Rumanian Opera and Ballet Theater

Rumanian Opera and Ballet Theater


(Opera Română), a theater created out of the Lyrical Society, founded in 1919. It was initially called the Lyric Theater and the Rumanian Opera. After its inaugural performance in Bucharest in 1921, the company occupied various buildings until 1953, when it moved to a new building accommodating, after reconstruction, 960 spectators.

From 1920 to 1950 the theater staged, besides classical works, operas and ballets by Rumanian composers. Among its most successful operatic productions were Calamity by Drăgoi (1928), The Stormy Night by Constantinescu (1935), and One Does Not Jest With Love by Nottara (1941). The theater was also acclaimed for its staging of the ballets The Market (1931) and Mademoiselle Măriuţa (1942) by Jora, Iris by Nottara (1932), Wedding in the Carpathians by Constantinescu (1941), and The Werewolf by Vancea (1943). The most famous performers in those years were the singers F. Cristoforeanu and G. Niculescu-Basu, the ballet soloists R. Constantini and D. Matei, and the conductors I. N. Otescu and I. Perlea.

The establishment of people’s rule in Rumania in 1947 created new opportunities for artistic development. The theater expanded its opera and ballet repertoire to include works by Russian and Soviet composers, among them ballets by B. V. Asaf’ev, R. M. Gliére, and S. S. Prokofiev. Since the 1950’s special attention has been devoted to national works. A number of operas were staged for the first time, including Enescu’s Oedipus (1958), G. Dumitrescu’s Prince John the Terrible (1956), The Uprising (1959), and Decebal (1969), Bentoiu’s Amorul the Healer (1966), and Trăilescu’s Bălcescu (1974). New ballets include A. Mendelsohn’s The White Moor (1949) and Călin (1957), Jerea’s The Haiduks (1956), Chiriac’s Jancu Jianu (1964) and The Flame (1973), Jora’s Return From the Depths (1965), Profeta’s The Prince and the Pauper (1967), Rumanian Rhapsodies, set to Enescu’s music (1970), and Trăilescu’s The Spring (1972).

Over the years the theater has presented such outstanding artists as the singers G. Zobian, Z. Pally, A. Florescu, N. Herlea, E. Cernei, and O. Enigarescu; the ballet soloists I. Iliescu, I. Liciu, V. Massini, S. Orleanu, and M. Popa; the conductors A. Alessandrescu, G. Georgescu, and E. Massini; and the choreographers O. Danovschii and V. Marcu. The theater has toured many countries, including the USSR (1960).


Brediceanu, M. “Bukharestskii teatr opery i baleta.” Narodnaia Rumyniia, 1960, no. 8.
Cosma, O. L. Opera romînească, vol. 2. Bucharest, 1962.