Brianskii, Iakov

Brianskii, Iakov Grigor’evich


(pseudonym of la. G. Grigor’ev). Born Oct. 6 (17), 1790, in St. Petersburg; died there Feb. 20 (Mar. 4), 1853. Russian actor. Student of A. A. Shakhovskii.

One of the last representatives of Russian classicism, Brianskii made his debut in St. Petersburg in 1811. He performed such roles in tragedies as Othello and lago in Shakespeare’s Othello, Franz Moor in Schiller’s The Robbers, Ugolino in Polevoi’s Ugolino, and Tancrede in Voltaire’s Tancrede. He also played in comedies. Brianskii had a powerful and well-placed voice and an attractive appearance. Although he studied his roles thoroughly, his acting was cold and rational. A man of advanced social views, Brianskii tried to enrich the repertoire of the Russian theater with the best works of literature. The first complete performance of Woe From Wit was given in 1831 at a performance in his honor; he played the role of Platon Mikhailovich. Brianskii also translated the works of Shakespeare and other writers. He taught at the St. Petersburg Theatrical School from 1828 to 1837.