The M. Zankovetska Ukrainian National Academic Drama Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Ukraine and in the former Soviet Union. It has two birthdays – the first dates back to 1847, when one of the patrons of culture in Austria-Hungary, Stanislaw Skarbek, opened a new theatre building, which at that time with its capacity of over 1400 seats was among the three largest and also the most beautiful theatres in Europe, together with Milan’s La Scala and the Paris Opera. This Lviv theatre hosted, among others, performances by French actress Sarah Bernhardt, violin virtuoso Nicola Paganini and pianist and composer Franz Liszt. Its second date of birth is 1917, when in Kiev the Maria Zankovetska contemporary theatre was founded. Upon the definitive takeover of Ukraine by the Soviet government, theatre made long trips around Ukraine after 1920 and in 1931 it obtained a permanent home in Zaporizhia. During the war, the theatre performed on the front line and gave performances for soldiers. In 1944 it entered Lviv and settled in the Skarbek theatre building. From that moment began the current history of this theatre group, which at the top of the performing arts in Ukraine, and according to surveys, is the second most popular in the country.

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