Fedotova, Glikeriia Nikolaevna
Born Oct. 10 (22), 1846, in Orel; died Feb. 27, 1925, in Moscow. Russian actress. People’s Artist of the Republic (1924); Hero of Labor (1924).
Fedotova first performed at the Malyi Theater in 1858, and after graduating from the Moscow Theatrical School in 1863 she became a permanent member of the company. Her first important part was that of Verochka in Boborykin’s The Infant. Fedotova portrayed dramatic and lyrical heroines, character parts, and society ladies. Her best roles were in plays by A. N. Ostrovskii and Shakespeare.
Fedotova was noted for the vitality and strong-willed impetuosity of her heroines. She played 29 roles in works by Ostrovskii, the most outstanding of which was Katerina in The Thunderstorm (1863); she played this role for 35 years. Her other parts included the title role in Vasilisa Melent’eva (1868), which was written specially for her, Parasha in Fiery Heart (1869), Larisa in The Girl Without a Dowry (1878), Kruchinina in Guilty Though Guiltless (1884), and Lidiia (1870) and Cheboksarova (1893) in Easy Money.
In Shakespeare’s plays, Fedotova portrayed Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (1865), Isabella in Measure for Measure (1868), Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew (1871), Portia in The Merchant of Venice (1877), and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (1890).
Fedotova’s great talent was highly regarded by K. S. Stanislavsky, who praised her artistry, brilliant virtuosity, and ability to penetrate the very essence of her characters (Sobr. soch., vol. 1, 1954, p. 39). Fedotova assisted her fellow actors, serving in effect as stage director of the plays in which she acted. Always responsive to what was genuinely innovative in art, she supported A. P. Lenskii in his undertakings, aided Stanislavsky when he headed the Society of Art and Literature, and warmly encouraged the early work of the Moscow Art Theater.
Touring frequently, Fedotova exerted a considerable influence on the provincial theater. She taught part time from 1885, when she had to stop acting for reasons of health, until 1905. In 1912, on the occasion of her 50th anniversary in the theater, Fedotova appeared in a jubilee performance, interpreting the role of Tsar-itsa Marfa in Ostrovskii’s The False Dmitrii and Vasilii Shuiskii.