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Lviv Sights | Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre
Individual and group tours to Lviv
Ukraine Lviv Sights | Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre

Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Solomiya Krushelnytska
is is the main symbol of Lviv - one of the most beautiful opera and ballet theatres in Europe and in the world. The building of Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre was completed in 1900 designed by talented architect Zygmunt Gorgolewski. Thetotal cost of construction of the theatre was more than 1,25 million Austrian crowns - 700 000 of them was given by the magistrate of Lviv, the rest of the money was donated by private benefactors.

Lviv in 1892 was left without a theatre. The previous Lviv theatre was built half a century before by count Stanislaw Skarbek. At that time the theatre was considered as the third largest in Europe. However count Stanislaw Skarbek gave to Lviv the building of the theatre free to use for only 50 years. Next Lviv magistrate had to pay the descendants of the count for theatre rent - large amount of money. By the way the building of the theatre is already need funds for reconstruction. So Lviv City Council decided to build a new theatre and announced a competition for the project of new Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Director of Local Industrial School Zygmunt Gorgolewski did not want the jury of the competition give preference for Lviv architect. Therefore Zygmunt Gorgolewski prepared the project of Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre in secret and sent it draws from Germany. Soon Competition Commission declared the project of Zygmunt Gorgolewski as the best.

Zygmunt Gorgolewski proposed to build a new theatre on the site with poor conditions for construction - on the place of future theatre flowed Poltva river that a few years before was taken into drains. The architect took the risk - for the first time in Lviv has established a solid concrete foundation which was to protect the building from flooding.

Work on construction of the new theatre began on 5th of June 1897 and on 4th of October 1900 Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre was officially opened.

Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre building has the shape of an elongated rectangle 95 by 45 meters. The theatre built of limestone and sandstone. In parterre, theatre loges and three balconies there are more than a thousand seats. One of theatre loges of the newly opened theatre intended for special guests and called "Cisar (Caesar) Loge". From there it was the best view of the stage and it had a separate entrance.

The first director of Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre was Tadeusz Pawlikowski who is so much in love with opera so often pay extra in the ticket office with own money. As inviting foreign celebrities demanded the huge costs director Tadeusz Pawlikowski was forced to sell his estate to save the theatre from financial difficulties. The director himself had a great joy - rarely appeared on stage of the theatre in supporting roles.

The initial period of Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre was quite interesting because of energetic organizational work of Tadeusz Pawlikowski. That time the repertoire of the theatre had 46 operettas, 43 operas and dramatic plays.

Legend of Lviv Parnassus Theatre Curtain

Really incredibly interesting legend associated with a magnificent Parnassus Theatre Curtain of Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatrewhich regularly serves over a hundred years. When the construction of the theatre began the founders of the theatre decided that the theatre curtain should be the same pompous as well as the building itself. So it was sent experts in the theatres of Europe and they liked theatre curtains in Milan Theatre and Krakow Theatre. The author of both theatre curtains was well-known artist Henrik Semiradzki so it was decided to order him the theatrical curtain for Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Nearly four years while there was construction of the theatre Henrik Semiradzki worked on his masterpiece but when the work was finished it turned out that there was no money to buy theatre curtain. The new theatre was built largely on donations of patrons but they said they will not give more money.

Experts went to Italy and said Henrik Semiradzki that there is no money to pay for his work. The artist understood the situation, led experts to his studio, showed new theatre curtain and in few days made a perfect act - has presented his theatre curtain for Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre for free.

Legend of the pregnancy of main sculpture "Glory" of Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre

Professor of Lviv University Antony Mars that for many years taught obstetrics and gynecology one day passing by Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre with friends argued that "Glory"sculpture is not by chance has a rounded tummy. Professor swore his scholarly honor that such occurs only of women in the fourth month of pregnancy. To confirm his words and win a bet Antony Mars went to the sculptor who sculpted "Glory" and took address of the model who posed for sculptor work. The model really had a child. By the date of child birth professor Antony Mars confirmed the correctness that the sculpture "Glory" crowning Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre is indeed pregnant.

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