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From the History of the Bolshoi Theatre

More than two hundred years ago (in 1776) a rich Moscow nobleman (дворянин) Prince (князь) Urusov asked the govern­ment for the privilege of founding a Russian theatre in Moscow. He said that he would erect a stone building for it within (за) five years and that the building of the theatre would improve the appearance of the city, would make it more attrac­tive.

The privilege having been given, Prince Urusov organized the first company (труппа) which consisted of serfs (крепостные). It was the birth of the Moscow Opera House. But as the building of the theatre was not ready yet the performances for some years took place in different city halls.

In the meantime (тем временем) Prince Urusov and an En­glishman Michael Maddock bought a piece of land in Petrovka street in Moscow where the famous Bolshoi Theatre building is still standing today, although (= though) its facade has under­gone (подвергаться) numerous changes and transformations.

However (однако) before the construction started Prince Urusov went bankrupt (обанкротиться) and the work was done by Maddock alone. Maddock was able to organize the work in such a way and he himself worked so hard that the building was finished in five months instead of five years as it had been first planned.

The official opening ceremony took place in December 1780.

In 1806 the theatre became a state property (собственность). But due to the fire (пожар) which took place the same winter the building was completely destroyed. For nearly twenty years per­formances took place in various city houses and halls, including a specially built wooden (деревянный) building which was also destroyed when Napoleon's troops (войско) entered Moscow.

The new building completed in 1824 was more impressive than the old one, its interior being second (уступать) only to the theatre in Milan.

Another fire (пожар) in 1853 destroyed the theatre again, leaving nothing but the walls and the front colonnade. Three years later the necessary repairs (ремонт) were completed. Five tiers (ярус) were added and the acoustics was greatly improved.

Bronze horses decorated the pediment (фронтон). This is how the building looks today.


At the Bolshoy

BROWN: Look, who’s there! Hello, Mr Ivanov!

IVANOV: Hello, Mr Brown! It’s a small world! May I introduce you to my wife, Mr Brown? … Mary, this is Mr Brown, my old business friend.

MARY: How do you do, Mr Brown.

BROWN: How do you do, Mrs Ivanov. It’s a pleasure to meet you. …Well, a wonderful ballet, isn’t it?

MARY: Yes, it’s an excellent production.

BROWN: Who is the director?

MARY: I don’t know, but the scenery and costumes are beautiful.

BROWN: The cast is very good too. Who is dancing the main part tonight?

MARY: Maksimova. She is very popular. And what’s on at London theaters?

BROWN: Well, a bit of everything, you know. … Oh, here’s the bell! Let’s go to the hall. What are your seats?

MARY: We have seats in the dress circle. Where’s yours?

BROWN: Mine’s in the stalls.

IVANOV: Let’s meet after the performance, shall we?

BROWN: Yes, sure. We can have a drink together in the nearest café.


Look, who's there! О, кого я вижу: It's a small world! Мир тесен!; May I introduce... Позвольте представить...; It's a pleasure to meet you. Рад с вами познакомиться.; excellent ['eksə lə nt] отличный; production постановка; director режиссер; scenery ['si: nə ri] декорации; costumes костюмы; cast [ka: st] состав исполнителей; a bit of everything всего понемногу; here's the bell! звонок!; dress circle бельэтаж; the stalls [sto: lz] партер; to have a drink выпить

Cultural Institutions in Perm


Perm is a large cultural centre of the Western Urals. The population of Perm enjoys rich cultural life of the city. A lot of people are theatre - goers. The number and the variety of theaters cater all tastes. There is a country famous Perm Opera house which is the oldest in the city. The repertoire includes the world musical classics as well as modern operas and ballets.

The Perm drama theatre occupying a beautiful modern building was constructed in 1982 after the design of Moscow architects Davidenko and Lutikova. The hall can accommodate 1007 spectators. The Perm Drama theatre started its activity at the beginning of the 30-s. At first it was an amateur theatre of working youth. The repertoir of the theatre is diverse to attract the Perm public of different ages. Among the plays are the masterpieces of drama by Russian and

foreign classics as well as modern playwrights. Nowadays some musicals have appeared in its repertoire. The theater’s artistic director is Milgram, who tries to bring some new tendencies in the theatre’s development.

The city has 2 theatres for children: the puppet show for the small ones and the theatre for young spectators for the Perm teenagers. Some new theatres appeared in Perm not long ago. They are the theatre of modern ballet “Experiment” and a young municipal theatre “At the Bridge”. The artistic level of its productions is very high. The theatre company had a lot of tours in our country and abroad.

The Perm Art Gallery has a unique collection of Russian old icon painting as well as of Komy Wooden sculpture of Perm Gods.

The Perm museum of local lore was founded in 1890 by some famous Perm scientists. It shows the exhibits telling about the life of our famous countrymen and the most important periods of life of the Perm lands.

The Perm Philarmonic society has a lot of music groups which give concerts in the Perm region as well as in many cities of our country. A magician Danilin, the Perm chamber choir under the conductor Novik, the Perm “Quantus quartet” folk instruments group “Karavai” give a good variety of genres for Perm spectators.

Perm has a lot of educational institutions to train the specialists for the sphere of culture. Among them are the Perm State Institute of Arts and Culture founded in 1975, a lot of music schools, a professional art college, several art studios and a lot of hobby groups at the palaces of culture. A lot of other cultural institutions: cinemas, libraries, exhibition halls, parks of rest and culture give the Perm citizens a lot of opportunities to rest in different ways and to choose their favourite ones.


History of theatre

The word theatre means " place for seeing". The first recorded theatrical event was a performance of the sacred plays of the myth of Osiris and Isis in 2500 BC in Egypt. This story of the god Osiris was performed annually at festivals throughout the civilization, marking the beginning of a long relationship between theatre and religion.

The ancient Greeks began formalising theatre as an art, developing strict definitions of tragedy and comedy as well as other forms, including satyr plays. Like the religious plays of ancient Egypt, Greek plays made use of mythological characters. The Greeks also developed the concepts of dramatic criticism, acting as a career, and theatre architecture. In the modern world these works have been adapted and interpreted in thousands of different ways in order to serve the needs of the time. Examples are offered by Antigone, used in 1944 by Anouilh to make a statement about the Nazi occupation of France, and by Brecht in 1948, likening Creon to Hitler and Thebes to defeated Germany. The theatre masks of Greek performance became widely adopted in 1st- and 2nd-century Rome as a decorative theme, both within the home and in public spaces, and representations of two of the forms, of comedy and tragedy, came to stand for the theatre itself: a symbol that survives today.

Western theatre continued to develop under the Roman Empire, in medieval England, and continued to thrive, taking on many alternate forms in Spain, Italy, France, and Russia in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The general trend over the centuries was away from the poetic drama of the Greeks and the Renaissance and toward a more realistic style, especially following the Industrial Revolution. A uniquely North American theatre developed with the colonization of the new world.

The history of Eastern theatre is traced back to 1000 BC with the Sanskrit drama of ancient Indian theatre. Chinese theatre also dates back to around the same time. Japanese forms of Kabuki, Noh, and Kyogen date back to the 17th century AD. Other Eastern forms were developed throughout China, Korea, and Southeast Asia.




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