Nestled in picturesque Podil, surrounded by the charming cafes and nightlife of Kontraktova Ploshcha, Kyiv Opera Theatre (formerly known as the Kyiv Municipal Theatre of Opera and Ballet for Children and Youth) is the perfect place to enjoy a ballet, opera, or musical, with shows to suit all tastes and ages.
The venue has a rich history: in the 14th century it belonged to one of the city’s last knights. Later, the location was home to a manufacturing shop that burned down in 1919. In 1930, during the third ‘Five Year Plan’, the site was commissioned as a meeting place for the canning industry workers’ union. The building was designed by Mykola Shekhonin, a respected Soviet architect who was well known for his creative solutions. His spacious design, with its multi-purpose rooms, has something palatial about it. While many constructions of the Soviet era are criticised for their poor infrastructure and lack of originality, this one is praised for its architectural ingenuity. The hall gained notoriety beyond the workers’ union as it could host a 900-seat theatre, a 230-seat cinema, a library, and a children’s area. Since the Khrushchev era, a variety of performers have graced its stage, including the People’s Drama Theatre, a bandura ensemble, a choir, and the Kyiv Variety Theatre.
The Municipal Theatre of Opera and Ballet was commissioned in 1982 and officially opened in 1985 as a children’s musical theatre. The theatre experienced great success under its founding artistic leadership and has continued to grow ever since. Its repertoire has expanded over the years, encompassing new and original productions in addition to the classic opera and ballet repertoire. Since 2009, it has hosted the Kyiv Modern Ballet, directed by dance maverick Radu Poclitaru. In 2011, it began to venture into musical theatre, with a view to becoming the Ukrainian Broadway. In 2019, in light of its expanding scope, the theatre underwent a rebranding: these days, as well as family-friendly matinées, you’re just as likely to see romance on the programme, as well as plays with thought-provoking adult themes.
The theatre’s mission is to satisfy modern sensibilities with bold, new projects, while fostering creativity. It remains devoted to producing wholesome content that is edifying and inspiring, especially for children. Promoting national consciousness and patriotism is also part of its raison d’être. Ultimately, the theatre also wants to pave the way for the artists of the future, offering opportunities for aspiring young performers who are hoping to make it in the professional world.
So bring your friends, your kids, or your plus one, and take in a matinée or an evening show on Kyiv’s answer to Broadway. You heard it here first!
Kyiv Opera Theatre
+380 44 425 3430