Taganrog City Theater as it appears on a 19th-century postcard
|Address||Ulitsa Petrovskaya 90
|Designation||Listed as a landmark in the regional register(объект культурного значения регионального значения)|
|Rebuilt||1866 (in a new building)|
The Taganrog Drama Theater named after Anton Chekhov and decorated with Order of Honor (Russian: Таганрогский ордена Почёта драматический театр имени А.П.Чехова) is a traditional Russian drama theater based in Taganrog, Rostov Oblast.
Foundation and early years
The Taganrog Theater was established in 1827 by governor Alexander Dunaev. The theater was subsidized by the Taganrog's City Council since 1828, and its first director was Alexander Gor. The first group of Russian drama artists was directed by Perovsky and toured around the region, giving performances in Rostov on Don, Novocherkassk, Bahmut. The repertoire consisted mainly of dramas, melodramas and vaudevilles.
Since 1861, Italian opera regularly performed in Taganrog. In 1865 was created a stock company to finance the construction of the new theater building. Forty-five thousand silver rubles of stocks were issued, for the total budget of 55,000 rubles. In 1866, Taganrog established its very own Italian opera in a new opera theater building by the project of the architect Londeron from Odessa. The interiors of the theater were designed after the image of the Milano opera theater La Scala. The repertoire of that time included Giuseppe Verdi, Gioachino Rossini, Jacques Offenbach, Vincenzo Bellini, Mikhail Glinka, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and others.
In 1874, the Taganrog Municipality acquired the theater building by the purchase of its stocks. The newly established theater commission decided to dissolve the Italian opera in 1875 for commercial reasons. One of the Taganrog Italian opera's directors and choirmasters - Gaetano Molla - stayed in Taganrog after the opera theater was closed and contributed to promotion and development of music culture in the city of Taganrog.
Young Anton Chekhov in the theater
Anton Chekhov who was born in Taganrog in 1860 was in love with theater and literature from his childhood. The first performance that he attended was Offenbach's operette Elena the Beautiful onstage Taganrog City Theater on October 4, 1873. Anton was a 13-year-old Gymnasium student, and from that moment on, Chekhov became a great theater lover and spent there virtually all his savings.
His favorite seat in the theater was at the back gallery for it was cheap (40 silver kopeeks), and because Gymnasium students needed a special authorisation to go to the theater. The permission was given not often and mostly for the weekends. Sometimes, Anton Chekhov and other fellow students disguised themselves and even wore some makeup, spectacles or a fake beard, trying to fool the regular school staff who checked for unauthorized presence of students.
In 1901, the first movie was shown onstage Taganrog City Theater.
In 1935, during the 75th Anniversary Celebrations of Anton Chekhov's birthday, the famous artists of the Moscow Art Theater performed onstage of Taganrog Theater: Olga Knipper, Tarasova, Vishnevskaya, Moskvin and others.
In 1977, the theater was decorated with the Order of Honor (Russian Federation).
Since 1980, the theater festival In the Birthplace of Anton Chekhov (Russian: На родине А.П.Чехова) has been held with participation of theaters from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Italy, Croatia, Spain, Australia, Belarus, Germany and Japan.
On January 29, 2010 within the framework of Anton Chekhov's 150th birth anniversary celebrations in Taganrog, the President of Russia Dmitri Medvedev visited the Taganrog theater, where he watched a rehearsal of the performance "Everything Starts in the Childhood", dedicated to Anton Chekhov.
In October–November 2012 the Taganrog Drama Theater hosted the international production "Passions of Romeo" (IUGTE International Shakespeare Performance Project - "Страсти по Ромео.like/unlike". Театральные сновидения по мотивам пьесы В.Шекспира "Ромео и Джульетта"). The performance was created with participation of Russian actors in collaboration with the international production group (Ireland, Spain, Greece, UK, Mexico, Switzerland, USA).
The favorite seat of Anton Chekhov.
Notable people throughout the history of the theater
- Anton Chekhov - Russian playwright and short-story writer
- Ivan Perestiani - People's Artist of the Georgian SSR
- Sergei Bondarchuk - Soviet film director, screenwriter, and actor, People's Artist of the USSR, Academy Award(1968).
- Elena Obraztsova - opera singer, People's Artist of USSR
- Gaetano Molla
- Nestor Kukolnik - Russian playwright and prose writer
- Samuel Maykapar - Russian composer
- Petr Shelokhonov - Russian actor
- Vatslav Dvorzhetsky - Soviet Russian actor
- Yelizaveta Solodova - Soviet Russian actress
- Taganrog Theater Performs On German Stage
- The Taganrog Chekhov Theater triumphs on the Ukrainian stage
- The President of Russian Federation Dmitri Medvedev participated in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov in the writer's home city of Taganrog.
- Taganrog Drama Theater Continues its Work on International Shakespeare Performance Project
- The New Production of Taganrog Drama Theater Goes "for Export"
- Taganrog Encyclopedia (Энциклопедия Таганрога), 2nd edition, Taganrog, 2003
- Taganrog Drama Theater named after Anton Chekhov - Official Web Site (Russian)
- Official web site of Taganrog, Birthplace of Anton Chekhov