Curtain comes down on theatre season in style!
On July 19, 20 and 27 Lviv’s celebrated National Opera Theatre brought the curtain down on the first half of the 2008 season with a splendid premiere of “Don Quixote”, a reworking of a classical ballet directed by the talented young choreographer Yulianna Malhasyants, a Lviv native whose theatrical career has blossomed in the Russian capital. Ms. Malhasyants is best known for her work with Moscow’s world-famous Bolshoi Theatre, and she has succeeded in reinventing this Soviet-era production in some style. The original version of Don Quixote was first staged in 1940 at the height of the Stalinist cultural revolution, with updated versioned staged in 1960 and 1973. A modern version of the performance was first worked on by Ukrainian ballet legend Petros Malhasyants, but his untimely death meant that the responsibility for producing a Don Quixote for the independent Ukraiinan stage fell on his niece Yulianna. This premiere was widely reported to have been the most expensive Lviv production of the past decade with an estimated price tag of above half a million hryvnia, and marks a return to the sumptuous spectaculars and grandeur of bygone times following long years of post-Soviet poverty. The event was sponsored by a Lviv bank, reflecting the growing interest in financially supporting the city’s cultural renaissance, which has also seen local and national companies club together in recent months to finance the building of a stylish new fountain outside the National Opera House. Audiences raved about the costumes featured in this new Don Quixote performance, with each of the over 300 characters richly adorned in period attire thanks to the great work of Lviv costumier Oksana Zinchenk and scenery painter Mykhaylo Ryndzak. All three acts of the performance are enjoyably light, with star turns from soloists including Anastasia Isupova, Anna Surmina, Khrystyna Trach, Igor Khramov, Yevhen Svetlytsa and Oleh Petryka. Fans of world-class ballet can catch repeat
performances of Don Quixote this autumn.