Aleksandr Iakovlevich Tairov

Tairov, Aleksandr Iakovlevich

 

Born June 24 (July 6), 1885, in Romny; died Sept. 25,1950, in Moscow. Soviet stage director. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1935).

Tairov first performed as an actor in 1905 and became a stage director in 1908. In 1913 he staged Hazelton-Benrimo’s The Yellow Jacket and Schnitzler’s pantomime Pierrette’s Veil, set to the music of Dohnányi, at the Svobodnyi Theater. The following year, together with A. G. Koonen and a group of young actors, Tairov founded the Kamernyi Theater, which he headed until the end of his life. The first productions of this theater, including Ka-lidasa’s Sakuntala (1914) and Annenskii’s Famira-Kifared (1916), revealed Tairov’s talents for delicacy and beauty of staging and for glorification of the noble, powerful passions of legendary heroes.

After the October Revolution of 1917, Tairov and the leading actors of his theater, mainly Koonen, demonstrated their ability to express the revolutionary theme of the grandeur of the free personality. The productions of Scribe and Legouvé’s Adrienne Lecouvreur (1919), Racine’s Phédre (1922), and several of O’Neill’s plays marked Tairov’s transition to realism. Tairov also made important contributions to the musical theater, for example, his productions of Lecocq’s Giroflé-Girofla (1922) and Brecht and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera (1930). His most outstanding production was Vishnevskii’s An Optimistic Tragedy (1933), with Koonen in the role of the Commissar. Other important productions included Madame Bovary (1940; adapted from Flaubert’s novel) and Gorky’s The Old Man (1946).

WORKS

Zapiski rezhissera: Slat’i, besedy, rechi, pis’ma. Moscow, 1970.

REFERENCES

Markov, P. O teatre, vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1974.
Derzhavin, K. Kniga o Kamernom teatre. Leningrad, 1934.
Golovashenko, Iu. Rezhisserskoe iskusstvo Tairova. Moscow, 1970.

K. L. RUDNITSKII

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