a family of Russian theatrical figures.

Nikolai Nikolaevich Sandunov. Born Oct. 13 (24), 1769; died June 7 (19), 1832. Playwright and translator. Professor of civil and criminal law at Moscow University.

Sandunov was a descendant of the Georgian Zandukeli family. He took part in amateur theatrical productions as an actor and director. He was the first to translate Schiller’s tragedy The Robbers into Russian (1814). In his plays Paterfamilias (1793) and especially The Soldiers’ School (1794), Sandunov sharply criticized serfdom and vividly depicted the life of the common people. He also compiled an anthology of plays, The Children’s Theater, prefacing it with his essay on the educational role of the theater. A number of Sandunov’s plays, banned by censors, have not survived.

Sila Nikolaevich Sandunov. Born 1756 in Moscow; died there Mar. 27 (Apr. 8), 1820. Dramatic actor. Brother of M. N. Sandunov.

Sandunov began his stage career in Moscow, but in 1783 he moved to St. Petersburg to perform at the imperial court. In 1791 he returned to Moscow, where he began appearing at the Petrovskii Theater; from 1806 to 1810 he was a member of the troupe of the Moscow Imperial Theater. A brilliant comedic actor, Sandunov skillfully applied the traditions of folk theater (satire, improvisation) in portraying clever servants and crooked officiais, such as Scapin in Molière’s The Cheats of Scapin, Polist in la. V. Kniazhnin’s The Braggart, and Klim Gavrilych in M. I. Il’in’s Magnanimity, or the Recruitment. He had a spirited temperament, a well-developed stage technique, an ability to communicate directly with the audience, and a facility for quick changes of character (in Klushin’s The Alchemist he played seven roles).

Elizaveta Semenovna Sandunova (née Uranova). Born 1772 (1777?) in St. Petersburg; died Nov. 21 (Dec. 3), 1826, in Moscow. Opera and concert singer (mezzo-soprano). Wife of S. N. Sandunov.

Upon graduating from the St. Petersburg Theatrical School in 1791, Sandunova joined the troupe of the Hermitage Theater. She moved to Moscow in 1794 but returned to St. Petersburg in 1813, appearing in performances there until 1823. San-dunova possessed a powerful yet flexible, tender, and agile voice; she was also a talented actress. She appeared in operas by C. A. Cavos (as Lesta in Dnieper Rusalka), Mozart (The Magic Flute), and other composers. She also played the title role in Il’in’s drama Liza, or the Triumph of Gratitude. Sandunova did much to establish the Russian folk song on the concert stage.


Gozenpud, A. Muzykal’nyi teatr v Rossii. Leningrad, 1959.
Rodina, T. Russkoe teatral’noe iskusstvo v nachale 19 veka. Moscow, 1961.