Vasily Kachalov

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Kachalov (1910) Kachalov V I 1910x.jpg
Kachalov (1910)

Vasily Ivanovich Kachalov (Russian : Василий Иванович Качалов, Vasilij Ivanovič Kačalov; 11 February [ O.S. 30 January] 1875 – 30 September 1948), PAU, was one of Russia's most renowned actors. He worked closely and often with Konstantin Stanislavski. He led the so-called Kachalov Group within the Moscow Art Theatre. It was Kachalov who played Hamlet in the Symbolist production of 1911.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

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Peoples Artist of the USSR award

People's Artist of the USSR, also sometimes translated as National Artist of the USSR, was an honorary title granted to artists of the Soviet Union.

His father was Ivan Shverubovich, a Belarusian Orthodox priest from Vilnius. His schoolmates at the local college included Felix Dzerzhinsky and Konstantinas Galkauskas. In 1896, he left the law department of Saint Petersburg University in order to pursue an acting career. After four years of touring the Russian provinces and a brief stint at the Suvorin Theatre, Kachalov made his debut at the Moscow Art Theatre as Tsar Berendey in The Snow Maiden (spring 1900).

Belarus country in Eastern Europe

Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, formerly known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested. Its major economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.

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Felix Dzerzhinsky Bolshevik revolutionary and Soviet politician

Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, nicknamed Iron Felix, was a Bolshevik revolutionary and official. Born to ethnic Polish parents, from 1917 until his death in 1926 Dzerzhinsky led the first two Soviet state security organizations, the Cheka and the OGPU, establishing a secret police for the post-revolutionary Soviet government. He was one of the architects of the mass killings of hundreds of thousands of people during the Red Terror and Decossackization.

The snow maiden was played by Stanislavski's wife, Maria Lilina, who fell in love with Kachalov; she described their affair as "a touch of private happiness". [1] Another of his lovers was Alisa Koonen. [1] He met his wife, actress Nina Litovtseva, when they were acting in the Kazan Drama Theatre, one of Russia's oldest.

Maria Lilina

Maria Petrovna Alexeyeva was a Russian stage actress, associated with the Moscow Art Theatre, better known under her stage name Lilina (Лилина). Konstantin Stanislavski, the MAT director, was her husband. In 1933 Lilina was designated as a Meritorious Artist of RSFSR.

Alisa Koonen Russian actress

Alisa Georgyevna Koonen, also known as Alice Coonen, was a Russian and Soviet actress and the wife of the director Alexander Tairov.

Nina Litovtseva Russian actor and theatre director (1878-1956)

Nina Nikolayevna Levestam was a Russian and Soviet stage and film actress, associated with Moscow Art Theatre, known under her stage name Litovtseva. Actor Vasily Kachalov was her husband.

Kachalov was greatly admired for his "magnetic" voice. He played Baron Tuzenbach after Meyerhold's departure from the theatre. In the original 1904 production of The Cherry Orchard he appeared as Trofimov. He starred in Nemirovich-Danchenko's production of Ivanov later that year. All in all, he took more than 50 roles in Stanislavski's company.

<i>Three Sisters</i> (play) play by Anton Chekhov

Three Sisters is a play by the Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov. It was written in 1900 and first performed in 1901 at the Moscow Art Theatre. The play is sometimes included on the short list of Chekhov's outstanding plays, along with The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull and Uncle Vanya.

Vsevolod Meyerhold Russian theatre director

Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold was a Russian and Soviet theatre director, actor and theatrical producer. His provocative experiments dealing with physical being and symbolism in an unconventional theatre setting made him one of the seminal forces in modern international theatre. During the Great Purge, Meyerhold was arrested, tortured and executed in February 1940.

<i>The Cherry Orchard</i> Play by Anton Chekhov

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After the Russian Revolution, the Kachalov Group went touring Central Europe and did not return until the summer of 1921, under pressure from the theatre's founders. [2]

Russian Revolution 20th-century revolution leading to the downfall of the Russian monarchy

The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917 which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government during the first revolution of February 1917. Alongside it arose grassroots community assemblies which contended for authority. In the second revolution that October, the Provisional Government was toppled and all power was given to the Soviets.

Kachalov was named one of the first People's Artists of the USSR after the title was instituted in 1936 and received a Stalin Prize in 1943. He was also the recipient of the two Orders of Lenin. The Kazan State Theatre was given his name in 1948.

Order of Lenin Soviet Union award

The Order of Lenin, named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was established by the Central Executive Committee on April 6, 1930. The order was the highest civilian decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union. The order was awarded to:

The Russian director and puppeteer, Sergey Obraztsov, described seeing Kachalov on stage:

“That matchless voice of his sounded different each time. Different too was that amazing process of creating a phrase, and every visual image evoked by the word. One had the impression that Kachalov was not merely speaking but thinking aloud, and that the words one heard were only a part of what he was seeing with his inner eye. For that reason people did not merely listen to Kachalov, they watched what he was talking about.” [3]

Kachalov and Olga Knipper in Hamlet (1911) Kachalov and Knipper in Hamlet 1911.jpg
Kachalov and Olga Knipper in Hamlet (1911)

Notable performances

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References

  1. 1 2 Maria Ignatieva. Stanislavsky and female actors: women in Stanislavsky's life and art. University Press of America, 2008. ISBN   9780761841791. Page 39.
  2. A History of Russian Theatre (eds. Robert Leach, Victor Borovsky). Cambridge University Press, 1999. Page 273.
  3. Obraztsov, Sergei. My Profession. The Minerva Group, Inc. (2001) ISBN   9781589634565 p. 215