Republican Theatre of Opera and Ballet was named after medieval poet Alisher Navoi. The theatre has changed its name several times since premier of the first Uzbek opera “Buran” on 11 June 1939.
Its history started a little bit earlier. In 1929, professional theatre was launched. Legendary People’s Actress of USSR Tamara Hanum headed its dance troupe. She danced, singed, played and produced dances. She received the Stalin Prize of the second level.
In 1948, after it joined to Tashkent Russian Opera Theatre named after Ya. M. Sverdlov, the theatre was named as the State Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Alisher Navoi. World-famous opera “The Queen of the house” and “Eugene Onegin” and the ballet “Don Quixote” were staged in the theatre. The repertoire gradually was enriched with the works of Russian and Western European classics, as well as national composers.
Earlier, the performances were stage at Circus “Coliseum”. It was constructed in line with the project of Georgian architect G.M. Tsintsadze in 1902-1913. Both scene and acoustics of “Coliseum” were not designed for performance of opera and ballet. In order to construct the building, the state level contest was held. The winner, Academician Aleksei Shchusev and the author of the mausoleum on Red Square enthusiastically started to work. The architects designed each of the six side foyers with the unique own style. Tashkent, Bukhara, Khorezm, Samarkand, Ferghana and Termez once had own architecture traditions.
Local folk painters were attracted to decoration and finishing works. For example, Usta Shirin Muradov from Bukhara, who also decorated the State Museum of Applied Art of Uzbekistan, also worked over the project.
Construction of the theatre was started in 1939, but was suspended due to the World War II. When the war ended in 1944, the city administration continued construction. Japanese war prisoners participated in its construction. After four years, the building of the theatre was commissioned into exploitation.
In 2012-2015, the theatre was reconstructed. The hall can accept up to 1,500 spectators. Its main facade is decorated with three-arched portal and looks to the small square. Ticket offices are located inside of the powerful columns, which separate the portals.
Musical and dancing fountain operates in the middle of the square. Lovers of classic music and ordinary citizens visit the square in the evenings.