Odessa's Opera House is a must-visit attraction of the city that is far from being just a dot in a tourism map. It is the most prominent edifice of the city and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful among its European counterparts. The building itself is a true architectural masterpiece and an ode to art and exquisite magnificence. Moreover, it's almost as old as Odessa itself. The Opera House was built in 1809, in the time of Odessa's first mayor, Duke Richelieu. Yet in 1873 it was destroyed by fire, leaving just ruins. An international contest was pronounced to rebuild it, and finally the choice fell on two Viennese architects, Fellner and Gelmer. They say that even construction workers were humming Italian opera arias, while laying bricks, thus music seems to be put in its very foundations. The new Opera House opened its doors in 1887, representing baroque, Italian renaissance, classicism and rococo styles in its architecture. Vienna baroque facade is adorned with Cupids and sculptures of the heroes of Greek mythology. There are busts of Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Alexander Griboyedov and Mikhail Glinka. Gilded ceiling of the main hall is painted by Viennese artist Lefler and presents scenes of Shakespeare's plays. The huge bronze and crystal chandelier weights over a ton, and the interior features fine materials, like gold, velvet and marble. There are lots of mirrors, and almost each room has its own story to tell. An usher unlocks small opera boxes, upholstered in scarlet velvet. Feodor Shalapin, Anna Pavlova, Isidor Dunkan and Maya Plisecka are just few of famous artists, who have stepped on its stage. Although the Opera offers sightseeing tours, it's worth buying a ticket and seeing at least one of its performances. Audience, as colorful as the city itself, usually consist of spruced up local elite and curious tourist, evidently attracted by the building itself. Perhaps the first thing you will notice entering the Opera House is slightly slanting flooring of its hallways and foyer. Only after building works were finished, it was discovered that it is sited on shifting sand. Repeated efforts were made to secure its foundations, yet to no avail. It took the 21st century technologies to succeed, and freshly restored, the Opera House seems more majestic than ever now.
1 Tchaikovsky Street
Keywords: museum, museums, Odessa
Put a street map on here please...