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Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre: Orchestra & Chorus (Orchestra & Choir)

Founded: 1920 - Vilnius, Lithuania (former USSR)

Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (= LNOBT)


Since its very inception, the LNOBT Orchestra has been inseparable from the activities of the theatre. It was founded in 1920 when the Lithuanian Opera House opened with the production of Verdi's La traviata. Juozas Tallat-Kelpsa became the first conductor of the orchestra. From then on its repertoire has expanded enormously to include the masterpieces by Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Mozart, Charles Gounod, Musorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Karnavicius, Raciunas, Klova and many other great composers. Over the years the LNOBT orchestra has collaborated with an outstanding roster of famous Lithuanian conductors, such as Mykolas Bukša, Leiba Hofmekleris, Vytautas Marijošius, Algimantas Kalinauskas, Isajus Altermanas, Rimas Geniušas, Vytautas Viržonis, Chaimas Potasinskas, Jonas Aleksa, Gintaras Rinkevičius, Juozas Domarkas, and many others. The orchestra currently performs under the music director Robertas Šervenikas, conductors Martynas Staškus and Alvydas Šulčys, guest conductors Gintaras Rinkevičius, Modestas Pitrėnas, Mantas Jauniškis. Lately the orchestra has also been collaborating closely with guest conductors Rolf Beck (Germany), Giorgio Croci (Italy), Daniele Rustioni (Italy), Domonkos Heja (Hungary), etc. The orchestra currently consists of 100 musicians.

The LNOBT Orchestra has also appeared in solo concerts and with the LNOBT Chorus, performing various symphonic and choral compositions. On the occasion of the LNOBT's 80th anniversary in 2000, the orchestra performed and recorded Verdi's Requiem.

The orchestra of the LNOBT is also performing as an independent ensemble, often collaborating with the chorus of the LNOBT. The orchestra has participated 8 times in the International Music Festival in Murten, Switzerland, in 2007 and 2009 it toured Santandero Festival, taking place in Spain.

Robertas Šervenikas, Music Director
Martynas Staškus
Alvydas Šulčys
Henrikas Tarvydas, Director of Orchestra
Vilius Masilionis, Inspector of Orchestra
Angelė Litvaitytė, Concertmaster


Founded in 1920 to become the first professional chorus in Lithuania under Julius Starka, the Lithuanian National Opera Chorus is coeval with the theatre, making its debut in Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata in the same year. Lead by Česlovas Radžiūnas as its Chief Chorus Master since 1989, the chorus now comprises 80 active members, consisting of 40 female and 40 male voices. With the sizable repertoire, numbering over 60 operas, including M. Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, G. Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, Aida, V. Klova's Pilėnai, R. Wagner's Der fliegende Hollander, G. Puccini's Turandot, etc. It performs in all current LNOBT's opera and in several ballet productions, such as Mikis Theodoraki's Zorba the Greek and Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The chorus has appeared on the LNOBT's international tours in Chicago and Germany, performing both in opera productions and choral concerts.

Both in concert and recital, the chorus has performed a number of large-scale works, such as Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem, Carl Orff's Carmina burana, Giacomo Puccini's Messa di gloria, Franz Schubert's Stabat Mater, as well as Lithuanian premieres of Antonin Dvorak's Requiem and J.S. Bach's St. Mark Passion (BWV 247). It has collaborated with many Lithuania's distinguished conductors, such as Jonas Aleksa, Vytautas Viržonis, Martynas Staškus, Gintaras Rinkevičius, Juozas Domarkas, Rimas Geniušas, Julius Geniušas, Liutauras Balčiūnas, and others. In 1991, it has participated in the co-production of Amilcare Ponchielli's opera I lituani between the Lithuanian Opera of Chicago and the LNOBT. Its creative highlights also include concert performances of Verdi's Nabucco and Puccini's Turandot at the Summer Season in Trakai Festival. The chorus' performance of Verdi's Requiem on occasion of the LNOBT's 80th anniversary in 2000 was recorded and released on a CD.

In 2011 LNOBT's chorus participated in the 25th International Music Festival in Macau (China), taking part in the production of C.M. von Weber's opera Der Freischütz and a performance of Franz Liszt's symphony Faust together with the Symphony Orchestra of Macau. The chorus also presented its own concert.

In September 2012 LNOBT performed during the Guangzhou Art Festival in China - here the Guangzhou opera theatre welcomed G. Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly, one of the most beautiful productions of the LNOBT. The chorus was performing together with soloists Vytautas Juozapaitis (Sharpless), Laima Jonutytė (Suzuki), Arūnas Malikėnas (Yamadori), Rafailas Karpis (Goro) and Egidijus Dauskurdis (Bonza).

Česlovas Radžiūnas, Chief Chorus Master
Alfredas Celiešius, Assistant Chorus Master
Petras Paulavičius, Inspector of Chorus
Jolanta Čiurilaitė, Vocal Coach
Arūnas Malikėnas, Vocal Coach


Source: Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Rolf Beck

Choir & Orchestra

BWV 245 [Video]

Links to other Sites

LNOBT: Orchestra

LNOBT: Chorus

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 11:56