Urban Stories

This archive of interviews and conversations collected in the framework of various projects that have been implemented at the Center for Urban History from 2008 to today.

Selected Quotes

Psiacha Buda (Dog House) Café

"... “Psiacha Buda” was a coffee place on Kostomarova Street. Now it’s Rodynna Kovbaska (a meat shop), across from a waste paper collection point. It was a hall of about two meters… well, no, maybe four square meters. Auntie Sveta worked there (everyone called her auntie Sveta); she would make cezve coffee, and we would go out and hang around the place, you know. And we called it “Psiacha Buda” (Dog House). And we would always smoke and drink coffee there. We were still young and could drink as much coffee as we wanted. So we would hang out there and blabber… and then you sort of wanna leave, but another acquaintance joins and the chatting goes on ..."

Opanas Zalyvakha’s Exhibition

"... I decided to arrange Opanas Zalyvakha’s exhibition in Lviv (…) I invited television. So they come, and Panas, you know, is a handsome grey-haired man, well-behaved. They start talking to him, “Well, Opanas Ivanovych, we’ve read your biography, you were there and there, studied in Saint Petersburg with such and such famous people, etc. etc. And what did you do in this specific period?” And he says, “I was in Siberia for five years.” “Was it some sort of Komsomol package holiday or what?” “Heck, no, I was in the camps there.” This material was shown on TV anyway. They just cut out this piece ..."

Performance “The Drayman and the King”

"... Someone said once that a theater manager is like a mom for actors, which is true indeed. You love them all like your own children... There were a great many performances in our theater, even though at certain points someone for some reason was not on good terms with someone else, but there’s one piece that will remain deeply etched in my memory until the end of my days – "The Drayman and the King". It was an amazing performance in terms of atmosphere... the atmosphere in the theater on that day was special. Something different was happening in the theater. When we had that performance on stage, people talked in a different manner, they look at each other differently. That performance had a uniting power. ..."

Wagner’s Opera Staging

"... There were moments when one of such bold conductors would bring out of the woodwork something like Wagner’s "Tannhäuser", which was considered one of Hitler’s favorite operas and was staged in the Lviv Opera only under the Germans. It was not easy to do that in the Soviet times, but the staging itself was very interesting. I think it marked a milestone for the theater and for many soloists. ..."

Puppet Plays for Adults

"... The theater’s repertoire used to include "The Night Before Christmas"..., back in the 1970s – early 1980s. When the Leningrad Company came with their adult performances, they revived "The Night Before Christmas" with the same actors that used to play in it in the past. It was very interesting. There was another interesting piece – "Mam'zelle Nitouche". Special puppets were produced, set designers and choreographers from Leningrad and Kyiv invited. You might think, “Puppets and choreographer… And what?” But that’s why those performances were so interesting because they featured choreographic scenes and some compelling plasticity solutions. The young actors also produced a very nice performance for adults – "Catch the Moment of Luck". ..."

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