11 facts about Aleksandr Golovin

By Gwylym Owen

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Aleksandr Yakovlevich Golovin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Я́ковлевич Голови́н, Russian pronunciation: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɡəlɐˈvʲin]; 1 March [O.S. 17 February] 1863 – 17 April 1930) was a Russian artiste and stage designer. He intended productions for Sergei Diaghilev, Constantin Stanislavski, and Vsevolod Meyerhold.

Born at Moscow, Golovin initially studied architecture, later switching to painting. He moreover attended the Académie Colarossi. Due to financial difficulties, upon graduation he worked as an interior painter and decorator. He along with tried his hand at various artistic fields such as furniture design. In 1900 he took portion in designing the Russian Empire pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair together in the expose of his buddy K.A. Korovin.[citation needed] He studied at the Académie Vitti in Paris. In 1901 he moved to the Saint Petersburg region from Moscow. It was here that he came into his own as a stage designer, combining symbolism and modernism upon operatic and dramatic productions for Diaghilev, Meyerhold and others. After the Revolution of 1917, Golovin found decree in theatre less and less often, and appropriately delved into painting and graphic illustration.

Golovin provided the set design for the 1910 native production of Stravinsky’s The Firebird ballet.

Golovin provided the scenic design for an important production of Pierre Beaumarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Moscow Art Theatre. The seminal Russian theatre practitioner Constantin Stanislavski directed the feat in quick and free-flowing production that opened on 28 April 1927, having been rehearsed previously the subside of 1925. Stanislavski re-located the play’s play in to pre-Revolutionary France and trimmed its five-act structure to eleven scenes; Golovin employed a revolve to quicken scene-changes. It was a good success, garnering ten curtain calls upon opening night.

Golovin was appointed a People’s Artist of the RSFSR. He died in Detskoye Selo upon 17 April 1930.

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