“This Saturday, the National Opera of Ukraine in Kyiv re-opened for the first time since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, almost four months ago,” writes Sophia Alexandra Hall in Monday’s (5/23) Classic FM (U.K.). “The first performance back was of … Rossini’s … The Barber of Seville, and the audience reportedly gave the two-act production a 10-minute standing ovation. Saturday’s afternoon show was expectedly sold out,” although the 1,300-seat theater was limited to 300 people because “the coat check … doubles as a bomb shelter…. Lt. Maksym Butkevych, an audience member who left his barracks for the day to attend the performance [said] that the reopening of the opera house was … ‘a kind of promise that … life will go on, not death.’ … With tickets remaining at 300 seats a performance, the opera’s next production is Natalka Poltavka, a three-act opera by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko. The upcoming performance schedule … also includes Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona and Verdi’s Rigoletto. Russian repertoire will not be performed at the Kyiv opera house…. Ukraine’s minister for culture and information, Oleksandr Tkachenko, [said] at this time the world should be celebrating composers of other nationalities … and certainly Ukrainian.’ ”