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Moscow State Stanislavsky Music Theatre

Moscow State Stanislavsky Music Theatre

Moscow State Stanislavsky Music Theatre

Bolshaya Dmitrovka 17, 125009 Moscow

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The Moscow State Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre (MAMT) was founded in 1941 when two companies directed by the legendary reformers of twentieth-century theatre — Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko — merged: the Stanislavsky Opera Theatre (established at the end of 1918 as an Opera Studio of the Bolshoi Theatre) and the Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre (set up in 1919 as a Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre). The new theatre followed the artistic principles of its founders, who applied the system of the Moscow Art Theatre to opera and ballet. Both Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko rejected the current conception of opera as ‘costume concert’. They wanted to bring it closer to drama and comedy, revealing the main idea of the plot through psychologically motivated action.

The Ballet Company entered the Theatre as a part of Nemirovich-Danchenko's troupe. It was the former company of the Moscow Art Ballet, established in 1929 by Victorina Krieger, the valued ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre. She was Artistic Director and one of the principal dancers of the Moscow Art Ballet.

Soon after Stanislavsky's death, Nemirovich-Danchenko took charge of all the companies (Vsevolod Meyerkhold invited by Stanislavsky to work for his theatre, was arrested in 1939, and no other stage director could prove equal to Nemirovich-Danchenko). Then the theatre was given its present name.

From 1950 to 1959, the Opera Company was run by Leonid Baratov, the pupil of Nemirovich-Danchenko and inheritor to his teaching. Formerly the Chief Stage Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, noted for his elaborate, imposing productions of the Russian classics (Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina), which had much in common with Sergey Eisenstein's historic films, Baratov was one of the leading figures in Soviet opera theatre. He worked on the productions alongside the prominent conductor Samuil Samosud and well-known stage designer Boris Volkov. Their association with the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre was most fruitful.

In 1960 Baratov was succeeded by his pupil Lev Mikhailov, an outstanding stage director whose productions (most of them created in collaboration with the well-known conductor Dmitry Kitaenko) exploited to the full the company's varied aptitudes and showed a high standard of ensemble acting.

The Theatre maintained close artistic contacts with the German Komische Oper. In 1969 the founder of Komische Oper, Professor Walter Felsenstein, staged the original version of Carmen for the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, and later Harry Kupfer directed the company’s production of Mozart’s Die Entfuührung aus dem Serail. In his turn, Lev Mikhailov staged Prokofiev’s War and Peace for the Komische Oper.

The Stanislavsky Ballet, as they call the ballet company of the theatre, was run by Vladimir Burmeister from 1941 to 1971. These three decades may be called ‘the Burmeister’s Era’ in the history of both the company and Russian ballet. Vladimir Burmeister was succeeded by Alexey Chichinadze who was appointed Chief Choreographer of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre Ballet in 1971 and retired in 1984. Dmitry Bryantsev was the Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre Ballet for 20 years since 1985. Formerly he staged ballets for the Kirov Ballet and produced TV-ballets and was already a well-known figure in the circle of contemporary Russian choreographers. 

The Opera Company has been directed since 1991 by Alexander Titel (it is worth noting that he studied under Lev Mikhailov). His productions of Verdi's Ernani, Puccini’s La Bohème, Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina and Cherubini’s Medea were awarded the National Theatre Award The Golden Mask. The repertory of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre includes productions by Olivier Py (Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande) and Christopher Alden (Britten’s Midsummer Night's Dream) as well as productions by Peter Stein (Verd’s Aida) and Rimas Tuminas (Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle).

Since the mid-2000’s the Ballet Company has been headed by Artistic Directors. In 2017, Laurent Hilaire was appointed Artistic Director of the Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet Company. 

Anton Getman was appointed recently General Manager, and the Principal Conductor is Felix Korobov.

The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre performs in its historical building in the very center of Moscow.