Diur, Nikolai Osipovich
Born Dec. 5 (17), 1807, in St. Petersburg; died there May 16 (28), 1839. Russian actor.
From 1816 to 1829, Diur was a student at the St. Petersburg Theater Academy, where he studied ballet under K. Didlo and theatrical art under A. A. Shakhovskoi. In 1829 he joined the St. Petersburg theater troupe and initially played small roles in tragedies, melodramas, and operas (for example, the baritone role of Bartolo in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville). In 1831 he began appearing primarily in vaudeville, where his liveliness, natural acting ability, beautiful voice, dancing skill, and relaxed manner made him especially successful in the roles of frivolous socialites and comical old men. These included the roles of Jovial in D. T. Lenskii’s The Attorney Under the Table and Freitag and Makar Gubkin in Koni’s The Female Hussar and Student, Artist, Chorister, and Swindler. Diur’s rendition of classical roles, such as Khlestiakov in Gogol’s The Inspector-General and Molchalin in Griboedov’s Woe From Wit, was characterized by shallowness and superficiality. Diur also wrote music for vaudeville songs (A Musical Album of Vaudeville Songs Composed by Nikolai Diur, 3 books, 1837-39).