of Theatrical Art
The Theater Museum of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania was established in 1994. The opening of the only state theater museum in the North Caucasus was facilitated by the rapid development of theatrical art in the republic, the presence of 5 state theaters, and a great number of creatively gifted, outstanding personalities. The exposition of the museum reflects the amazing, historical, theatrical culture of professional theaters in Ossetia. Vladikavkaz theater culture has a rich history, it has been formed from the unique voices of Russian and world classics, national music, ceremonial choreography, from the best examples of Russian and world drama. Currently, the museum fund is 14,500 stock-keeping units. Museum staff collected unique material from the pre-revolutionary, soviet and modern periods.
The museum is located in a two-storey building - the author of the project is architect Pavel Schmidt. The building is an architectural monument, a cultural heritage site of the Russian Federation. It is located in the historical center of Vladikavkaz. The plan of the house is designed on a sophisticated terrain. The architect took advantage of the relief and built full-fledged living rooms in the house. The façade of the building is notable by its two colors: white and red bricks were used when laying the walls. All protruding parts of the facade are lined with white brick, while the main plane of the façade is laid out in a raked joint with red brick. On the facade of the building, the then widespread relief brick combinations of circles and narrow vertical stripes, about ½ brick wide, were used. The plinth and windowsills are made of natural white stone. In the Art Nouveau style, there are two lattices in the basement. In addition to original architectural solutions, he applied engineering techniques in his house. In particular, the engineering structure was arranged in the house used as a water tower that allowed accumulating water in the concrete pool located in the attic cavity of the building.
P.P. Schmidt appeared in Vladikavkaz at the turn of two centuries. And before that there was a brilliant Petersburg and an alluring prospect of a capital architect. Having lost his parents at an early age, he ended up in the family of his uncle, a famous music publisher. Even now, you can still find the marking “Schmidt and Yurgenson's Music Printing House, St. Petersburg” in antique notes. He graduated from high school with honors, entered the Institute of Civil Engineers. He finished it with honors too – in two departments: architecture and plumbing – and, as an excellent student, got the opportunity to travel abroad. Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, England - the cities of Europe revealed to him the beauty and peculiarities of their architecture. He grasped them so that not to repeat them in his works. Having refracted new knowledge, he developed his own, new style. After return to St. Petersburg, he started to work.
He was young, full of enthusiasm, plans, and married. His wife Sophia, Senechka, was young and lovely. He was happy. Life promised him all kinds of benefits. By the highest confidence, he worked in the Winter Palace and the Hermitage – he was the author of the engineering solution for central heating in the buildings. Ahead was a brilliant career of a capital architect. And suddenly everything collapsed like a house of cards. Consumption – the consequence of the rotten Petersburg climate of his beloved wife. How could he save her?
Then the train rushed them "from the lovely north to the south." The Caucasus appeared before them with its peaks of shining eternal snows.
In Vladikavkaz, Pavel Pavlovich Schmidt gets a job in the Terek Regional Government, at first as a junior engineer. From 1909 he is appointed assistant to the Head of the Construction Department, i.e. the regional architect of the Terek region, and - begins to create his own masterpieces. He erects the "Castle of Love" on a quiet street for himself and his wife. The building is in the Art Nouveau style with an unusual layout – an English cottage. He surrounds it with a large garden, where roses are fragrant, where spruces, pines coexist with birches, so that their blessed scent could heal the woman he loved. But all his efforts to save her were in vain. Sophia lived in this house for only three years. In 1911 she passed away.
Alone, in a huge house, having lost his beloved, for the sake of whom he gave up everything he had – what was he going through? Why didn't he return to the capital? Work? He throws himself into it; new houses, peculiar, extraordinary, in a new fashionable style – modern – designed by him have been erected in Vladikavkaz. In total, 23 buildings were built in the city according to his designs.
Soon he meets young Erminia Proshinskaya and marries her. Schmidt's new wife enters the steps of his "Castle of Love" like a queen. Pavel Pavlovich begins a new life. Erminia is a cheerful, mischievous creature. She is pretty and, most importantly, healthy. Their children are born one after another. The large Schmidt family lives a friendly, spiritually rich, intellectual life. After the revolution, the Schmidts settled in a modest house having contributed their mansion for a theater hostel.
From 1937 to 1977, People's Artist of the USSR Vladimir Vasilyevich Tkhapsaev, an actor of the North Ossetian Drama Theater (Ordzhonikidze), lived here. He has performed a huge classical and Ossetian repertoire. He toured the Soviet Union, Europe, Africa. He is considered one of the best performers of the role of Othello on stage. At the invitation of Yu. Zavadsky, he performed the premiere role in the play on the stage of the Mossovet Theater. The glory of Othello – Tkhapsaev stepped over the borders of the country. Shakespeare's Memorial Theater in England persistently invited him on tour. It is unknown why this tour never happened. In 1955, Sergei Yutkevich, while preparing to shoot the film, invited Tkhapsaev and S. Bondarchuk to audition. But he refused. A member of the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR. A deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
Photo and video materials by Eugeny Ivanov
Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Personal stories of Vladikavkaz residents
This story dates back to the times when in the courtyard of the former mansion of the architect Pavel Schmidt (now the Museum of the Theatre Art History of the Republic), there was the popular in the city cafe "Museum". The cafe was famous for its good cuisine, and the very place in the historical part of Vladikavkaz under the legendary pines and chestnuts planted by Pavel Pavlovich personally was unusually cozy and conducive to a leisurely pleasant rest. I happened to be the Director of the cafe “Museum” and, I must say, we were often lucky to receive distinguished guests – politicians, singers, actors, musicians, who later recalled their time spent in this wonderful place with warm feelings. Unfortunately, the cafe ceased to exist several years ago, only memory and lots of pleasant funny stories remained from it.
