National theatre of Karelia: address, repertoire, management


2018-03-19 05:26:02




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On the shore of the White sea, in the North-West Federal district of the Russian Federation is a unique area of our country-Karelia. For a long time, the land on the very edge of the country was considered wild and harsh, but the last decade, the Republic of new offers for tourists from our country and from around the world. Here has developed its own special culture, the creation of which was influenced by the customs of the ancient Karelians, Finns, and Russian national traditions.

Republic of Karelia

Today, the region is an important strategic subject of the Russian Federation as a major Outpost on the border with Finland, as well as one of the richest areas in natural resources and minerals. Here is water, air and transport links with the countries of Europe and America, besides the Republic belongs to several international economic projects: Euroregion "Karelia” and “the Northern dimension”.

national theatre of Karelia

No less the heritage of the region – multi-ethnic culture. The government pays great attention to the problem of preservation of indigenous peoples, of which there are about a hundred. Karelia is often called the territory of consent, despite the fact that the official language – Russian, in schools and in local languages of different peoples.

The Value of Petrozavodsk

Such a unique cohesion of cultures is reflected in art. So, publishing books and magazines on the Karelian, Vepsian, Finnish and Russian languages, has its own Union of writers, music and dance clubs with a local flavor. But the most striking example of the coexistence of different cultures-national theatre of Karelia. It is located in the capital region, the city of Petrozavodsk and is unique in the world, where the performances are held simultaneously in several languages.


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In Addition to the national, in the main city of Karelia there is also a youth, non-governmental and puppet theatre. Petrozavodsk became the cultural center of the Republic and reflect the national unity of this region.

cash in the national theatre of Karelia


The origin of such a phenomenon was possible only here, where closely intertwined, and together they coexisted so different and vibrant culture. In 1920 a decision of the Central Executive Committee was created, the Karelian labor commune, which includes the Arkhangelsk and Olonets province countryside. But only after the Civil war, the newly formed region was able to launch a full life.

In 1921, a few immigrants from Finland headed by Victor Linden formed a company in the building of the national drama, it is from here originates the history of this unique cultural phenomenon as Karelian national theatre. Petrozavodsk at the time had been a regional center, and the government needed such spiritual nourishment to strengthen the status of the Soviet government. The idea of matching on stage of different nationalities was impressed by the new leadership, so enthusiasts all supported.

theatre of Petrozavodsk

The Official date, when was founded the national theatre of Karelia can be considered October 15, 1931. By this time the troupe of emigrants from Finland, USA and Canada who came to build socialism, joined by graduates of the dramatic technique and other talented actors and Directors gathered at the villages. Leader was Kuuno Sevander, fairly well-known American composer and musician. And the first play was a very meaningful sense – “Fault” Boris Lavrenov, at the premiere attended by the author.

During the war

In 1937–1938 national theatre of the Republic of Karelia is experiencing not the best period in its history. Political developments in the country concerned and the multinational company, was arrested 10 of the 15 men arrested and artistic Director Ragnar nyström, none of them never returned. Many argue that one of the reasons was the staging of Chekhov's vaudevilles in the Karelian language, the authorities considered such an attempt a manifestation of bourgeois nationalism. The theatre itself was closed, and later, during the Soviet-Finnish war the actors were taken to the Leningrad.

To Resume work was only in 1940, when the Karelian ASSR was transformed into Karelian-Finnish Socialist Republic. The first work set after the difficult years of repression, was the play of Maxim Gorky "Yegor Bulychev”. Almost from the beginning of the war this territory was under the occupation of Finland, and the whole group of actors were evacuated to Siberia, and later in Arkhangelsk oblast. The troupe did not stop performances in the difficult conditions of travel, and under the leadership of N. V. Demidova even received recognition from the cultural leaders for staging the play "Doll house" Ibsen.

Famous actors and Directors

National theatre of Karelia began its work with a handful of enthusiasts and activists, the new Soviet ideology was the impetus for the creation of such international cultural events. Over the years there worked many famous and recognized actors of Russia, Finland and the United States.

theatres of Petrozavodsk Billboard

The organizer of the first national troupes Victor Landen at Home was a recognized artist, honored Director and actor. The following executives Ragnar nyström and Kouno Savander were able to create a wonderful team of actors from young students to drama College, many of whom later became people's and honored artists: Elizabeth Tomberg, Toivo Romppainen, Daria Karpova, Toivo Lankinen, Alexander Selin, Orvault Beringen, Leonid Vladimirov, and others.


The Main task for the Ministers of the scene was to familiarize the audience with the world drama, and all the performances were in different languages. Soviet works were also translated into Karelian and Finnish: “Enemies” Maxim Gorky, "Platon Krechet” Korneichuk, etc., and even for some time remained the leading shows. Policy guidance was aimed at overcoming a language barrier, so here for the first time in the USSR began to use headphones for simultaneous translation.

A Great contribution to the possibility of the existence of such a multilingual culture has made the Finnish drama theatre, style of play and flow there was markedly different from Russian, so the Directors always tried to harmoniously combine two different cultures on one stage. Here constantly worked famous Directors of the country: I. Olsvanger, L. Chavez, f Berman, Courtauld Nuotio, the last staged here “witch Hunt” A. Miller. In 1951, the troupe successfully performed in Moscow, where the programme included the play “Vassa Zheleznova” after M. Gorky, fulfilled with a Finnish twist.


Today the national theatre is one of the main attractions of the region, the major point of culture. Still the performances here are in Finnish, Karelian and Russian languages, and for performances attended by young and already well-known Directors of Europe and America. Often this stage has become a venue for various kinds of cultural experiments, there was embodied a bold and daring plays by contemporary authors.

national theatre of Republic of Karelia

In 2003, was a significant event for the theatre, after several years of reconstruction have opened a large stage equipped with the most modern light and sound technology. The first production in the renovated hall became a Comedy of a Finnish playwright Alexis Kivi “Shoemakers NUMMI”.

Education actors

Since 2005 on the initiative of the Ministry of culture and local authorities annually hosts the international festival of ethnic theaters, bringing together countries in the Barents sea, the Arctic region and the Finno-Ugric world «North star". And since 2006 on the basis of Karelian College of culture is set on a course of the national drama, in 2010 the first graduates made a debut on the stage.

Initially, the troupe was formed by enthusiasts or casual people, by the will of fate caught in the national theatre of Karelia. Petrozavodsk now has already developed its own traditions of education actors. Because the game is in the national playbook requires not only talent, but knowledge of the language and culture of a particular nation.


In 2012, the theatre celebrated its eightieth anniversary, during this time, replaced by several generations of actors. In the period of its establishment all the activities of the new cultural institutions was held on the initiative of strong charismatic leaders, which in different years were: actor of the Amateur stage Finland Victor Linden, poet Ragnar nyström immigrant, Kouno Selander, Director Tippit Kotsalainen, N. V. Demidov, T. S. Jaime, P. E. Alatalo, people's artist P. W. Rinne.

national theatre of Karelia, Petrozavodsk

All of these people were able to preserve the original direction to continue the tradition of combining on-stage culture and the individual characteristics of different peoples. Many of them were awarded State prizes in Russia and in Finland. Since 2010, the head of the national theater was the honored worker of culture of the Republic of Karelia I. P. Shumsk...

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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