Video, Audio and Cinema Materials Department
Established in 1989. It stores a unique collection of rare gramophone records of Russian and foreign opera music /around 11 thousand units/, collection of magnetic phonograms /around 16 thousand units/, cinema and video materials /around 200 and 2000 units, respectively/, audiotapes and compact discs /2000 units/.
Collection, donated to the museum in 1982 by Ivan Fyodorovich Boyarsky, forms the basis of the museum collection. This sounding chronicle of Russian and foreign opera comprises more than 8 thousand records. There are first records of Fyodor Chaliapin, Leonid Sobinov, Dmitry Smirnov, Lev Sibiryakov, Antonina Nezhdanova, Nadezhda Obukhova, Nadezhda Plevitskaya, Medea Mei-Figner and Nikolay Figner, Félia Litvinne, Elena Stepanova, Grigory Pirogov and other actors of the pre-revolutionary epoch, as well as records of the prominent Soviet performers of 1930-90’s, great Italian singers – Enrico Caruso, Titta Ruffo, Ettore Battistini, Beniamino Gigli, Adelina Patti, etc. There are also records of spiritual music.
Large part of the gramophone records’ fund is devoted to the drama theatres’ performances. There are Moscow Art Academic Theatre, Maly Theatre, Vakhtangov Theatre, provincial theatres. There are also reading programmes of prominent Russian performers.
Formation of the video materials’ collection began at the end of 1980’s. In order to maintain, one of the main tasks of department is the transfer of video materials and rare cinema documents to modern digital storages.
Museum’s cinema fund is not large, but completely unique on the historical and cultural value. For example, the first materials having been converted to digital format are the cinema documents related to activity of Vs. E. Meyerhold, K.S. Stanislavsky, A.Y. Tairov, S.I. Mikhoels.
At the time, museum received a small, miraculously saved collection of cinema materials, particularly, “The Biomechanics” – the first experience of footage, devoted to Vs. E. Meyerhold /1923/, fragments of the performances “The Government Inspector” of N.V. Gogol /1926/, “A Profitable Position” of A.N. Ostrovsky /1923/, “The Bedbug” of V.V. Mayakovsky /1929/, fragments of rehearsals of I. Ilyinsky in the performances “The Forest” of A.N. Ostrovsky and “Krechinsky’s Wedding” of A.V. Sukhov-Kobylin /1933/, a footage of Vs.E. Meyerhold himself, as well as a moment of discussing the model of new theatre building. Meyerhold’s archive also has documentary pictures of cinema chronicle of 1920-30’s.
Cinema archive stores the rare film stocks, related to life and work of founders and actors of the Moscow Art Theatre. For example, there are an amateur performance “The Joke” made in October 1918, where leading actors of the Art Theatre take part, a walk of the Moscow Art Theatre’s actors on the Dnieper River in 1912, organized by theatregoers of Kiev, a tour of the Moscow Art Theatre in Tbilisi in 1925. There are an arrival of Vl.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko from the USA in 1928 and a funeral of K.S. Stanislavsky in 1938.
Cinema materials also show activity of the Moscow Art Academic Theatre-2, recorded one of the most prominent actors of Russian theatre Mikhail Chekhov, and miraculously saved pictures with fragments from Chamber Theatre’s performances, directed by A.Y. Tairov with participation of A.G. Koonen. Museum carefully stores films “Ballet of 20’s”, such feature films, like “Ivan the Terrible” /1914/ with the participation of Fyodor Chaliapin, “A Man from Restaurant” with Mikhail Chekhov, “Jewish Happiness” with Solomon Mikhoels, dances of Anna Pavlova, etc. Today, all these materials are converted to modern digital mediums in order to maintain museum’s cinema archive.
Such performances stored on video, like productions of A.V. Efros, G.A. Tovstonogov, O.N. Efremov, Y.P. Lyubimov, V.N. Pluchek, P.N. Fomenko, M.A. Zakharov, G.B. Volchek, G.N. Yanovskaya; foreign directors – E. Nekrošius, P. Stein, P. Brook, G. Strehler, F. Zeffirelli, E. de Filippo, performances’ fragments on the A.P. Chekhov works in the productions of foreign directors, performances of prominent choreographers – A. Bournonville, B. Eifman, G. Balanchine, G. Neumeyer, G. Robbins, L. Lavrovsky, M. Béjart, M. Ek, R. Petit, Y. Grigorovich and many others.
Fund’s formation is made by means of video recording of the museum’s events /meetings with famous actors and theatrical figures, openings of exhibitions, memorial evenings of great directors, actors, drama writers, etc/.
In recent years, museum’s video fund has been greatly grown and is still constantly replenished. Its classification has three principal types of theatrical art /drama, opera, ballet/.
Acting Director of the Video, Audio and Cinema Materials Department: Museum’s Senior Research Fellow, Lali Davidovna Badridze.
Tel.: +7 /495/ 959-20-70