The building of the first Odessa Municipal theatre was built by the project of Italian Francesco Frapolli in the period of Duke de Richelieu's government. The inauguration of the theatre was on the 10th of February, 1810. A hall counted 800 places. 44 arm-chairs were set on three levelss of lodges, behind them there was large half-round space, where about 700 of the audience could enjoy a theatrical play by feed, as in the old Italian theaters. Name "opera" appeared later, in the 20 century, and at the beginning a theatre was named as Municipal. Famous opera singers, troupes of emperor's and royal theatres played on its stage. Drama and comedy were frequently conducted to. In 1873, after 64 years of the work, the Municipal theatre was fully destroyed by a fire. One year later, the municipality declared a competition for the project of a new "temple of arts", that would correspond to the modern theatrical technique and to the best European standards. As a result, the building was incumbent to the Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer, who had already created theatres in Vienna, Budapest and other cities in Europe. The local architects Felix Gonsiorovsky, Alexander Bernardazzi and Yuriy Dmitrenko had perfected the project.
A huge money amount for that time was expended for the works - 1,5 million roubles. However a theatre was finished in the term conditioned by a contract - on the 15th of September, 1887. It was the first building in Novorossiysky region equipped by the electricity and steam heating. The opening of the new theatre was on the 1st of October, 1887.
From the first years the new theatre became a center of public and musical life of Odessa. Enrique Caruso, Feodor Chaliapin, Solomiya Krushelnitska were singing on the stage of the theatre. Anna Pavlova, Isadora Duncan were dancing. Dramatic actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Eleanora Duse were playing there; and many others.
On the 15th of March, 1925, after the opera of Giacomo Meyerbeer "The Prophet", the second serious fire happened in Odessa Opera, because of the careless handling with a fire. The hall, the stage, sceneries and suits had been destroyed.
After the October revolution Odessa theatre became a State theatre, and in 1926 got a status of Academic.
In 1944 a theatre wonderfully survived: fascists were planning to explore it during their retreat. But on the 10th of April on a balcony of the building a soviet flag was hung out.
During the reconstruction of the theatre in 1996 - 2007 the troupe of opera theater played on the stage grounds of the operating Odessa theatres and on the international festivals in the different countries.
In 2007 on the day of the opening after a reconstruction, the Odessa Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet was awarded by a status of "National".
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