At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Kraków was a flourishing city, both economically and artistically. During the period of Galician autonomy, Kraków was granted significantly greater political freedom than other Polish cities located in the Prussian or Russian partitions. For this reason it became an important center for cultivating national tradition. Lviv, as the capital of the Crownland of Galicia and Lodomeria, was one of the most important centers of scholarship, education, and culture in this region. The city was a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multilingual conglomerate of Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, and Ruthenians. Lviv’s significance as an operatic center grew from the time when the German theater was closed in 1872 and a permanent Polish stage was created. This was a decisive moment for the development of the national opera, and Lviv became the main rival to Warsaw. The aim of this article is to present a general overview of the functioning of musical theater in Kraków and in Lviv, the two musical centers of Galicia. These cities were closely linked by institutional, artistic, cultural, and social bonds. In the artistic life a crucial part was played by the directors of the two city theaters, Tadeusz Pawlikowski and Ludwik Heller. Both made important contributions to the development of the opera.