Title of the article:



Alexey V. Belov

Information about the author/authors

Alexey V. Belov — PhD in History, Senior Researcher, Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dmitry Ulyanov 19, 117292 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https//orcid.org/0000-0001-5606-0086
E-mail: belovavhist@mail.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 65


pp. 62–70


April 20, 2021

Approved after reviewing

July 08, 2021

Date of publication

September 28, 2022



Index UDK


Index BBK

71(2) + 85.33(2)


The paper examines the place and significance of the city`s noble manor theaters in the cultural environment of Moscow in the second half of the 18th – early 19th centuries. The priority attention of the study is drawn to the frontier of two centuries, since this historical stage was marked by a final rooting of the hitherto mostly alien Western European theater tradition in the Russian city (primarily metropolitan) society, which led to the further development of theatrical art as an integral part of national culture of Russia. Along with this, the last years of the 18th century became the peak of the manor theater as part of the urban cultural space of Moscow. The noble character of the “old” capital as well as the dense ring of “Moscow” — suburban estates, oriented in all aspects of their life to Moscow — contributed to this momentum. Based on the census of Moscow theaters conducted in the last years of the 18th century, the study provides characteristics of the main types of home stage groups, which are divided into a number of independent types, differing from each other in a degree of openness, main goals of existence, circle of participants and social component of their activities. The paper explains the features and goals of their functioning, analyzing such a phenomenon of the cultural life of Moscow of those years as “noble” performances and “noble” actors. The research also dwells on some of the most notable and characteristic creative groups, stage venues and stage ministers, presenting an assessment of the nature of their work. The author draws special attention to the importance of home city theaters and orchestras in the development of public theater art in the country, formation of the necessary creative personnel, appearance of new talented actors on the Moscow`s imperial stage, including those maintaining their dependent serfdom. The study concludes with an assessment of the subjective and objective reasons of the decay of manor theaters in Moscow and Russia, as well as their transformation on a new “commercial” basis in the first half of the 19th century.


cultural environment of the city, Moscow, theater, capital, noble theater, manor theater.


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