Yuri Petrovich Lyubimov (Russian: Ю́рий Петро́вич Люби́мов; 30 September [O.S. 17 September] 1917 – 5 October 2014) was a Soviet and Russian stage actor and director associated with the internationally renowned Taganka Theatre, which he founded in 1964. He was one of the leading names in the Russian theatre world.
Lyubimov in 2007
Yuri Petrovich Lyubimov
30 September 1917
|Died||5 October 2014 97) (aged|
|Occupation||Stage actor, theatre director|
|Spouse(s)||Katalin Lyubimova (1978-2014)|
Life and career
Lyubimov was born in Yaroslavl in 1917. His grandfather was a kulak who fled to Moscow to escape arrest during the collectivisation. Lyubimov's father, Pyotr Zakharovich, was a merchant, who worked for a Scottish company, and his mother, Anna Alexandrovna, was a half-Russian and half-Gypsy schoolteacher. They moved to Moscow in 1922, where both were arrested. Lyubimov studied at the Institute for Energy in Moscow.
He was a member of Mikhail Chekhov's Second Moscow Art Theater from 1934 to 1936. During the 1930s, he also met Vsevolod Meyerhold, the avant-garde director. Lyubimov worked in the Song and Dance Ensemble of the NKVD, where he met and befriended Dmitri Shostakovich, Nikolai Erdman and many others.
After service in the Red Army during World War II, Lyubimov joined the Vakhtangov Theatre (founded by Yevgeny Vakhtangov). In 1953, he received the USSR State Prize. Lyubimov started teaching in 1963 and formed the Taganka Theatre the following year. His celebrated production of Bertold Brecht's The Good Person of Setzuan with Anna Orochko's class at the Schukin Theatre Institute earned him the artistic directorship of the Taganka Theatre. With Meyerhold, Stanislavsky, Vakhtangov and Brecht as his spiritual guides, Lyubimov eschewed Soviet drama for the more imaginative worlds of poetry and narrative fiction, which he dramatized, and the classics, which he broke apart, reconstituted and presented from a pronounced critical perspective. Under Lyubimov, the theatre rose to become the most popular in Moscow, with Vladimir Vysotsky and Alla Demidova as the leading actors. In 1971 Shakespeare's Hamlet became one of Lyubimov's highly successful and much acclaimed productions. In 1976 he was awarded by the BITEF First Prize for Hamlet.
According to B. Beumers, the major innovations Lyubimov brought to theatrical history are the creation of a new theatrical genre, the poetic theatre, in which all revolves around one metaphor, and the creation of a new form of dramatic material, which incorporates a historical and biographical context. Lyubimov's performances — including the well-known Antiworlds, Pugachev, Listen!, and Comrade, believe, as well as newer Before and After, Oberiuty, and Honey — were fed and filled with poetic energy. In another performance, Fallen and Living, Yuri Lyubimov and David Samoilov built on verses by Pavel Kogan, Semyon Gudzenko and other poets of the World War II generation.
After Vysotsky's death in 1980, all of Lyubimov's productions were banned by the Communist authorities. In 1984, he was stripped of Soviet citizenship. Thereupon he worked abroad before returning to the Taganka Theatre in 1989. His staging of Eugene Onegin premiered in the Taganka on his 85th birthday to much critical acclaim.
While in the West he maintained a busy directing career. In the United States he directed Crime and Punishment at Arena Stage and Lulu at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 1983 he directed Crime and Punishment in London, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Director, in 1985 he directed St Matthew Passion at La Scala. His effort to re-stage his famous The Master and Margarita at the American Repertory Theater failed to materialize because of a disagreement with the management of that company. In 1989, his Russian citizenship was restored.
In June 2011, before a performance of Bertolt Brecht's play The Good Person of Szechwan in Czech, the actors of Taganka refused to rehearse unless they were paid first. Lyubimov paid the money and left the theatre. "I've had enough of this disgrace, these humiliations, this lack of desire to work, this desire just for money", he said. Lyubimov retired from the theatre the following week. Two leading actors of theatre, Dmitry Mezhevich and Alla Smirdan, as well as some administrative assistants, followed Lyubimov. His dramatization of Dostoyevsky's Demons premiered the next year.
