Nikolai Sadovskii

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sadovskii, Nikolai Karpovich


(real surname Tobile-vich). Born Mar. 6(18), 1856, in the village of Kamenno-Kostu-vatoe, now in Bratskoe Raion, Nikolaev Oblast; died Feb. 7, 1933, in Kiev. Ukrainian actor and stage director. Brother of the playwright I. K. Karpenko-Karyi and the actor P. K. Saksa-ganskii.

Sadovskii began his professional acting career in 1881. He worked in the theater troupes of M. L. Kropivnitskii, M. P. Staritskii, and others. In 1888, together with M. K. Zan’ko-vetskaia, he organized his own troupe. It merged with Saksa-ganskii’s in 1898 and with Kropivnitskii’s in 1900, becoming one of the best Ukrainian theater groups. In 1906, Sadovskii organized the first resident professional theater in the Ukraine, located first in Poltava and then in Kiev (until 1920). Its basic repertoire consisted of national classics. The theater staged such plays as Gogol’s The Inspector-General (1907) and Ostrovskii’s A Profitable Post (1909) for the first time in the Ukrainian language. Operas by M. V. Lysenko, D. V. Sichinskii, S. Moniush-ko, and B. Smetana were also staged there.

Sadovskii’s skill as an actor was influenced by the aesthetic views of Gogol, T. G. Shevchenko, and M. S. Shchepkin. His acting was characterized by an authentic folk nature, sincerity, and simplicity, combined with expressive body movements and musicality. He played tragic roles, including the title roles in Karpenko-Karyi’s Savva Chalyi and Staritskii’s Bogdan Khmel’nitskii, and the Commander in L. Ukrainka’s The Stone Ruler. He also played comedy and character roles, including Karas’ in Gulak-Artemovskii’s The Zaporozhian Cossack Beyond the Danube, Puzyr’ in Karpenko-Karyi’s The Master, and the Mayor in The Inspector-General. From 1920 to 1926, Sadovskii lived abroad. After his return, he resumed his former roles in various theaters in the Ukraine.


Moi teatral’ni zgadky. Kharkov-Kiev, 1956.


Vasyl’ko, V. S. Mykola Sadovs’kyi ta iogo teatr. Kiev, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.