are always the most iconic landmarks of any city. Even if you`re not into opera or ballet, they are worth visiting. You can tour opera theatres with the guide, admire their lavish interiors, take a peek behind the curtains. And seeing a show at one of these great theaters is an unforgettable experience!
Visit and explore this 3 most beautiful theatres in Ukraine - they are the definition of must see attractions!
Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater
The first opera house in Odessa opened in 1810, but the building burned down in 1873. The theater that you see nowadays was built in 1887 by architectural buro Felner & Helmer. They chose the style of Viennese baroque - as we know, Vienna Opera is one of the best and most amazing opera houses in the world. Amazing french rococo interiors would make some palaces pale in comparison.
The architecture is not the only thing this theater can be proud of. The unique acoustics of its horseshoe-shaped hall allows even a whisper travel from the scene to every corner of the auditorium.
Forbes magazine included the Odessa Theater in the list of the exceptional Eastern European sights.
Lviv Theater of Opera and Ballet
Construction of this elegant theater started in 1897. Since the downtown by that time was already already heavily built-up, polish architect Z.Gorgolewski proposed a bold project. The city river, Poltva, was hidden covered with concrete arches and the building was built over it. Lviv Opera opened its doors in October 1900. Its festive interiors are luxuriously decorated. They bathe in the natural light from big windows and glass ceilings.
The ceiling of the auditorium is decorated with four painted medallions by the austrian painter H.Lefler. They depict scenes from Shakespeare's "Hamlet", "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "As You Like It". The other gem of the theater is it`s curtain "Parnassus" created in Italy by the famous polish painter H.Siemiradzki.
On the second floor, the private apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph with a bathroom and an access to the imperial (now presidential) lodge have been preserved.
All operas are held in the original language (Italian, French, Polish etc).
National Opera of Ukraine
In 1896 the old opera house in Kyiv burned down to the ground in few hours. It was the fate of many theaters back when they used candlelight. The authorities then announced an international competition and got 30 projects from the most prominent architects of the day. The design that won was created by V.Schröter, the chief architect of the Imperial Theaters.
At first the building was heavily criticised in the press and compared to a big frog or a turtle. But the audience was amazed by the acoustics and for a few years it was almost impossible to get a ticket. Soon this neo-renaissance theater won everybody`s hearts. As for the quality of the works - there was no need for any renovation for 80 years!
The scene of the new theater was the biggest in Russian Empire. And after the massive reconstruction in 1980s, it became even bigger - about 2704 sq ft. This allows to create the greatest scenery and contributes to the perspective illusion.
Despite the years that passed, Kyiv Opera still amases with its exquisite interiors, luxury and elegance. Huge venetian mirrors in the lobby, marble staircases, crystal chandeliers, bronze, gilding... It also has a lot of stories to tell, even it`s own Phantom of the Opera.
Don`t just walk by, visit this beautiful theaters and enjoy everything they have to offer. Even if you`ve never seen a performance, you`ll fall in love! The magic of the theater is a very old and powerful thing;)