In June 2013 Lyubimov staged Alexander Borodin's opera Prince Igor at the Bolshoi Theatre, which was warmly received by audiences and critics. The new Prince Igor is shorter, with Lyubimov cutting out some parts of the opera. According to Vassily Sinaisky, the Bolshoi chief conductor, such a new structure of the opera was conceived to make it more dynamic and intense.
Lyubimov staged over 100 dramas and operas. "People tried to stick me with the label of political theater. But that's wrong. I was engaged in an aesthetic, in the expansion of the palette — what shades could be added in working with space and style," he says. Leonardo Shapiro concludes that "Lyubimov is probably best known for his daring theatrical adaptations of poetry and novels and his successful (and sometimes unsuccessful) run-ins with Soviet Premiers and Ministers of Culture over forbidden material."
As an actor, he performed in 37 plays and 17 films, and several remain classics.
- Medal "For the Defence of Leningrad" (1943)
- Medal "For the Defence of Moscow"
- Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
- State Prize of the USSR, 2nd class (1952) - for his role in the play Tyatina "Yegor Bulychov and others" by M. Gorky (Theatre Vakhtangov)
- BITEF First Prize for Hamlet (1976)
- First Prize of “Theatrical Meetings in Warsaw” II International Festival, Poland (1980).
- London Evening Standard Award for “Crime and Punishment” by F. Dostoyevsky (1983)
- People's Artist of Russia (1991)
- Spectator’s Sympathy Prize of the International Theatrical Festival in Athens (1995)
- Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 3rd class, Russia (16 September 1997) - for his great personal contribution to the development of theatrical art
- State Prize of the Russian Federation (1997).
- Honorary Medal of the President of the Hungarian Republic (1997).
- Grand Prix of the International Festival in Saloniki (1999).
- “Golden Mask” in the nomination “For Honour and Dignity”, Moscow (2000).
- Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (France, 2002) for outstanding theatrical work
- Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity (2003)
- Knight of the Order of the Polar Star (Sweden, 2004)
- Silver Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2004)
- Order of the Rising Sun, 4th Class, Gold Rays with Rosette, (Japan, 2007)
- Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 2nd class (Russia, 25 September 2007) - for outstanding contribution to the development of theatrical art, and many years of creative activity
- Honorary Member of Russian Academy of Arts
- Jubilee Medal "50 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Zhukov Medal
- Honoured Artist of the RSFSR
- The Good Person of Setzuan with Boris Khmelnitsky, Zinaida Slavina, Nikolay Gubenko and Inna Ulyanova (1963–64)
- Ten Days that Shook the World (1965)
- Antiworlds (1965)
- Fallen and Living (1965)
- Life of Galileo (1966)
- Listen! (1967)
- Pugachev (1967)
- Alive (1968, banned)
- Tartuffe (1968)
- Rush Hour (1969)
- The Mother (1969)
- What Is to Be Done? with Leonid Filatov (1970)
- Hamlet with Vladimir Visotsky (1971)
- And Here the Dawns are Silent, with Natalya Sayko, Maria Politseymako and Vitaly Shapovalov (1971)
- Comrade, believe (1973)
- Wooden Horses (1974)
- Al gran sole carico d'amore (1975)
- The Master and Margarita with Ivan Dykhovichny, Veniamin Smekhov and Semyon Farada (1977)
- The Inspector's Recounting (1978)
- Turandot (Brecht) (1979)
- Boris Godunov (opera) (1979)
- The House on the Embankment (1980)
- Vladimir Visotsky (1981)
- The Threepenny Opera (1981)
- Boris Godunov with Vitaly Shapovalov, Ivan Bortnik, Valery Zolotukhin and Yury Belyayev (1982, banned)
- Don Giovanni (1982)
- Crime and Punishment (1983)
