With esteemed beginnings that included guest conductors such as Piotr Tchaikovsky in 1891, The National Opera of Ukraine has been producing sophisticated and richly textured productions for over 130 years. Today, with a roster of over 60 soloists, a 120-member chorus and 150 musicians, The Kyiv Opera continues to seduce audiences in the grand and lavish tradition of the Old World.
In the beginning of the 20th century The Kyiv Opera grew on par with its’ Russian counterpart, The Kirov Opera. As the company continued to master the classic repertoire, new productions by Ukrainian composers were also developed (Lysenko’s Taras Bulba and Natalka Poltavka, Hulak-Artemovsky’s Zaporozhian Cossack Over the Danube to name a few). By the 1950s, the Kyiv Opera had become one of Europe’s significant Opera Houses. Simultaneously, the company began sharing the wealth of their theatre by touring throughout Central and Eastern Europe with reciprocal visits by European directors impressed with the quality of the company.
During the next twenty years, the Chorus became renowned for it’s richly textured dynamics and sheer power. With the tenure of Choirmaster Lev Benedyktov, The National Opera Chorus became well known for their recitals of Russian and Ukrainian spiritual music, touring such countries as Switzerland, Germany, Holland, USA and Brazil:
Quoting Opera, 1995: “The chorus – as good as its erstwhile rivals in Moscow and St. Petersburg – was rich and vibrant and gripped the audience with its strong emotion”.
Today the strength of the National Opera of Ukraine is being recognized on the world stage. Home territory for such world renowned masters as tenor Vladimir Grishko, soprano Victoria Loukianetz and basso Anatoli Kotscherga, current artists such as award winning tenor Konstyantyn Andreyev are making their presence felt with both tenures and guest appearances at esteemed theatres across Europe and North America.