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

Creative Youth Club

"... And then a Creative Youth Club appeared in Lviv. The story behind it was as follows. Les Taniuk came to stage "Thus Huska Died". In the end, he was banned from staging the play, but he set up this Creative Youth Club headed by Mykhaylo Kosiv. I was a member of the presidium, and our task was to organize some sort of cultural soirees. Well, the first one was dedicated to Lenin, of course, like a ‘steam locomotive’. The second one was a serious piece – a soiree in honor of Lesya Ukrainka. And that was when I met Bohdan Stupka. ..."

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. ..."

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 ..."

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. ..."

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. ..."

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