Val’Berkhova, Mariia Ivanovna
Born Dec. 27, 1788 (Jan. 7, 1789); died Sept. 15 (27), 1867, in St. Petersburg. Russian actress. Daughter of I. I. Val’berkh and student of A. A. Shakhovskoi.
Val’berkhova made her debut on the St. Petersburg stage in 1807 as a tragic actress, portraying the role of Antigone in Ozerov’s Oedipus in Athens. Beginning in 1832 she was with the Aleksandrinskii Theater. Because she lacked a gift for tragedy, Val’berkhova retired from the stage in 1811. In 1815 she reappeared, but this time as a comic actress (the Countess Leleva in Shakhovskoi’s The Lipetsk Spa). She also played Agata in Khmel’nitskii’s The Pranks of the Enamored. One of Val’berkhova’s best roles was that of Natasha in the vaudeville show One’s Own Family, or The Married Fiancée (1818), which was written for her by A. S. Griboedov, A. A. Shakhovskoi, and N. I. Khmel’nitskii. Val’berkhova’s talent was highly valued by A. S. Pushkin, M. lu. Lermontov, and V. G. Belinskii. She worked in the theater until 1855 and taught at the St. Petersburg Theater School.