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Entries / Sanin А.А. (1869-1956), actor, director

Sanin А.А. (1869-1956), actor, director

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

SANIN (born Shenberg) Alexander Akimovich (1869-1956), actor and director. He graduated from Moscow University with a major in history and philosophy in 1895. He worked as an actor and director in the Society of Art and Literature from 1888 and at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898-02. Living in St. Petersburg in 1902-11, he was an actor and director at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in 1902-07 where he opened a professional directing stage. He followed the principles of historical and social certainty propagated by the Moscow Art Theatre and proved himself as a professional director of crowd scenes. He directed and novelised many performances based on plays by A. N. Ostrovsky, as well as A. K. Tolstoy, A. Dumas, I. S. Turgenev, H. Ibsen, S. A. Naydenov, A. I. Sumbatov, and V. O. Trakhtenberg. He staged a historically realistic version of Antigone by Sophocles in 1906, which he earlier staged at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1899. He was a manager of an acting company that rented a room in Kononovksy Hall at 61 Moika River Embankment in 1907 where he staged H. von Hofmannsthal's Elektra and Death of Titian and H. Ibsen's The League of Youth. He also produced performances for the Antique Theatre in the same place and in the same year. In the season of 1909/10, he staged E. N. Chirikov's King of Nature and L. N. Andreev's Anfisa and Anathema as the chief director of the New Drama Theatre in Ofitserskaya Street with Andreev at the head. The theatre claimed to succeed to Komissarzhevskaya's theatre that had been situated there before. Recognising the high level of his productions, Sanin's contemporaries still criticised his passion for everyday drama. He staged a number of operas in the People's House in 1910 such as M. P. Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, A. P. Borodin's Prince Igor, and Dargomyzhsky's Mermaid. In 1908-11, he was a teacher at the School of Stage Art founded by A. P. Petrovsky and himself. Taking part in S. P. Dyagilev's Russian Seasons from 1908, he staged operas in Paris and London. He was also a director at K. A. Mardzhanov's Free Theatre in Moscow in 1913, Sukhodolskys' Moscow Drama Theatre in 1914-15, as well as Moscow's Bolshoy Theatre and Maly Theatre in 1917-22. He directed the first Soviet films including a screen version of Leo Tolstoy's Polikushka. He left for Berlin as an emigrant in 1922. He lived and worked in France, Spain, and Italy, mainly as an opera producer. He also staged opera performances in Argentina and the USA.

References: Кинкулькина Н. М. Александр Санин: Жизнь и творчество. М., 2001.

A. A. Kirillov.

Andreev Leonid Nikolaevich
Borodin Alexander Porfirievich
Chirikov Evgeny Nikolaevich
Dargomyzhsky Alexander Sergeevich
Dumas Alexandre (Dumas pere)
Dyagilev Sergey Pavlovich
Hofmannsthal Hugo von
Ibsen Henrik
Mardzhanov Kote Alexandrovich
Mussorgsky Modest Petrovich
Naydenov (real name Alexeev) Sergey Alexandrovich
Ostrovsky Alexander Nikolaevich
Petrovsky Andrey Pavlovich
Sanin (real name Shenberg) Alexander Akimovich
Sumbatov (Mumbaitov-Yuzhin) Alexander Ivanovich, Duke
the Sukhodolskys
Tolstoy Alexey Konstantinovich, Count
Tolstoy Lev Nikolaevich, Count
Trakhtenberg Vladimir Osipovich
Turgenev Ivan Sergeevich

Кинкулькина Н. М. Александр Санин: Жизнь и творчество. М., 2001

The subject Index
Alexandrinsky Theatre
Starinny (Old) Theatre
Komissarzhevskaya Theatre