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Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet (the Theatre, for short) takes a prominent place in cultural life of Odessa and Ukraine. The building, which was constructed from 1884 to 1887, is one of the most wonderful architecture in Europe. Its doorway is decorated with statuaries, allegorizing the Muses of theatre, music, comedy and tragedy.
If you visit Odessa Theatre you will be indelibly impressed. The Theatre is famous for its history. It has been visited by prominent writers and composers, the great singers such as Feodor Chaliapin, Enrico Caruso and Leonid Sobinov performed on its stage.
The Theatre can be rightfully called an elder among the other Odessa theatres. Odessa strived for the right to build the Theatre in 1804. And in 1809, it was constructed already.
On 10 February 1810, the first performance took place. It was a Russian company leaded by P. Fortunatov that staged a one-act opera by Fralih "A New Family" and vaudeville "A Consolating Widow".
Unfortunately, in 1873, the old theatre burned down. Reconstruction was out of the question. It was a tragedy appeased with the only fact that nobody was injured. Two Vienna architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer were offered to design a new city theatre. About eleven years had passed before the first foundation stone of the new theatre was laid down. And on 1 October 1887, Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet was opened.
The building of Odessa Theatre was built in the Vienna baroque style, the main one in the European art from the late 16th to the middle of the18th century. The French rococo auditorium is the most beautiful part of the building. It is sumptuously adorned with various stucco ornaments covered with a thin gold layer. The ceiling is of special interest. Its design is based on four pictures by Heinrich Lefler in the shape of medallions. The pictures depict scenes from the Shakespeare's plays including "Hamlet", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "The Winter's Tale" and "As You Like It".
A large lamp in the middle of the ceiling amazes with fineness of its openwork details. The auditorium and all circles have many various stucco adornments. The stucco work is especially elegant in the circles, the side lobbies and along the stairs leading to the boxes. All kinds of lamps, chandeliers and ornaments of bronze inlays are unique and ingenious.
There may be no theatres where the curtain is made in such a good taste. It was designed by the biggest stage designer Aleksandr Golovin.
The stage is 500 sq. m (5,382 sq. ft) in square. Unique acoustics makes it possible to hear actors whispering in the stage from any corner of the auditorium.
The Moskva Cinema was opened after reconstruction on 1 September 2001.
The Cinema features:
– a screen of 19.5 m by 8 m in size (64 ft x 26.2 ft) and an auditorium of 33 m by 23 m in size (108.3 ft x 75.5 ft);
– good seat back tilt and distance between rows (17 rows, 595 seats);
– modern interior;
– KINOTON projection equipment — Germany;