Karl Knipper Theatre

Karl Knipper Theatre

Knipper Theatre, "Kniper Theatre" or "Knieper Theatre" ( _ru. Театр Карла Книпера) was the venue of a German theatrical troupe led by Karl Kniper which performed in Saint Petersburg beginning in 1777. [ The merchant Karl Kniper P. (купец Карл Книпер П.) was listed as a member of Masonic lodge “Urania” (1774-1776)]

The theatre building was converted from a manège (riding school), located on the Tsaritsa Meadow ( _ru. Царицын луг - Tsaritsyn lug, now Ploshchad Zhertv Revolutsii - The Place of the Victims of Revolution) near the present-day Tripartite Bridge. From 1770 to 1777 it was occupied by English comedians, until they were replaced with the German troupe.

In 1779 the theatre was renamed Volny Rossiysky Teatre ("Вольный Российский Театр" – "The Free Russian Theatre"). In the same year (1779) the board of the "St Petersburg Educational House" ("Петербургский воспитательный дом") sent Kniper 50 of its pupils for instruction in theatrical skill. They formed the Russian troupe of the theatre.

The composer Vasily Pashkevich managed the theatre between 1780 and 1783. From 1782 to 1783 the director of the theatre was the well-known Russian actor Ivan Dmitrievsky, who performed at his benefice the famous comedy "Nedorosl" (Russian: "Недоросль" – "The Minor") by Denis Fonvizin (1782).

In 1783 it was renamed into Gorodskoy Derevyanny Theatre (Russian: "Городской деревянный театр" - "The Wooden Town Theatre" ) or Maly Theatre (Russian: "Малый театр" - "Little Theatre"). This existed until 1797, when in was dismantled at the demand of Paul I of Russia, because it was obstructing troop maneuvering during parades.

The repertoire of the theatre included the following operas:

*Vasily Pashkevich: "The Carriage Accident" ("Несчастье от кареты — Neschastye ot karety" November 7, 1779 St Petersburg Libretto by Yakov Knyazhnin)
*Mikhail Sokolovsky: "The Miller who was a Wizard, a Cheat and a Match-maker" ("Мельник - колдун, обманщик и сват — Melnik — koldun, obmanshchik i svat" to the text by Alexander Ablesimov, first in 1779 Moscow, c.1795 St Petersburg)
*Ivan Kerzelli: "Rozana i Lyubim" ("Розана и Любим" - "Rozana und Lyubim", four-act opera, text by Nikolai Nikolev, first in 1778, Moscow)
*Vasily Pashkevich: "Saint-Petersburg's Trade Stalls" ("Санкт-Петербургский Гостиный Двор" — "Sankt Peterburgskiy Gostinyi Dvor" 1782 St Petersburg), etc.

Notes

External links

* [http://satirik.com/v/VOLNYIROSSI.html Teatralnaya entsiklopedia (in Russian)]


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