- Lulu (1983)
- Rigoletto (1984)
- St Matthew Passion (1985)
- Fidelio (1985)
- A Feast in Time of Plague (1986)
- Salammbô (Mussorgsky) (1986)
- Tannhäuser (opera) (1988)
- Das Rheingold (1988)
- The Suicide (1990)
- Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1990)
- The Love for Three Oranges (1991)
- Electra with Alla Demidova (1992)
- Zhivago (Doctor) with Valery Zolotukhin (1993)
- Jenůfa (1993)
- The Seagull (1993)
- The Cherry Orchard (1995)
- Medea (1995)
- The Queen of Spades (opera) (1996)
- The Brothers Karamazov (1997)
- Marat/Sade (1998)
- Sharashka (1998)
- Eugene Onegin (2000)
- Faust (2002)
- Oberiuty (2004)
- Antigone (2006)
- Woe from Wit (2007)
- The Castle (2008)
- Tales (2009)
- Honey (2010)
- Demons (2012)
- Prince Igor (2013)
- Days and Nights (1944) as Misha Maslennikov
- Duel (1944) as a KGB officer (uncredited)
- A Noisy Household (1946) as Jacques Larochelle
- Robinzon Kruzo (1946) as Friday
- Blue Roads (1947) as Vetkyn
- Boy from the Outskirts (1947) as Kostya Smirnov
- Three Encounters (1948) as Rudnikov
- Michurin (1948) as a translator
- Cossacks of the Kuban (1949) as Andrei
- Farewell, America (1951) as correspondent Blake
- The Composer Glinka (1952) as Alexander Dargomyzhsky
- Belinsky (1953) as a doctor Alexei Frolov
- Behind the Footlights (1956) as Graf Zefirov
- Kain XVIII (1963) as the First Minister
- "Hat hunted off head". BBC. 2 April 2000. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- Юрий ЛЮБИМОВ: Может, когда меня били, я и стал режиссером Komsomolskaya Pravda 27 September 2007.
- Юрий Любимов – тернистый путь настоящего Мастера Archived 2016-11-07 at the Wayback Machine
- "Russian playwright Yuri Lyubimov quits theatre company". BBC. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- Yury Lyubimov at the Taganka Theatre, 1964-1994 - Page 1, by Birgit Beumers
- John Freedman (30 September 2012). "Happy 95th Birthday, Yury Lyubimov!". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- The Cambridge Guide to Theatre - Page 656, by Martin Banham - 1995
- FOUNDER OF THE THEATER ON TANGANKA YURI LYUBIMOV TURNS 93 Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- The Cambridge Guide to World Theatre (CUP 1988)
- Yuri Lyubimov: Thirty Years at the Taganka Theatre, by B. Beumers, 2004, p. 6.
- Fallen and Living, Taganka Theatre
- "Yuri Lyubimov, founder of Moscow's Taganka Theatre, dies aged 97". theguardian.com. Moscow: The Guardian. Associated Press. 5 October 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- Зарубежные гастроли Театра на Таганке могут не состояться - Юрий Любимов [Yuri Lyubimov - Taganka Theater's abroad performances would not be held]. ITAR-TASS. 20 July 2011. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- Четыре сотрудника Таганки покинули театр вслед за Любимовым [Four staff members left the Taganka Theater after Lyubimov]. Izvestia. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- "ru:В Большом прошел премьерный показ "Князя Игоря" в постановке Любимова". Vesti (in Russian). 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- The Prince Igor Opera Gets Revamped Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- Shapiro, Leonardo http://bombsite.com/issues/34/articles/1404,%5B%5D BOMB Magazine Winter, 1991. Retrieved on 31 May 2013.
- Владимир Высоцкий. 1968 год
- "Russian theatre great for half-century, Yuri Lyubimov dies at 97". AFP. 5 October 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Some of the Titles and Awards of Y. P. Lyubimov
- Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Stella della solidarieta italiana Yuri Petrovich Lyubimov. Archived March 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
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