The Moscow Operetta TheatreRussian: Teatr «Moskovskaya operetta» or Театр «Московская оперетта» was founded in 1927 by the legendary actor and director Grigory Yaron. The building housing the theatre is located in the city centre, next to the Bolshoi TheatreRussian: Большой театр. It is a 19th-century architectural landmark. The Moscow Operetta is truly the leading musical theatre in Russia, running classical operettas by Johann Strauss, Franz Lehár, Imre Kálmán, Pál Ábrahám and Frederick Loewe, along with musicals by brilliant modern Russian composers such as Kim Breytburg, Aleksandr Zhurbin and Roman Ignatyev. The reputation of the shows is further reinforced by the theatre’s state-of-the-art sound and light equipment.
About half of the performances staged by the theatre are classical operettas. Other shows were written by Soviet and modern Russian composers or belong to the musical genre. Classical operettas include Imre Kálmán’s Mister XRussian: Мистер Икс, SilvaRussian: Сильва, The Yankee PrincessRussian: Bayadera or Баядера, The Violet of MonmartreRussian: Fialka Monmarta or Фиалка Монмарта and The Carnival FairyRussian: Feya karnavala or Фея карнавала. The latter had never been staged in Russia before, and the theatre decided to fill that gap in 2013. The Honoured Artist of Russia Zhanna Zherder staged the show starring People’s Artists of Russia Svetlana Varguzova, Gerard Vasilyev, Yuri Vedeneyev and Aleksandr Markelov.
The BatRussian: Letuchaya mysh or Летучая мышь, one of the best-known operettas composed by Johann Strauss II is one of the crown jewels of the theatre’s repertoire. This performance has been on stage over 1,000 times. Today’s version was staged for the first time in 1974 by the leading Soviet theatrical figures, director Georgy Ansimov and artist Valery Levental. The show was brought back to the stage by the Honoured Artist of Russia Tatyana Konstantinova in 2015.
In recent years, the theatre has been focused on staging musicals based on rather unexpected literary works. For instance, Jane EyreRussian: Джейн Эйр by K. Breytburg and K. Kavaleryan (directed by A. Chevik) has been a success since 2014, as has the recent adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna KareninaRussian: Анна Каренина. One of the latest shows is Marriage: Italian StyleRussian: Brak po-italyanski or Брак по-итальянски composed by Geysyat Shaydulova, based on Eduardo de Filippo’s play, Filumena Marturano. Over the years, it has been staged in the world’s best theatres, and the popular film adaptation starred Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The show, directed by Zhanna Zherder, depicts a typical Neapolitan quarter, with noisy neighbours, a shoe shiner on a street corner and an authentic 1939 retro car.
Love and dovesRussian: Lyubov i golubi or Любовь и голуби is another recent show staged at the theatre. The film adaptation of this comedy is well known to the Russians, but this is its first operetta adaptation.
The musical, Monte CristoRussian: Монте-Кристо has been a real hit since 2008 (music by R. Ignatyev, libretto by Y. Kim, directed by A. Chevik). Fancy costumes, transforming stage sets, beautiful music and the harmony of actors’ voices merge into an exciting show, which won an award at an international musical festival in Korea in 2014.
The Moscow Operetta has an impressive list of performers. The theatre’s living legends are the People’s Artists of Russia Svetlana Varguzova, Yuri Vedeneyev, Gerard Vasilyev and Aleksandr Markelov. These and other actors perform in Grand Can-CanRussian: Grand канкан, directed by the Honoured Artist of Russia Inara Guliyeva. It is a music show consisting of popular arias from classical and modern operettas. It also features some of the best of jazz and popular music united by the high-energy can-can performance.
It is the People’s Artist of Russia Elena Zaytseva who plays most of the leading roles at the Moscow Operetta. Her roles include those of Odetta, Hanna, Rosalinda, Theodora, Eliza Doolittle, Silva and many more. Pavel Ivanov, one of the young leading actors at the theatre, plays the roles of Radjami, Zetta, Mister X, Edwin, Fanfan and Raul, among many others.
The theatre boasts a 1,600-seat auditorium featuring a classical interior, a crystal chandelier and a plafond painted by Konstantin Korovin, an early 20th-century Russian artist. The theatre has the latest light and sound equipment, but the facilities are definitely in need of renovation. Feedback from visitors indicates that the best seats in the auditorium are located in the first rows of the dress circle.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com