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Stanislavsky House-Museum, Russia

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Joshua Brook
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Housed in the grandiose Neo-classical mansion where the ailing Konstantin Stanislavsky spent the last 17 years of his life, the museum details the life and theatrical contributions of the famous Russian actor, director and producer. Born in 1863 in Moscow as Konstantin Alekseyev, Stanislavsky performed from an early age in a dramatic group organized by his family, the Alekseyev Circle. Despite his initial awkwardness on stage, the young Stanislavsky worked obsessively on his shortcomings and became completely absorbed with all aspects of acting and theatrical production.

In 1885 he adopted the pseudonym Stanislavsky and later established the Society of Art and Literature and later the famous Moscow Art Theater, with co-founder Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. Stanislavsky regarded the theater as an art of social significance, capable of wielding a powerful influence on people and he saw the actor as taking a vital educating role whilst on stage. Throughout the 40 years of his theatrical career, Stanislavsky experimented constantly with acting techniques and psychological theories. He finally formulated the "Stanislavsky Method", which amongst other elements, encouraged actors to become physically and psychologically involved in the emotions of the characters they were playing on stage. Working with Nemirovich-Danchenko, Stanislavsky staged numerous ground breaking experimental productions at the Moscow Art Theater. One of the theater's greatest successes was a radical re-staging of Chekhov's "The Seagull", which had premiered disastrously the previous year, and whose instant second-time success prompted the famous Russian playwright to produce two further works "Three Sisters" and "The Cherry Orchard" especially for the Moscow Art Theater.

The museum, which was opened 50 years after Stanislavsky's death, contains much of the original furniture from his home and is filled with musical memorabilia and exhibitions charting the director's career and the success of the Moscow Art Theater. Visitors can browse around Stanislavsky's study and the many rooms and studios where the great theorist held rehearsals in his later years, when he became too ill to attend the theater. Of particular interest to opera-lovers will be the Onegin Hall, where in 1922 the premiere of Tchaikovsky's opera based on Pushkin's epic poem "Evgeny Onegin" was performed to such great acclaim that the production was immediately moved to the main stage of the theater. The Onegin Hall also hosts regular lectures on the Moscow Art Theater, its dramatizations of works by Chekhov, Gorky, Ostrovsky and Bulgakov and creative profiles of some of the theater's best-known performers. This museum is Russian theater buff heaven! More info on: www.moscow-taxi.com

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