Saratov Theater of Opera and Ballet

Saratov Theater of Opera and Ballet


(full name, N. G. Chernyshevskii Saratov Theater of Opera and Ballet), a resident theater that opened in Saratov in 1933. There had been private opera productions in Saratov since 1875. There was an opera company—the N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saratov Opera—in the city from 1918 to 1920, and an opera and ballet troupe was active from 1928 to 1933.

Works by Soviet composers occupy an important place in the theater’s repertoire. Soviet operas include Dzerzhinskii’s The Quiet Don (1936), Paliashvili’s Daisi (1937, first performance in Russian), Khrennikov’s During the Storm (1939), Zhukovskii’s From the Bottom of My Heart (1950; State Prize of the USSR, 1951), Kreitner’s Tania (1955), and Prokofiev’s Betrothal in the Monastery (1971). Soviet ballets include Asaf ev’s The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (1936), Glière’s The Bronze Horseman (1952), Kovalev’s The Young Girl and Death (1961; second version, 1973), Prokofiev’s Cinderella (1965), and Khachaturian’s Spartacus (1967) and Gayane (1972). The theater staged, for the first time in the USSR, the opera Sviatopluk by E. Suchoň (1962) and the ballets The Kerchief by Kenessey (1956) and Legend of the Lake by Vladigerov (1969).

The theater also stages such classic operas as Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (1935), Glinka’s Ivan Susanin (1939), Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel (1946; State Prize of the USSR, 1947), Verdi’s Otello (1951) and Don Carlos (1964), and Massenet’s Manon (1960). Classic ballets staged by the theater include Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty (1941) and The Nutcracker (1959) and Adam’s Giselle (1960). The repertoire of the 1960’s and early 1970’s has included such operas as Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades, and The Sorceress, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride, Dargomyzh-skii’s The Mermaid, Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, and La Traviata, and Gounod’s Faust and such ballets as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Minkus’ Don Quixote.

Among the conductors who have been associated with the theater are A. V. Pavlov-Arbenin, V. A. Shefer, and N. A. Shka-rovskii. Stage directors have included I. A. Varfolomeev, Ia. A. Grechnev, and B. A. Mordvinov, and choreographers, V. T. Adashevskii and V. I. Vronskii.

Singers of the theater include (1975) People’s Artists of the RSFSR O. V. Bardina, G. E. Stanislavova, and Iu. L. Popov, Honored Artists of the RSFSR A. D. Rudes and A. F. Saba-dashev, Honored Artist of the Bashkir ASSR N. A. Briatko, and Honored Artist of the Kara-Kalpak ASSR L. A. Smetanni-kov. Principal dancers include N. V. Trofimova and R. G. Shapkina. Iu. L. Kochnev is the principal conductor, and A. E. Pochikovskii is the principal stage director. The principal choreographer is A. I. Pantykin, and the principal choral director is Honored Artist of the RSFSR A. A. Dobromirova. The principal stage designer is A. V. Kriukov. In 1962 the theater moved into a new building with a seating capacity of 1,200.