Kalantar, Levan Aleksandrovich
Born Jan. 4 (16), 1891, in Tbilisi; died Oct. 29, 1959, in Yerevan; Soviet Armenian director and theatrical figure. People’s Artist of the Armenian SSR (1954); member of the CPSU (1942).
Kalantar began his stage career in 1916 as an actor and director in Tbilisi after graduating from the University of St. Petersburg. In 1921 he organized the S. Shaumian Armenian Theater in Tbilisi. He was one of the founders of the G. Sundukian Armenian Theater in Yerevan, where he was also chief director until 1928. Between 1931 and 1935 he organized and served as chief director of the M. Gorky Workers’ Theater in Yerevan. Between 1937 and 1943 and between 1957 and 1959 he was chief director of the Yerevan Russian Drama Theater. During the same period he also staged operas. Among his best works are Uncle Bagdasar by Paronian (1927), The Lower Depths by Gorky (1929), The Inspector-General by Gogol (1930), The Forest by Ostrovskii (1934), Lusabatsin by Stepanian (1938), Kha-chatur Abovian by Muradian (1955), Evil Spirit by Shirvanzade (1959), and Shakespeare’s Merchantoj’Venice (1940) and Othello (1956). Kalantar’s innovative direction helped to raise the quality of stage art and establish the principles of socialist realism in the Armenian theater. Beginning in 1944 he taught at the Theater Arts Institute in Yerevan; he was made a professor there in 1946. He was the author of the book The Paths of Art, published in 1963. Kalantar was the recipient of two orders and various medals.