The Alexandrinsky Theatre

Alexandrinka is the name the citizens call the famous Alexandrinsky Theatre, one of the oldest drama theatres in Russia. Its second name is the Russian State Academic Drama Theatre named after the poet, Pushkin.
Originally, this “Russian tragedy and comedy theatre”, the first public theatre in Russia, was established at the order of the Empress Elizabeth in August of 1756.

The world-known building, a masterpiece of Empire style, was designed by the architect Carl Rossi.
The theatre got its own building on August 31, 1832, 76 years after the troupe was created and received the name of the Imperial Alexandrinsky Theatre in honour of Alexandra Fyodorovna, wife of the emperor Nicholas I.

The auditorium was decorated with carving ornamentations, gold plating, paintings and colour upholstery. At that time the Empire style predominated in Russian architecture. The Empire combines architecture and sculpture so that architecture of facades would explain the functional purpose of a building. That is why there are statues of Muses and bas-reliefs picturing the flying geniuses of Fame on the theatre’s façade. The frieze which engirdles the entire building is composed of theatre masks and garlands.

Working on the elaborate project, Carl Rossi proved himself to be a true innovator in solving design-and-engineering problems. Together with engineer M. Clark he invented an original system of metal arched trusses required for support of the auditorium and the entire building. The truss span is 21 and 30 meters, respectively.

During the 19th century the theatre was the flagship of the capital’s theatre life. The history of Russian theatre culture was born within the walls of the theatre. At the beginning of the century the Russian theatre imitated European examples while later it gradually worked on its own original school.
The Alexandrinsky Theatre has become a historical treasure of Russian theatre arts. Many famous actors throughout the centuries played on this stage. Tour to st Petersburg