Rus Articles Journal

How there was the Russian court theater?

Theatre. Who does not dream to visit it? Many who visited theater though once, any more cannot refuse in pleasure to visit to themselves him once again. But that served as the reason of emergence of theater in Russia? Who were the first actors and also what they brought to attention of the audience three centuries ago?

At the end of the 17th century in Russia the court theater for the first time appeared. The idea of creation of theater came to mind to chapter of the Ambassadorial order to Artemon Sergeyevich Matveev. Artemon Sergeyevich was very educated person and the outstanding personality. Being a great statesman, he in every way propagandized art and secular literature in society.

At that time Alexey Mikhaylovich ruled the state. The tsar very much loved various pleasure actions therefore, having heard Artemon Sergeyevich Matveev`s proposal on trying to create court theater, he approved his idea and agreed. In the spring in 1672 in Russia began preparation and the organization of the first theater. For the first representation the attic of the boyar Morozov was chosen as the place. While there were works on arrangement of theater, Artemon Sergeyevich suggested the pastor of the German settlement Johann Gottfried Gregory to be engaged in a set of actor`s troupe. It was necessary not only to find actors, but also to train. Gregory gathered troupe from 60 men and at once undertook their training. Except work with actors he was engaged still in direction and dramatic art.

On June 4 the imperial decree in which it was said about that the foreigner Johann Gottfried put the comedy which plot had to be based on a plot from the Bible was sent. But the tsar accurately let know the most important that for this action the new theater has to be arranged.

Right there urgent works on a construction of new theater in the residence of the tsar situated near Moscow, namely in the village of Preobrazhenskoye began. Gregory very much tried to make everything in the best possible way. Money the huge number was enclosed in theater. Matveev personally watched internal finishing of the room, suits of actors and scenery. Suits for actors were very rich, and scenery were written by the best painters. Gregory was engaged in a performance of a biblical scene. It was helped by two residents of the German settlement Yagan Paltsev and Yury Givner. Yury Givner undertook the management of theater after Gregory`s death in 1675. But about it a bit later.

All summer worked on creation of theater and rehearsal of a performance. On October 17, 1672 there took place opening of long-awaited theater and the first representation. At this important event there were a tsar and all his near boyars. In a special box there were a queen and her court ladies.

The first representation lasted ten hours, but the tsar watched everything to the end and was very pleased. When the performance was ended, the audience right there went to a bath as considered that after it actions it is necessary to wash away from itself all sins. The theater was called at that time shame . People thought that even being an audience, they drew upon themselves a great sin. Representation was not pleasant to much. Though, perhaps, it was caused by the fact that boyars all representation stood on the feet.

In 1673 there were some changes. The theater was moved in other room which was over Pharmaceutical chamber of the Kremlin. A corpse of actors was replenished too.

Representations of the first theater were based on bible motives. Also plays with a mythological plot, for example, " were put; The Comedy about Bakhus with Venus . Term comedy at that time it was understood as drama work therefore comedies were also compassionate with a tragic outcome or cheerful with the joyful final.

In 1675 Johann Gregory who was a head and all the time gave to theater, died. And at the beginning of 1676 also the tsar Alexey Mikhaylovich dies. After death of the tsar the court theater stops the existence too.