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Alexandrinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg
August 29, 2019 17:10


The legendary Alexandrinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg is one of the oldest and most highly valued theaters in the world today. The first performance here was held as far back as 1756, and the building designed by arl Rossi for it was officially recognized the oldest drama theater in Russia. Today the theater is headed by Valery Fokin, one of Russia's leading stage directors.
The troupe of the Alexandrinsky Theater was founded by decree of Russian Empress Elizabeth Petrovna on September 10, 1756. Named “The Russian Theater for the Presentation of Tragedies and Comedies”, they performed at various theater venues. The actors of the court theater played in royal residences, to the delight of the Russian tsars and their high-ranking guests.



Theater Building by Carl Rossi

The famous magnificent building of the Alexandrinsky Theater was built by architect Carl Rossi back in 1832. He chose the Empire style and his favorite yellow and white tones for it. Carl Rossi decorated the first storey of the building with a suite of columns and hoisted a bronze sculpture on the crest of the facade. The then Emperor Nicholas I was delighted with the building and ordered the theater to be named Alexandrinsky in honor of his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna.



The Cradle of Russian Drama
Once in the constellation of the Imperial Theaters, Alexandrinsky Theater came to be a long-time cradle of Russian drama. No other Petersburg stage presented so many premieres after the works by Russian authors. Foreign classics were also played here, of course.

At the end of the 19th century, the public fell in love with vaudeville, and this was what predetermined the appearance of a special, “Alexandrinsky” acting school, in which drama was masterfully combined with singing or recitation.



Legends and Mysteries of Alexandrinsky Theater

Numerous legends are associated with the Aleksandrinsky Theater. Architects say that the theater’s design is much like a church setup, where the stage acts as an altar.
Actors say that the building of Alexandrinsky Theater is located at the intersection of energy fields. This is believed to boost some of the actors and theater staff during the performances, while taxing the powers of some others.



The Alexandrinsky Theater is also famous for its numerous corridors and stairs. This is a real labyrinth where newcomers might get lost easily. These labyrinths were made for one purpose: to prevent different classes of society from meeting each other and having conflicts in the theatre.

Among people with low income there were theatergoers as well, and usually such drama fans could afford cheaper tickets only, for seats further and higher from the stage. So separate stairs lead to each tier, the mezzanine and the dress circle.

 

Dust Museum
Alexandrinsky Theatre is also famous for its Dust Museum. Indeed, samples of the oldest theatrical dust are collected there. 200-year-old dust, which differs from “younger dust” in color and structure, is stored in special vessels. The museum has more entertaining objects to display as well, such as stage costumes and props of the past centuries. Several halls cover the whole of the theater’ long rich history. The museum can be visited before the performance or at the intermission, with a museum ticket required.

Where: Alexandrinsky Theater at the address 6, Ostrovsky Square, next to the metro station Gostiny Dvor, Moscow.
The official website of the Alexandrinsky Theater 
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Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Alexandrinsky Theater Saint Petersburg Theatres Russian Theatre   

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