History of Odessa Opera
This theater was built by the Austrian architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. In their firm worked more than 20 architects, and the main directions of their work was development projects of theaters, banks, hotels and other elite buildings. According to their projects were built about 200 buildings in Europe, that include architectural styles of Italian Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau. In addition, these architects built 48 theaters throughout Europe. Two of them are in Ukraine. Constantly experimenting and improving the design of theaters, the architects have made the construction process cheaper. Therefore, in whatever competition for the construction of theater they took part, they always won. The company Fellner and Helmer did not create standard projects, each theater was unique and unrepeatable. Therefore, you will not find another identical theater.
Everything in the Odessa Opera and Ballet theatre made in order to feel fullness of feelings from contact with the art. The great theater director Konstantin Stanislavsky said: “Never forget that the theater does not live with splendor of lights, luxury of scenery and costumes, spectacular mise en scene, but the ideas of a playwright.”
One can add to this that beauty of theater determined not only by beauty of building, its technical characteristics, but above all by artists, collective performing in it. In this respect Odessa Opera House was lucky.
Beginning in the 1820s, the famous opera singers, troupes of the imperial and royal theaters performed on its stage. Drama and comedy also often were on stage, the names of outstanding actors and playwrights constantly were on the posters. Ballet divertissements in operas and ballets appeared in the repertoire a little later. The repertoire of Odessa opera house included performances by Gioacchino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Domenico Cimarosa, Gaetano Donizetti, Giuseppe Verdi. The Odessa audience applauded Catherine Amatti, Arrighi and Angelica Catalani, Giuseppe Marini, Catherine Patti-Barilli, Josephine and Teresina Brombilla, Ponti del Armi, Alde Bianchi.
The most striking phenomenon of concert life was the performance in Odessa in 1847 of F. Liszt, who gave six solo concerts here, and also took part in several charity evenings. It was the first time Liszt played solo in Russian empire. Concert-tour of the 1847 in Odessa was farewell-tour of a great musician.
Famous russian opera-singer Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin sang on a stage of the theatre. He recalled: “I never left Odessa theater. I always met the grateful public. Singing in such a theater is a pleasure. ”
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky came to Odessa twice: in 1887 and in 1893 – in the last year of his life. Great composer wrote to his relatives: “They think about me here, like I’m some great man, almost a savior of his fatherland.” For two weeks Tchaikovsky gave a number of concerts in Odessa.
Among the repertoire of Odessa opera house today are: “Giselle” by Adolphe Adam, “Sleeping Beauty” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, “The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, “Don Quixote” by Ludwig Minkus, “Chopiniana” by Frédéric Chopin, “Masquerade”, “Carmen Suite” by Georges Bizet ect. Ballet dancers toured in Canada, Japan , Vietnam, Ceylon, China, Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland, South Korea, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
In addition to opera productions and ballet performances, symphony concerts hold in the theater, and organ ones also, because Odessa opera and ballet theatre has a built-in organ and the best acoustic from all concert-halls around the city.
Surround places to visit
Around Odessa opera and ballet theatre there are many tourist attraction places: restaurants, cafes, museums, a beautiful theater square with a fountain – where tourists like to do foto. In the evening, 46 spotlights provide illumination of the falling jets of fountain. Every day near the fountain more than 200 people make a photo. Every week more than 1000 coins of various denominations and origin are taken from the fountain bowl. Once a year Opera House becomes the venue of Odessa International Film Festival.