Kaarel Kirillovich Ird

Ird, Kaarel Kirillovich


Born Aug. 14 (27), 1909, in Riga. Soviet director; theater and public figure. People’s Artist of the USSR (1970). Member of the CPSU since 1940.

From 1934 to 1936, Ird studied at the studio of dramatic art in Tartu, and from 1937 to 1939 he directed and acted at the Workers’ Theater in Tartu. Since 1940 (with hiatuses), he has headed the Vanemuine Theater (Tartu), which presents all the genres of stage art: opera, drama, operetta, and ballet. He directed the opera productions The Fires of Vengeance by E. Kapp (1945), The Shore of Storms by Ernesaks (1958), Betrothal in the Monastery by Prokofiev (1962), Katerina Izmailova by Shostakovich (1966), The Swan’s Flight by Tormis (1966), and Johnny From Guiana by Bush (1969). Among his dramatic productions are Gorky’s The Petite Bourgeoisie (1946) and Egor Bulychov and Others (1950), Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (1958) and Coriolanus (1964), Brecht’s Galileo (1961) and Schweik in the Second World War (1967), and Smuul’s The Wild Captain (1965).

An experimentalist, Ird stages productions characterized by social focus, profound stage treatment, and original resolutions for mass scenes. Ird organized and teaches at a theatrical studio associated with his theater and is the author of articles on theatrical issues. He was awarded the State Prize of the Estonian SSR (1947), the State Prize of the USSR (1967), two orders, and various medals.


Postaraemsia poimat’ chudo: Stat’i o teatre. Leningrad, 1967.
Ceterum censeo ehk jahedate suvede jutte. Tallinn, 1965.
Tartu Töölisteater, 1937–1939. Tallinn, 1966.
Semper idem ehk mǒtterände ja rännumǒtteid. Tallinn, 1970.