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Boris Pokrovsky (Stage Director)

People’s artist of the USSR

Biography

Evgeny Svetlanov offered to include Pokrovsky into Guinness World Records for his immense diligence, brilliant talent and loyalty to art

Born in Moscow. In 1938 he graduated from the State Institute of Theatre Art named after Lunacharsky (today the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts). Since 1954 he has been a professor of the department of directing and acting of the musical theatre.

In 1938-40 he was a stage manager, in 1940-43 a stage director in the Gorky State (today Nizhegorodsky Academic) Opera and Ballet House named after Pushkin.

Since 1943 he worked in the Bolshoi Theatre. In 1952, 1955, 1956-63, 1970-82 he was a stage director of the Bolshoi Theatre.

He directed over 180 performances. He was the first to stage S.Prokofiev’s opera “War and Peace” in Leningrad (1946, the Leningrad Academic Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre). His productions brought to life many new and long forgotten operas.

In the Bolshoi Theatre he was the first to stage R.Sschedrin’s opera “Dead Souls” and S.Prokofiev’s “The Gambler” (1977). He was the first to stage B.Britten’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1965) in the Russian language.

In the Bolshoi Theatre he also staged the operas:
P.Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” (1944, 1991, 1999)
A.Serov’s “The Power of the Fiend” (1947)
N.Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Sadko” (1949)
G.Verdi’s “La Traviata” (1953)
L. van Beethoven’s “Fidelio” (1954)
F.Erkel’s “Bank-ban” (1959) – premiere in the Bolshoi Theatre
S.Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” (1959) – premiere in the Bolshoi Theatre
S.Prokofiev’s “Semen Kotko” (1970)
G.Puccini’s “Tosca” (1971)
O.Taktakishvili’s “The Robbery of the Moon” (1977) – premiere in the Bolshoi Theatre
G.Verdi’s “Othello” (1978)
N.Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Mlada” (1988) – premiere in the Bolshoi Theatre
P.Tchaikovsky’s “The Maid of Orleans” (1990)
A.Borodin’s “Prince Igor” (1993)
M.Mussorgsky’s “Khovanschina” (1993)

It was Boris Pokrovsky who staged V.Muradeli’s opera “The Great Friendship” which was condemned in a notorious Central Committee resolution for formalism in music.

He is the founder and since 1972 an artistic director of the Moscow’s Chamber Opera Theatre where he has staged a number of rare classical and contemporary operas (Stravinski’s “The Rake’s Progress” – the first stage production in Russia, D.Cimarosa’s “Il maestro di capella”, A.Schnittke’s “Life with an Idiot”, etc.). He worked abroad, in Europe and in Japan.

He authored a number of books about opera and autobiographies.

Awards

Stalin Prize (State USSR) – 1st degree 1947 for staging “War and Peace” in the Maly Theatre; 1st degree 1948 for staging “The Power of the Fiend” in the Bolshoi Theatre; 2nd degree 1949 for staging B.Smetana’s opera “The Bartered Bride” in the Bolshoi Theatre; 1st degree for staging “Sadko” in the Bolshoi Theatre.
1961 – the title “People’s Artist of the USSR”
1967 – the Order of Lenin; 1972 – the Order of the Red Banner of Labour; 1976 – the Order of Lenin; 1982 – the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.
1995 – State Prize for recent performances.
1980 – Lenin Prize for staging soviet operas in the Bolshoi and Chamber Opera Theatres.
1986 – the Honoured President of the International Theatre Institute
2002 – the Order “For Services to Motherland” of the 2nd degree; Moscow Prize in the field of literature and art for staging M.Mussorgsky’s opera “The Fair at Sorochintsï” and G.F.Haendel’s “Julius Caesar in Egypt”.
2004 – State Prize for staging M.Mussorgsky’s opera “The Fair at Sorochintsï” and G.F.Haendel’s “Julius Caesar in Egypt”. The Tovstonogov Prize “For outstanding contribution to theatre development”
2007 – the Order “For Services to Motherland” of the 1st degree.



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