Sverdlovsk Theater of Opera and Ballet

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sverdlovsk Theater of Opera and Ballet


(full name, A. V. Lunacharskii Sverdlovsk Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet). Beginning in 1907, private concerns presented operas in Sverdlovsk annually. In 1912 a special theater building was constructed, with a seating capacity of 1,200. In 1919, after the Great October Revolution, the theater was opened for the first time. In 1924 it was named the A. V. Lunacharskii State Opera Theater. Its present name dates from 1931; the title “academic” was conferred in 1966.

In 1922 a ballet troupe was created at the theater; Delibes’ Coppélia was its first production. Since the mid-1920’s, the theater has actively incorporated Soviet works into its repertoire. Its productions of Soviet operas include Pashchenko’s The Eagle’s Revolt (1926), Zolotarev’s The Decembrists (1930), Dzerzhin-skii’s The Quiet Don (1936), Emel’ian Pugachev by Koval’ (1943), Khrennikov’s Into the Storm (1952), and Magidenko’s The Path of Thunder (1959). Its productions of Soviet ballets include Khachaturian’s Gayane (1943), Spadaveccia’s The Happy Coast (1953), and B. Aleksandrov’s Left-handed Smith (1954). The Sverdlovsk Theater of Opera and Ballet has made a practice of producing works by local composers from the Urals, including operas such as Trambitskii’s Orlena (1934; third version, 1973), Beioglazov’s Okhonia (1956), and Katsman’s Mal’chish-Kibal’chish (1969) and ballets such as Fridlender’s The Stone Flower (1944) and The Girl Without a Dowry (1958). The theater’s best opera productions have been Verdi’s Otello (1945; State Prize of the USSR, 1946) and Simon Boccanegra (1955), Glinka’s Ruslan and Liudmila (1960), Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina (1964), Shebalin’s The Taming of the Shrew (1964), Puccini’s La Bohème (1965), Mozart’s Don Giovanni (1967), Paliashvili’s Daisi (Twilight; 1972), and R. Strauss’ Arabella (1974; USSR premiere). Its most successful ballets have been Peer Gynt (1962), to music by Grieg, Shchedrin’s The Little Humpbacked Horse (1964), Khachaturian’s Spartacus (1966), Lazarev’s Antony and Cleopatra (1970), Melikov’s The Legend of Love (1971), and Notre Dame de Paris (1973), to music by Pugni, Glière, and Vasilenko.

The theater’s singers include People’s Artist of the RSFSR V. M. Nestiagina and Honored Artists of the RSFSR M. G. Va-sil’eva, L. T. Konovalova, L. E. Krasnopol’skaia, O. A. Agafo-nov, N. N. Golyshev, G. M. Zeliuk, and A. S. Shabunio (1975). Its ballet soloists include People’s Artist of the USSR N. I. Me-novshchikova and Honored Artist of the RSFSR E. R. Guski-na. K. G. Chermenskaia and Honored Artist of the Chuvash ASSR A. F. Fedorov are voice coaches. Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR and the Tatar ASSR K. K. Tikhonov is principal conductor. The principal director is People’s Artist of the RSFSR M. L. Minskii, its principal choreographer M. N. Laza-reva, its choral director N. G. Popovich, and its principal artist (set designer) People’s Artist of the RSFSR N. V. Sitnikov. In 1962 the Sverdlovsk Theater of Opera and Ballet was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.