The incident that I want to tell you about happened many years ago, but every time I recollect that evening, or even hear His Name, I feel excitement again!
It was in 2005, March. Mstislav Rostropovich arrived with a mission to Beslan. In those years, the place of the tragedy was often visited by the stars of the first magnitude to pay tribute to the memory of those killed in the terrorist attack.
The “Museum” Cafe is expecting important guests. The situation is slightly nervous, everyone is tense. Suddenly the door opened, and a man entered the room, not an old man, and smiled as if he had been away from home for a long time, finally arrived and was terribly glad to see his relatives! In response to this trademark smile, it was impossible not to respond the same way. No pathos or feigned importance characteristic of many stars!
- Oh, and who is this cutie here?! - he exclaimed, stepping towards me, understanding, probably, my excitement, - Ah, director! Very nice, Rostropovich!
Instantly all fears melted away! The atmosphere was instantly discharged, it immediately became somehow brighter in the hall and in the soul.
Then there was a feast, a nice conversation. The great Mstislav Leopoldovich recalled how he spent 6 years of his pre-war childhood in Vladikavkaz with his parents, who worked here in the local philharmonic society. He spoke about how happy he was as a child here, how he remembered this childhood feeling of endless joy all his life. He told us that he had visited the house in which he lived with his family at 13, Butyrina Street. He just knocked on the door - they opened him, of course, recognized him, invited to enter the apartment.
- I was so happy! - said M.L., - Happy that I escaped here, to Vladikavkaz, again, in secret from everyone.
The feeling of warmth, sincerity, openness, lightness and pleasantness of the common conversation accompanied all of us during the evening.
Suddenly, a man and a woman ran in (really, rushed in) through the thrown open door, exclaiming "We found!"
- Found? - asked ML, - Then let's go! - and got ready to leave.
- Maybe it's late today? - one of the local accompanying persons asked him - Maybe tomorrow?
- No, no, let's go!
“Where are they going at this time of night? - I thought. "We had such a wonderful talk!"
When Rostropovich left the restaurant, I was explained where he rushed – he was meeting with Cecilia's relatives, and they were supposed to take him to her grave.
And then for the first time I heard the love story of the great Mstislav Rostropovich for the Ossetian Cecilia Dzhatieva.
Cecilia was one of those women who knock down with a feather. Not only with the impeccable beauty, which was legendary - none of her surviving photographs fully captures her feminine charm - but, above all, an amazing inner light. The native of South Ossetia was beautiful and talented - one of the 13 gifted with singing talent, she was selected to study at the specially organized North Ossetian course at the Moscow Conservatory. But her studies were interrupted by the war. After the war, the classes on the course resumed, at this time she met a talented, but absolutely inconspicuous outwardly boy who fell madly in love with the mountain beauty. She was a stopper for conservatory people, the guys did not let her alone in the street, but she seemed to be unaware of her beauty, she was embarrassed, and was interested only in her studies. In order to find an approach to Cecilia, Rostropovich became friends with her cousin, with whom she was inseparable in Moscow, and Cecilia responded to his feelings.
Today it is difficult to say what prevented the youth to be together. There were rumored that both mothers – Cecilia’s and Mstislav Leopoldovich’s – were against their marriage.
After some time, Cecilia returned to Ossetia, sang in concerts on the stage of the local philharmonic society. Pure mezzo-soprano, amazing stage charm and aristocratic appearance became the components of the dramatic success. The things that she did not succeed in the opera stage, worked out in the drama stage: Desdemona, Cordelia, roles in the plays of Ossetian playwrights - everywhere Cecilia was a success. She played, according to eyewitnesses, brilliantly. And, again, conquered hearts. There was an inexhaustible stream of marriage seekers. She married the most persistent, gave birth to a son.
On one of her creative trips to Moscow, she met with Mstislav again. This time he was more than persistent - he went to all the performances with her participation, piled her with bouquets, on the last day he appeared with his mother Sofia Nikolaevna and with an armful of flowers. However, the conversation did not work out. Cecilia went home. Rostropovich saw her off at the station, thinking that he was saying goodbye to her for a little while. But the destiny had other plans for them. Cecilia never returned to Moscow, a short time after this meeting she suddenly died.
For a long time, no one, except for Cecilia's relatives, knew that Rostropovich had not forgotten his love. He repeatedly visited Vladikavkaz with only one purpose - to visit the grave of his beloved. Before his, as he thought, final departure from the USSR, he came to Vladikavkaz to say goodbye. He said farewell forever, not knowing that the country would change, the borders would open, and he would breathe in the air of the Caucasus again. Now for sure – for last.
According to those who accompanied him on his last visit, “... he was in a good mood, but in the evening, on the embankment, when we were looking at the Terek, he suddenly uttered with sadness: “I am not afraid of anything, because I know - everything is there”. And also "... I know that She will be the first to meet me There..."
Two years later he passed away.
Manager at Premier-Сru