HomeNewsNews for January 2014The theatre has started restoration of the Odessa Opera pipe organ

23 Jan

The theatre has started restoration of the Odessa Opera pipe organ

Yesterday, on January 22, 2014, the specialists from the Rieger-Kloss Company (Czech Republic) started fixing the Odessa Opera National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre pipe organ. The musical instrument got damaged when the theatre was under restoration and needs integrated measures in bringing the pipe organ to the working condition.

As René Klíma, the company representative, told Nadezhda Babich, The Odessa Opera General Manager, Phase One of the pipe organ restoration consists in mechanical decontamination of all metal and wooden parts. 

In the picture: Nadezhda Babich and René Klíma

Phase Two is substitution of all damaged and missing parts. The contractors have brought more that 400 new pipes with them. The console wires and keyboard are to be replaced for the new ones during Phase Three. Phase Four, the last one, is tuning and regulation. They are planning to finish the work in five weeks.

“If all goes right, we will have completed the pipe organ restoration by the end of February. Thus, the pipe organ can be exploited in March”, Mr. Klíma says.

The expert has confirmed that the theatre administration was right when made a decision about deactivation of the pipe organ after the expertise made by the Rieger-Kloss Company in 2011. “If we had not followed the Czech specialists’ recommendations, we would have to order and pay for the additional expertise before the beginning of restoration”, Nadezhda Babich explains. 


The overall budget for the project is Euro 49,230. The pipe organ restoration is financed by various companies and private persons.

The current Odessa Opera pipe organ was installed by the Czech Company Rieger-Kloss in 1971. It can be classified as a medium size instrument (30 ranks, some 2,500 pipes). The size was defined by the architectural design of the Odessa Opera building.

Historical Background. Rieger Company was created by the Rieger brothers in Czech Republic in 1873. Headquarters and the production facilities of the company are in Krnov. After the Second World War the Czech Republic government sent the owners and the staff of the company who had worked under the Nazi out of the country. The company was united with the Joseph Kloss workshop and nationalized under a new Rieger-Kloss name. In their turn the former owners of the company founded a new company in Austria and called it Rieger Orgelbau.

Rieger-Kloss got its international recognition at the World Exhibition EXPO’58. The company has built, restored and has been maintaining more than 1,700 pipe organs in the world (there are more than 60 pipe organs on the territory of the former USSR). The company became privatized in 1994 and is actively operating in Europe, America and Asia. The enterprise builds pipe organs of all types and sizes ranging from the smallest portable organs up to the largest cathedral instruments.

Photo by Yuri Litvinenko