On June 17, the Odesa Opera & Ballet Theater opened its doors for the first time since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Visitors were treated to a gala performance dedicated to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, whose heroism has meant the artists could perform there once again.

The program began with the Anthem of Ukraine. That was followed by arias, duets and choral works from famous Ukrainian, French and Italian composers – mainstays of the theater since its foundation in 1810.

Despite the war, the Odesa Opera has continued to perform in different venues and platforms, including online shows and in military units. With the theater’s re-opening, its audience showed their will to fight for Ukraine with the freedom of music.

Performing artists included Artist of Ukraine Larisa Zuenko; Honored Artists of Ukraine Tatyana Spasskaya, Oleg Zlakoman, Vladislav Goray and Dmitry Pavlyuk; soloist of the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera and La Scala Theater Vitaly Bely; and laureates of international competitions Yulia Tereshchuk, Marina Naymitenko , Anna Litvinova, Ekaterina Tsymbalyuk, Ilya Markiv, Viktor Shevchenko and Bogdan Panchenko.


Over the next week, the company will be performing “Nabucco” and numerous ballet productions.

The Odesa military regional administration has allowed the work of Odesa theaters, but only those equipped with a shelter in case of air strikes. Consequently, tickets are being limited to 250 (about half normal capacity), corresponding to the number of people who could be accommodated if needed in the basement bomb shelter.

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