Theatres

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"I shall do what not, but it would be the best theatre in the city!" a well-known Russian playwright, director and head of the Kolyada Theatre, Nikolay Kolyada, promised back in 2001. Now it is one of most interesting and popular theatres in Ekaterinburg and far beyond it.

The troupe has many talented actors. Some of them used to be nominated for the Golden Mask Award or other prestigious theatre awards, they acted in various films. The repertoire is very diverse: from classical plays by Shakespeare or Gogol to modern Russian writers, including Konstantin Kostenko, Yaroslav Pulinovich, or Kolyada. The style of performance is based on director's intuition and emotions. Shaman dances, folk songs, eye-catching costumes and unusual scenery – those are the approaches Nikolay Kolyada is using to take the audience out of balance. You may love or hate the theatre from the first minutes. What is for sure – you will not remain unmoved.

The Kolyada Theatre had to move several times. In 2014, it moved finally into a building of the former Iskra cinema house, and now has two modern stages, a big hall and a buffet.

Nikolay Kolyada is the initiator of the annual Kolyada Plays international theatre festival, which features troupes from all over the world, and the Eurasia contest among playwrights. The Kolyada Theatre tours successfully across Russia and Europe.

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The history of the theatre, which now takes a magnificent house in central Ekaterinburg, goes back to the 1870s, the time when Moscow opera enterprises were very popular. Local arts connoisseurs at first staged musical performances, and later on managed to persuade local authorities to build a theatre.

In 1912, the building, designed by architect Vladimir Semenov, was ready. Mikhail Glinka's opera A Life for the Tsar opened the season, and the first ballet performance was in 1914.

The theatre has seen talented masters. Legendary tenor Ivan Kozlovsky began his career here, conductor Ariy Pazovsky, opera director Alexander Titel, prominent artist Galina Gorchakova and many others worked here.

The theatre is famous for performances based on classical plays and for modern versions and experiments. The repertoire includes the Satyagraha opera in Sanskrit – music by American minimalist Philip Glass, or the Romeo and Juliet ballet staged by Vyacheslav Samodurov – winner of the Golden Mask award, former premier of the Mariinsky Theatre, the Dutch Nationale Opera & Ballet and the British Covent Garden.

The Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre is a many-times winner of prestigious prizes, its troupe tours across the world.

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The theatre was founded in 1933 at the initiative of the Urals leader of Bolsheviks Ivan Kabakov. A young actor of the local drama theatre Leonid Lukker was instructed to invite best professionals from across the country. Thus, to the industrial city of Ekaterinburg come directors and costume designers from Leningrad, dancers and choreographers from Moscow, and actors from Poltava. Architect of the theatre's building is Konstantin Babykin.

Nowadays, the theatre is a many-times winner of the key Russian theatre award – Golden Mask, and the chief director Kirill Strezhnev is a winner of numerous professional awards. The repertoire is focused on classical performances as well as modern drama. At the main stage, the audience sees the Violinist on the Roof, a popular musical, or the classical Die Fledermaus operetta by Johann Strauss, and the small stage, which the theatre has since 2012, is a hall for experimental performances based on works by modern authors, like Nikolay Kolyada, Konstantin Kostenko and others.

The theatre is the venue for the Emerald City international music festival, the contest of young theatre singers and the On the Edge festival of modern dance.

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Before the 1917 revolution, many drama theatres came on tours to Ekaterinburg, and after the October coup the city wanted to have its own theatre with permanent repertoire. The plan was fulfilled in 1930.

From the very beginning, the theatre was staging most up-to-date performances, as well as classical plays. This is the approach the theatre follows now. Among the performances are Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, or A Profitable Position by Alexander Ostrovsky, Zhanna by the Urals' author Yaroslav Pulinovich or Lift by young and talented Irina Vaskova.

The troupe unites many prominent actors, and invited guests participate in many performances. The stage remembers well-known film director Vladimir Mirzoyev, a winner of many prizes Grigory Lifanov, and Vladimir Pankov – a winner of the Golden Mask prize. Every season, the theatre offers new performances – tickets to them should be bought well in advance.

In 1990, the theatre moved to a new building, in Oktyabrskaya Ploshchad (Oktyabrskaya Square), from where the view on the City Pond is magnificent.

In 2010, the Young Theatre studio, which performed at the small stage, joined the theatre holding, and in 2011 the DanceTheatre, staging modern dance performances, followed suit.

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The Ural State Variety Theatre opened in Ekaterinburg in 1996 thanks to the then governor, Eduard Rossel, who ordered giving a house in the city centre to the troupe.

Since 2010, director of the "good-mood theater" is a popular singer Alexander Novikov, who stages new performances, organises concerts and evening meetings with artistic persons.

The theatre offers bright musical performances for children and adults: concerts, fairy tales performances for the little ones, concerts of young dancers and soloists. The repertoire also includes folk performances staged by Anastasiya Vedernikova. The CinemaMusic project features the Ural state symphonic orchestra presenting cinema works by foreign and Russian composers. The theatre is happy to offer its stage to guest theatre troupes, jazz, rock, and blues musician from Russia or abroad.

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The Volhonka Drama Theatre in Ekaterinburg opened in 1986. It is different from other drama theatres in the city in its intimacy, a small company, the minimum distance between actors and the auditorium – thus creating a sincere atmosphere and a special perception of what is happening on the stage.

Volhonka's repertoire is most diverse: classical novels by Fyodor Dostoyevsky or Mikhail Bulgakov are next to modern works by the Presnyakov brothers; and plays by popular French playwright Francis Veber neighbour Martin McDonagh plots. The theatre also stages plays by local, Ural, writers, like, for example, Alex Bjerklund (Car Goes Seawards), or Nikolay Kolyada.

For nine years, the theatre has been cooperating with Director Alexey Yankovsky, who staged Days of the Turbins, Fools' Supper and others.

The theatre's head Tatyana Savinkova says the credo is to show excellent drama and actors' work, to surprise the audience and make it think.

The theatre is located in the heart of Ekaterinburg, in the Dom Uraloblsoveta condominium, which is an example of constructivism in architecture. It is in walking distance from the pedestrian precinct in Ulitsa Veinera (Veinera Street). Otherwise, take public transport to get to the theater.

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