Opera and Ballet Theatre in Minsk
The National Academic Grand Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus is the most scaled music-theatrical stage of the country. The Belarusian people can hear and see opera only here. The best artists of Belarus perform here. The most famous Belarusian and world works are performed on this stage.
On 25 May 1933 “Carmen”- the first performance of a newly-made Belarusian Opera and Ballet theatre was played. The State Opera and Ballet Studio, functioning under the direction of the famous Russian singer Anton Bonachich, was a starting place, where the present Minsk Grand Theatre was created in the early 30-ies of the last century. The theatre didn’t have its own stage yet. The performances were held at the Belarusian Drama Theatre as much as 8 years.
While the company rehearsed and gathered repertoire, the building of the grand show stage - Minsk Opera Theatre started in 1934. Earlier the Troitski Bazar was located there. The building under the guidance of the famous architect I.G. Langbard lasted for 5 years. During this time the plan was changed, the expenses were cut down and the building’s size was reduced.
Minsk Opera Theatre was named as Grand Theatre for the first couple of years, working on its own stage.
In 1938 Minsk Opera Theatre received its first guests. Among the first performances were: “Eugene Onegin”, “The Queen of Spades”, “Swan Lake”. By 1940 the national Belarusian operas were staged here, such as: “In the Dense Forest of Palesse”, “The Flower of Fortune” and the ballet “the Nightingale”. This year the Theatre, which was considered to be one of the most impressive and brave in creative sense, was added the name “Grand”.
During the first years of the Great Patriotic War the building was bombed
It damaged the audience hall greatly. That was the beginning of the war for the Theatre.
Then, the Germans turned it into the stables, left the theatre with nothing. The values and interiors the occupiers conveyed to Germany. The artists themselves were evacuated to Nizhny Novgorod (then known as Gorky).
The Opera Theatre was rebuilt in liberated Minsk
The reconstruction ended in 1947. The Theatre’s building was finished and re-established. The destroyed audience hall was added the balconies at the top circles. The interior was decorated with A.O.Bembel’s sketches. A park grew around the building, designed also by Langbard.
The renovated Theatre was opened with the first night “Kastus Kalinovskiy”, which is one of the best national operas of our country. In a couple of years the theatrical company enriched the repertoire with restored and new performances, such as: “Boris Godunov”, “Mazepa”, “Marinka” and others, which later became a part of Opera Theatre Gold Fund. In 1955 the first opera performance for children was presented there. In 1964 the Theatre was added the name Academic.
During the Soviet period the most talented conductors, ballet basters, directors and soloists were working at the Minsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. The Minsk company played on tour at all the corners of the Soviet Republics, played at the most scaled stage of that times – at the Grand Theatre in Moscow centre.
In 1989 the State Prize of Belarus was granted for the masterpiece “King Stakh's Wild Hunt”.
In recent years the on-stage performance group travelled almost the whole world. “Nabucco”, “Tosca” and the ballet “The Wayward Daughter” are mostly remembered by the audience. Seven hundred operas and ballet performances are there in the Grand’s repertoire. Each theatre season about 250 performance are staged.