Alexandrinsky Theater is 190 years old

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Some facts about the history of the building, considered one of the most beautiful theater buildings in the world

The Alexandrinsky Theater is 190 years old

Peter the Great tried to accustom his subjects to the theater, but his daughter opened the first public theater: by decree of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, on August 30, 1756, the Russian Theater for Tragedy and Comedy Performances was founded. The troupe was headed by the “father of the Russian theater” Fyodor Volkov, who built a wooden theater building in Yaroslavl on the banks of the Volga in 1751 and showed performances there. In addition to the Volkov brothers, several other enthusiasts played in them.

The Empress summoned Fyodor Volkov to St. Petersburg and sent him, along with his brothers Grigory and Gavrila, to study at the Land Gentry Corps. After graduation, Fedor Volkov received the nobility and the position of “the first Russian actor.” But the “first actor” had to give performances in different rooms – the Russian theater in St. Petersburg did not have its own building, it appeared only 76 later, in 1832. The ensemble of the Alexandrinsky Theater was the most ambitious plan of the architect Carlo Rossi, the creator of the Russian Empire style and the builder of many architectural complexes in St. Petersburg and its environs. ” />The Alexandrinsky Theater is 190 years old

Rossi dreamed of creating a theater in the center of St. Petersburg and transforming the adjacent territory for a long time – even during the reconstruction of the Anichkov Palace. But only ten years later he managed to obtain funds for the implementation of his plan. To clear a chaotically built-up area, only for the purchase of plots that were in private ownership, it took a million rubles – an astronomical amount for that time.

In 1816-1834, Rossi developed at least twenty variants of the ensemble of the building of the Alexandrinsky Theater and eventually settled on a rectangular square, in the depths of which the theater was located.

The Alexandrinsky Theater is 190 years old

Simultaneously with the construction of the theater, according to the project of Rossi, a new building of the Imperial Public Library was being built, which determined the western border of the square. On the other side, the architect placed the pavilions of the Anichkov Palace with a cast-iron fence crowned with huge gilded eagles. The architect proposed to build up the Teatralnaya Street opening behind the theater with access to the Fontanka (today it is the street of the Architect of Rossi) with two long buildings with galleries on the lower floor. Today it is one of the most beautiful streets of St. Petersburg. Its dyne is related to the width as 10:1, the height of the buildings is equal to the width and is 22 meters. The street is often referred to as the open-air pillared hall. /44c4a6f611011b7bb4596c2f141af2ed.jpg” width=”728″ height=”1091″ class=”lazy-image__image _align-center” data-v-64ca9b5a=”1″ alt=”The Alexandrinsky Theater is 190 years old” />

The sculptural decoration of the building is subordinated to its strict architecture. It was developed already in the project – taking into account perception at various distances. Against the background of the smooth planes of the side risalits of the main facade, the figures of the muses in niches with a semicircular ending are clearly visible, and on the top of the attic Apollo's chariot drawn by four horses.

The Alexandrinsky Theater is 190 years old

When designing the Alexandrinsky Theater, Rossi used the experience of building European theater buildings starting from the sixteenth century. He concentrated his main attention on the auditorium for 1400 people and the stage, which, in terms of size and technical equipment, was not inferior to the best theaters in Europe. Spectator seats were conveniently located in the stalls, a semicircular amphitheater and five tiers, where the boxes had an inclination towards the stage. The hall was decorated with ornamental paintings.

The Alexandrinsky Theater is 190 years old

The plafond was painted by Italian artist Antonio Vigi. Along the edges of the ceiling, he depicted a richly decorated arcade, and in the center – a vault of heaven with figures of ancient gods sitting on clouds in a circle, including Jupiter, Apollo, Mars and Neptune.

The Alexandrinsky Theater is 190 years old

Despite the later buildings that appeared on the territory of the ensemble, it still produces a strong impression. Especially if you know its history.

The Alexandrinsky Theater is 190

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