News

The rebirth of a theatre museum

May 12, 2017

12 May the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre is celebrating its birthday, being of the same age as the Great Victory. A special gift is prepared for this glorious date the theatre museum reopens after thirty years of inactivity. A lot of artists, journalists, staff members, managers have gathered for the festive ceremony. The special guests were the ballet stars from the best theatres of the country: a principal dancer of the Mikhailovsky theatre Ivan Zaitsev and the leading soloists of the Bolshoi theatre Maria Vinogradova, Denis Rodkin, Denis Savin.

The history of the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet museum started back in 1947. This year it could have celebrated its 70th birthday. But in 1980s it lost its rooms due to renovation process and some exhibits were lost during those years. NOVAT decided to retrieve the history. The most important step is taken: first part of the display presents the milestones of the theatres history. Heres what the director of the museum Tatiana Sibirtseva told us:

- The founder of our museum is Robert Fedorovich Mayer he started the collection and kept it growing for the following thirty years. He came from the German community of the Volga region and here he found himself a deportee. He was literally spending his life at the theatre he worked here and lived in a semi-basement room. Even after receiving an apartment he refused to move from the theatre.

- The display was a sort of a link between a theatre and an outer world. There were not only theatre relics, costumes and stage props, but also presents from the audience, tour souvenirs. A miners lamp from the Kuzbass could be found next to a pen from Japan. As time went on, the collection needed to be reorganized. But in the middle of 1980s the museum was closed on a pretext of maintenance.

- Closing the museum was easy. Bring it back to life is a real challenge. Theatre has changed five directors on my watch, and Vladimir Kekhman was the first one who asked me: Where is the museum? His predecessors were not interested in that.

- Closing the museum was easy. Bring it back to life is a real challenge. Theatre has changed five directors on my watch, and Vladimir Kekhman was the first one who asked me: Where is the museum? His predecessors were not interested in that.

Today, the first part of the display has disclosed in the lobby. The next parts are blueprinted and ready to go in the next year. For the present day, the most interesting exhibits that the audience can get acquainted with are the unique stage outfits. The ballet costumes of the King and the Queen from the Sleeping Beauty 1996 performance are showing up among the others they represent the essence of how we used to imagine the golden times of Louis XIV. The opera genre is represented particularly by the crowning costumes of Boris Godunov from Mussorgskiys musical drama staged in 1948 and 1990. These costumes are the example of how the prop technologies have changed throughout the years continues Tatiana Sibirtseva thus far, the pearls for the outfit during the after-war period are made of wadding wrapped in satin weave; and for the next staging it was a fake pearl hardly differing from a real one. These small details are also parts of a theatres history, and its amazing that from now on the audience has retrieved the access to it.