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National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after T.G. Shevchenko

The National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after T.G. Shevchenko is the oldest musical theatre in Ukraine. It was founded in 1867. Its first season was opened with the opera Askold's Grave by A. Verstovsky. While at that time Ukraine was a part of Russian Empire, mainly the operas of Russian composers were staged, such as Mermaid by A. Dargomyzhsky, Life for Tsar and Ruslan and Lyudmila by ?. Glinka, Queen of Spades and Mazepa by P. Tchaikovsky.

In 1896 the old building of the theatre, designed by architect I. Shtrom, was burnt to ashes and on its place the new one was constructed. Victor Shreter, the talented architect from Saint Petersburg, erected a splendid Neo-Renaissance building, which has preserved till nowadays.

Again the theatre opened its doors to the public in September 1901 and soon attracted many famous names and first class operatic productions. In the first part of the 20th century the repertoire, which boasted the real masterpieces of world opera, was greatly enriched with operas and ballets by Ukrainian composers. The audience of those days enjoyed Taras Bulba, Christmas Night by M. Lysenko, Zaporozhets za Dunayem by S. Hulack-Artemovsky, Karmelyuk by V. Kostenko, Golden Eagles by B. Liatoshynsky, etc.

In the 20th century the opera house stage was graced with such names as Maria Lytvynenko-Volhemut, Zoya Hayday, Ivan Patorzhynsky, Mykhailo Hryshko, Borys Hmyria, Dmytro Hnatiuk, Yevheniya Miroshnichenko, Anatoly Solovianenko, Victoria Lukianets, Halyna Tuftina, Anatoly Mokrenko, Velntyna Kalynovska, Olena Potapova, Valery Kovtun, Veanir Kruhlov and others.

In the 1980s the vast reconstruction works were carried out at the theatre. As the result the exterior and the interior of the ancient building were renovated, and the theatre was supplied with the latest equipment.
The present name of the theatre didn't appear at once. Originally the theatre was called the Russian Opera, in 1919 it was renamed the State Opera House. In 1926 the theatre got the status of Academic. In 1934 it was again given the new name - the Ukrainian Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In 1994 "Ukraine" was replaced with "National". Nowadays the official name of the theatre is the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after T.G. Shevchenko, but very often it is also called the National Opera House of Ukraine. The name of the theatre has been changed many times, but the high artistic level of the troupe has always remained steady.

Nowadays the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after T.G. Shevchenko is one of the most successful theaters in the country. It can be proved not only by the immense popularity of the theater, but also by the numerous awards at different theatrical festivals. The troupe tours a lot and the theater-goers in Spain, Italy, USA, Poland, Hungary and other countries of the world are well acquainted with the repertoire of the theatre. The names of leading singers - S. Dobronravova, L. Yurchenko, V. Kochur, L. Zabiliasta, V. Stepova, V. Pyvovarova, ?. Shopsha, P. Mayboroda, V. Hryshko, ?. Didyk, ?. Ponomarenko, S. Fitsych, ?. Nykytenko, ?. Dats, ?. Shtonda, ballet actors - ?. Borovyk, H. Kushnirova, ?. Zadayanna, ?. ??tkova, D. Matviyenko, N. Lazebnikova, L. Sarafanova and many others are well known not only in Ukraine but abroad as well.

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