Russian Theatre

by Elena on October 12, 2018

Russia is deservedly proud of its theatre art. The approach of training actors developed by K.S. Stanislavsky is known everywhere in the world, theatre plays have been always written by the best writers, and hot performances express the tension of the epoch. Russian people have always gone to the theatre not so much for the entertainment but for revelation, for the truth.

Due to its nature, the opera art has stayed faithful to classics. Beside popular foreign operas there are many original works in Russia. Often they were created by the best composers of their times.


The XIX century gave the Russian theatre many brilliant performances based on plays by A.S. Pushkin, N.V. Gogol, M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, A.N. Ostrovsky. They are still popular, both in classical and new interpretations, as the themes risen in these performances are still relevant: the conflict between rascality and nobility, the false and the genuine, and of course Russia and its special color.

Opera scene also considerably enriched itself in the XIXth century. At that period M.I. Glinka, M.P. Mussorgsky composed historical operas, and N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov composed operas based on fairy-tales. Operas by P.I. Tchaikovsky, many of which are based on the plots from the Russian literature (“Evgeny Onegin”, “The Queen of Spades”) are really brilliant.

The beginning of the XXth century has become the time of experiments for the Russian theatre. “The new drama” entered the arena. It was focused not on the twisted plot but the individuals and their inner world, to which the actor should get into at the psychophysical level, according to Stanislavsky’s Method. A bright example of the “new Russian drama” is plays by A.P. Chekhov. Performances on social themes telling about the problems of various society levels also became very popular. Almost all plays by M. Gorky are about that.

Popular theatres

Moscow and St. Petersburg have always been the acknowledged flagmen of the dramatic art, however in recent years there have appeared very powerful theatres in provincial cities, especially in the Urals and Siberia. In Moscow traditionally high rankings are kept by Sovremennik, Lenkom, the Russian Academic Youth Theatre, the A.P. Chekhov Moscow Art Academic Theatre, O. Tabakov’s Moscow Theatre, Satirikon, and Shkola Sovremennoy Piesy (School of Modern Play). In St. Petersburg the most popular theatres are G.A. Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre, the Lensoviet Academic Theatre, the Maly Drama Theatre – Theatre of Europe, and the Alexandrinsky Theatre. In Novosibirsk the most outstanding theatres are Globus and Krasny Fakel, in Perm – Teatr-Teatr and U Mosta. Undoubtedly F. Volkov Drama Theatre in Yaroslavl deserves attention.

The best opera performances are offered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Bolshoy Theatre and the Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre in Moscow. It is also worth listening to opera performances in the theatres of Perm, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, and Novosibirsk.

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