Ukraine inherited high-class dramatic school from the USSR. Some of the Ukrainian theatres have got popularity among ex-Soviet states and a nice professional reputation in Europe.
You will need to speak either Ukrainian or Russian to get the most out of an evening at the theatre (unless it’s ballet or classic opera, of course) but the country’s theatres and opera houses are well worth a visit. Plays and performances in other languages are a rarity, but at least there is plenty of information about them in English.
There are a few ‘must visit’ theatres in Ukraine: Opera Houses in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa. They are both the architectural pearls and the stages for classical shows at the highest professional level. Donetsk Opera and Ballet theatre has its own very reputable ballet school by Vadym Pysarev and host the international ballet contest yearly. To avoid language problem and enjoy art to the fullest, you may also visit The National Operetta Theatre, The National Philharmonic or The Concert Hall at The National Music Academy.
Traditionally Ukraine has produced world-class musicians, opera singers and ballet dancers. Unfortunately, many stars perform abroad mostly and appear on the native stage just occasionally.
The opera houses and a few key dramatic theatres are the most expensive theatres due to visiting them is a question of prestige for the Ukrainians. There are also small experimental theatres of contemporary art in the big cities. It is difficult to say how they live on, taking lack of any state support and traditionally low interest to contemporary art by the Ukrainians on the whole.
These are some prices for visiting the top theatres (for regular, not guest or premiere shows):
The National Opera (Kiev): UAH 40-300
Odessa Opera House: UAH 20-200
Lviv Opera House: UAH 50-200
Donetsk Opera House: UAH 30-120
The National Operetta (Kiev): UAH 20-120.
Ukraine is a favourite destination for Russian classical theatres and theatrical enterprises. They commonly come to perform for a few days, renting the stage of one of the leading local theatres. Commonly their tickets are the most expensive (excl. concert shows) and start from UAH 400-500.
The theatre tickets are available
- at the theatres box-offices
- at the ticket box-offices and agencies in the centre of the cities and in large shopping hubs
While visiting one of the classical theatres don’t neglect dress-code. The smart casual or ‘after five’ style matches the case perfectly.
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