The Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre
Vienuolio str. 1
Tel. + 370 2 620636
Fax + 370 2 623503
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The State Opera Theatre opened in Kaunas on 31st December 1920 with a production of Verdi's La Traviata. The first independent ballet performance was of Coppelia, and was given on 4th December 1925.
Italian romantic and veristic (including French) operas dominated the operatic repertoire, and the first Lithuanian operas were also staged. The ballet produced romantic ballets and ballets by Lithuanian composers. In 1935 the ballet troupe performed in Monte Carlo and London.
In 1944, when the Red Army repeatedly occupied the country, almost 30 operatic soloists, about half of the ballet troupe and many of the other staff of the theatre left for the West.
In 1948 the theatre was moved to Vilnius. Until 1960, a third of the opera repertoire and nearly half of the ballet repertoire consisted of works by Russian and Soviet composers. The balance of the repertoire was gradually restored; productions of the traditional repertoire that had not previously been staged were produced, along with operas by Gershwin, Prokofiev, Orff and Walton and ballets by Khatchaturian and Bartok and 19 operas and 13 ballets by Lithuanian composers.
The whole theatre company held guest performances in Moscow, St Petersburg, Riga and Warsaw. The ballet troupe danced in Germany and the Netherlands and participated in festivals in Bosra and Athens, the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, the 4th Dance Festival in Leverkeusen, and in Duisburg. The opera troupe performed in Germany, the Netherlands, in Le Roncole (Verdi's birthplace) and the Savonlinna Festival in Finland.
The theatre season lasts 10 months (September-June). The repertory of each season typically consists of about 25 operas and ballets, with about 250 performances altogether.
The present-day building of the Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre was opened in 1974. The symbol of the theatre is a green rue branch.
The Opera and Ballet theatre's modern building.
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