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

The Most Difficult Phase of an Artist’s Work

"... And the last phase (at least the way I see it) is the most terrifying one. I’m not sure about other set designers, but I always stock up on sedatives during the last week when everything comes together on stage: all the props and costumes must ‘be brought to a common denominator’; grooves must fit into grooves; you don’t want actors to step on their costumes. Moreover, it all must look beautiful from an artistic point of view and create a nice artistic image. ..."

Christmas Caroling at KGB

"... There were about fifteen of us. We would gather and split roles… a pseudo-vertep or something. We had a bell, and it was clear that we were not just walking on the streets, we were caroling. (…) Once we had an incident though. People really liked it when we came to carol. It was forbidden at that time, you know, but we dared anyway. So people would treat us to some booze, so we were quite wasted by the morning. Once, being drunk, we stopped by KGB to carol. It happened just like that. We were passing by KGB, and I said, “Let’s carol for them.” So we stopped by, opened the door, entered, but we were kicked out by the guard ..."

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". ..."

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. ..."

A Studio in Maria Zankovetska Theater

"... So I came to the theater, and they looked at me puzzled, a big question mark on their faces. Why so? I came wearing a military uniform, tarpaulin boots, and a garrison cap. I guess they thought, “Why did she come dressed like that?” Well, I didn’t really have anything else. Romanytskyy, People’s Artist of the USSR, who was sitting at the table, said, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. We will dress you up.” And he called someone over (not sure who that was) and said, “Bring the costume designer here.” And that person did. And the costume designer dressed me up. She even supplied me with shoes. ..."

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