If you are in the vicinity of TverskayaRussian: Тверская Street, make sure to call in to the house at 6 Leontyevsky LnRussian: Leontyevskiy pereulok or Леонтьевский переулок. Go up to the first floor, and you will see the memorial apartment of Konstantin Stanislavski, one of the founding fathers of the theatre. He lived there for the last 17 years of his life. Humble and low-key, the house reflects Stanislavski’s personality perfectly. The museum tells the story of his energetic lifestyle and his restless enthusiasm, his modest way of life, and, of course, the theatrical legacy he left behind.
Stanislavski moved into this mansion with his wife, actress Mariya Lilina, in 1921 with the intention of living the rest of his life here. The building, constructed in the early 19th century, is a true monument of architecture. Its interior design preserves some features of the white-stone chambers from the 17th–18th centuries, whose foundation lies underneath. The layout is also particularly unusual.
The museum was founded in 1948, ten years after the death of the famous director. It consists of the rooms of Stanislavski and his wife, rehearsal rooms, and the living room. Visitors have the unique opportunity to see how Stanislavski lived and what his tastes in decoration were; most of the furniture and decorations were ordered by the owner himself and have survived almost untouched.
HISTORY AND DESIGN OF THE MUSEUM ROOMS
The plafond, the enfilades and the huge chandelier of Onegin HallRussian: Oneginskiy zal or Онегинский зал, named after the premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene OneginRussian: Евгений Онегин held there in May 1922, are of special artistic value. This spacious hall still hosts stage productions and evenings dedicated to the history of the Moscow Artistic TheatreRussian: Moskovskiy khudozhestvennyi teatr or Московский художественный театр (MATRussian: MKhT or МХТ) that Konstantin Stanislavski and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko founded in 1897. Having moved to Leontyevsky Lane, Stanislavski held some rehearsals and staged some productions of his Opera StudioRussian: Opernaya studiya or Оперная студия at home. His large leather armchair still sits in the corner of Onegin Hall.
The neighbouring Blue RoomRussian: Sinyaya komnata or Синяя комната was mentioned in Mikhail Bulgakov’s Theatrical NovelRussian: Teatralnyi roman or Театральный роман. A part of the permanent exhibition on the first floor is devoted to Stanislavski’s personality. The museum preserves the ‘knight’s study’ designed by Stanislavski (who had been knighted), Mariya Lilina’s bedroom with her letters and photos, the uniquely designed nursery, the dining room, and the dressing area with the authentic costumes of Stanislavski and Lilina, who acted together in Intrigue and LoveRussian: Kovarstvo i lyubov or Коварство и любовь.
Other rooms include the Red RoomRussian: Krasnaya komnata or Красная комната where the Opera Studio rehearsals were held when the director was ill and Stanislavski’s bedroom, where he died on 7 August 1938.
PAST INTO PRESENT
As you explore the museum, be sure to talk to the employees and custodians—they bring the exhibits to life for you and can tell you a number of stories about Stanislavski and his family’s life and creative career. Prearranged guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about the founding father of the Moscow Art Theatre.
Looking out of the first-floor windows into the courtyard, we cannot admire today the splendid garden that Stanislavski once admired; neither can we invite the actors living in the opposite house to a rehearsal in Onegin Hall. Yet, as you step inside the museum, you feel like you have plunged into the past, back to the premiere of Eugene Onegin in 1922 – this museum is a truly remarkable place which brings to life the events of Stanislavski’s past, and his personality.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com