A retrospective exhibition of Maria Levitska is being shown in the capital


During her fruitful career, the famous artist created scenery and costumes for more than 160 operas, ballets and dramatic performances not only in Ukraine, but also abroad, cooperating with theaters in Canada, Slovenia, Poland and Japan.

Recently, a personal exhibition of Maria Levitska, chief artist of the National Opera of Ukraine, opened at the Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema. Sketches of costumes and scenes created by the artist show the audience the process of creating the image of a theatrical performance.

Visitors have the opportunity to see a retrospective of Maria Levitska’s theatrical works, starting from the early sketches of the artist, her joint work with the famous director and her teacher – Danylo Lider, to the productions of the National Opera performances of the last decades.

Photo: Museum of Theater, Music and Film Arts

The exhibition “The Birth of an Image” presents the artist’s works from the Museum’s collection, as well as costume sketches for plays and movies, sketches for world-famous opera and ballet productions from the artist’s personal archive.

Among the early period of the artist’s work, the exhibition includes sketches for the play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare (1976) and the play “The Career of Arthur Ui” (1977) with the director Valentina Bulatova, sketches for the production “Blue Deer” with the director Volodymyr Lyzogub (1975) “Hope” with the legendary director Iryna Molostova (1978).

Also in the exposition you can see scenery and costumes from the legendary banned production “The Steadfast Prince” by Pedro Calderon (1981), created for the Kyiv Youth Theater together with directors Mark Nestantiner and Hryhoriy Gladiy.

Also interesting is the artist’s work in the genre of cinematography, which also occupies a separate part of the exhibition. At one time, Maria Levitska collaborated with the Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Studio. Her film works include collaboration with Ivan Mykolaichuk on the film “Stolen Happiness” (1984, not made), “It’s Hard to Be a God”, directed by P. Fleishman (1986, not made), “Captain Fracass”, directed by V. Saveliev (1984) and other.

The central part of the exhibition by Maria Levitska consists of sketches for the scenery of opera and ballet productions of the National Opera of Ukraine, in particular: Macbeth, Masquerade Ball, Don Carlos, Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli, Corsair by Adolf Adana , “Moses” by Myroslav Skoryk” and others.

Sketches for the operas “Lucia di Lammermoor” by Gaetano Donizetti and “Don Giovanni” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, staged by the legendary Irina Molostova, are among the most iconic works of the early period of the artist’s work, which were the decoration of the collective’s repertoire in the 80s and 90s of the last century.

The exposition presents sketches of costumes and decorations from different periods of creativity. Photo: Tatyana Asadcheva

The decoration of the exhibition is sketches of costumes and scenery for one of the best productions of the National Opera of Ukraine – the opera “Turandot” by Giacomo Puccini. According to the artist, while working on the stage design of this play, she made a trip to China, where she studied Eastern culture, local customs and traditions in detail. Later, she was able to skillfully embody this knowledge in the details of the costumes of the various characters of the play, as well as in the artistic decision of the curtain, as well as in the general choice and combination of colors in the scenography of this production.

Costumes are an integral part of every hero. Photo: Tatyana Asadcheva

According to art critics, the work of Maria Levitska is extremely bright, sometimes outrageous, but with its own, unique handwriting, in which scenographic discoveries of various pictorial, objective, figurative, and conventional directions are skillfully and whimsically intertwined.

“The texture and color of her stage decisions are always unexpected, emotional, exciting…” theater experts note.

Fragment of scenery from the opera “Gioconde”. Photo: Tatyana Asadcheva

Working on the play with its theme and musical material, the artist looks for visual, spatial object materiality in the historical heritage, which would help to create unique images of the play, to harmoniously combine the history of costume and style with music and stage movement.

In stage design, the artist always pays considerable attention to the costumes of the characters, where each element of the outfit is an inseparable characteristic of each hero.

Maria Levitska while working on the design of the play. Photo: National Opera of Ukraine

Certificate: Maria Sergiivna Levitska was born in Kyiv in a creative family. She graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture of Ukraine — Faculty of Painting, Department of Scenography under the supervision of Professor Danylo Lider.

Since 1989, she has been the main artist of the National Opera of Ukraine.

Laureate of the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine; she was awarded the Order of Princess Olga (II century) and the highest state award of the Italian Republic, which can be awarded to foreign citizens – the Order of the Star of Italy.

Exhibition of Maria Levitska “Birth of an Image”

When: until July 16, Monday, Wednesday-Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday-closed.

Where: Museum of Theater, Music and Film Arts of Ukraine, Lavrska Street, 9, building 26 (territory of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra)

Entrance at the price of the entrance ticket to the museum. Price: full – 100 hryvnias, for schoolchildren – 30 hryvnias, discounted and with a Kyiv card – 50 hryvnias.


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