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Early russian theatre and commedia dell'arte Yawney, Marshall James 1971

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EARLY RUSSIAN THEATRE AND COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE by MARSHALL JAMES YAWNEY B.A., University of Britis h Columbia, 1965 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN. PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Slavonic Studies We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July, 1971 In p re sen t i ng t h i s t he s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e fo r re ference and Study. I f u r t h e r agree that permiss ion f o r ex ten s i ve copying of t h i s t he s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by bik r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t he s i s fo r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be a l lowed wi thout my w r i t t e n pe rmi s s i on . Department of S l a v o n i c S t u d i e s The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date November 1, 1971 ABSTRACT Italian cornmedia dell'arte in 18th century Russia i s a phenomenon which demands careful attention from students of the Russian theatre, particularly since comedy was the most important dramatic development of this century. It i s significant that Rus-sian dramaturgy vaulted from infancy to maturity in the short space of a century. This remarkable literary feat was contingent upon the influence of commedia dell'arte on Russian comedy. One hundred years, before the Italian Comics f i r s t graced the Russian stage, commedia dell'arte-inspired interludes which came from Poland with the Church School Theatre entertained the Slavic indigenes. Later, German players offered the Russian public their adaptations of Italian improvised comedy, and f i n a l l y , the Comic Masks accepted an invitation to animate the court. The Masks quick-ly won a large appreciative, audience and, as a result, distinguished Italian comic artists were attracted to Russia. In their wake f o l -lowed a host of minor comic performers who flooded the country with productions of commedia dell'arte, opera buffa and intermezzi. This cultural 'invasion' which lasted well into the next century, l e f t a permanent impression on the Russian comic repertory. Works of 18th century Russia's most typical comic drama-t i s t s , Ya. B. Knyazhnin and ?I. A. Krylov, have been selected for analysis since they harbour.the key principles of Italian commedia  dell'arte and therefore f a c i l i t a t e a f r u i t f u l comparison. The inclusion of a short section dealing specifically . with commedia dell'arte i s intended to outline b r i e f l y i t s artistry i n o r d e r to make more e v i d e n t the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the R u s s i a n comedy and the I t a l i a n Comedy of Masks. The comprehensive b i b l i o g r a p h y p r e s e n t s a spectrum o f works c o n c e r n i n g t h i s t o p i c but n o t n e c e s s a r i l y r e f e r r e d to i n the t h e s i s . ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to express my gratitude to Professor V. Revutsky for the encouragement and assistance he gave me during the course of the preparation of this thesis and to the f i r s t and second readers, Dr. Z.- Folejewski and Dr. Turner for their helpful suggestions. T A B L E OF ' CONTENTS ' INTRODUCTION '• CHAPTER I .ORIGINS OF THE RUSSIAN THEATRE CHAPTER I I PART I THE.COURT THEATRE AND COMMEDIA •' • D E L L ' A R T E : 1 6 7 2 - 1 7 2 5 PART I I ' THE PUBLIC T H E A T R E , A WESTERN .. REPERTORY, AND COMMEDIA D E L L ' A R T E Page 1 Page 5 CHAPTER I I I PART I ' PART I I CHAPTER IV . CHAPTER V '•' CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX I . APPENDIX I I •COMMEDIA D E L L ' A R T E THE MASKS AT ANNA IOANNOVNA'S COURT PART III- , COMMEDIA D E L L ' A R T E AND THE RUSSIAN NATIONAL THEATRE PART. IV RUSSIAN COMEDY 'AND COMMEDIA ' D E L L ' A R T E . COMEDIES OF Y a . ' B . KNYAZHNIN COMEDIES'OF I . A . KRYLOV Page lk Page 1 9 Page 3 0 Page 3 9 Page U 7 Page 5k P a g e . 6 2 Page lk Page 9 7 Page 9 9 Page 1 1 2 Page 1 1 7 INTRODUCTION 1 Russian, Soviet and Western scholars have not given due consideration to the role of Italian culture in the development of the Russian theatre. Although acknowledgements of foreign i n f l u -ence abound, attempts to provide pertinent details to substantiate these general remarks have been few and hardly adequate. In p a r t i -cular, the responsibility of the Italian commedia dell'arte in the development of the early Russian theatre has not been properly asses-Among the f i r s t to recognize the need for serious study of this theme was the well-known Russian theatrical scholar, K. Miklashevsky, who comments in his La Commedia dell'arte; "Generally speaking, the role of Italian comic performers in Russia and the influence exerted by them on the Russian theatre, Russian actors and Russian art i s a very attractive theme for the Russian researcher, but since my work i s concerned with the 'Italian comedy' as such, I shall resist the excursion...." 1 His suggestion, apparently, has been heeded neither by the Russian nor by the non-Russian researcher, with the exception of E. Lo Gatto. In a volume edited by V. V. Kallash, Istoriya russkogo teatra, S. K. Shambinago also underlines the importance of Italian improvised comedy in Russia: "The popularity of Italian comedy l e f t such a deep imprint that even at the present time $ 914) Arlecchino and Colombina appear on stage. The great interest in commedia dell'arte i s mainly the result of the replacement of the written text by improvisation." 2 Recognition by Russians of the importance of the Italian Comedy of 2 Masks i n world theatre i s indicated by the numerous comprehen-sive Russian publications on the subject. Yet these authors f a i l to f i t the Masks into the evolution of their own theatre, even though many of their volumes were conceived in the shadow of a re-birth of commedia dell'arte in Russia, an event marked by A. Blok's publication of Balaganchik (1906) and by subsequent com-media dell'arte inspired presentations by such noted producers as E. Vakhtangov, V. Meyerhold, A. Tairov, and F. Kommissarzhevsky. At the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow., as recently as the 1967-1968 theatrical season, E. Vakhtangov's improvised version of Carlo Gozzi's Turandot was performed; l a z z i s a t i r i z i n g current events, a v i t a l element i n commedia dell'arte, especially appealed to the spectators. Outside Russia, Miklashevsky's proposal tbmpted the noted Italian scholar of theatre, E. Lo Gatto. In his two vol-ume Storia del teatro russo, he devotes ten pages to a chapter entitled "The Influence of Commedia dell'arte on Russian Theatre". Most other non-Russian researchers, confronted with the Italian-Russian li t e r a r y interchange, content themselves with the usual: Yes, without doubt, the Italian comedy was a leading force in the development of Russian theatre.^ It i s not d i f f i c u l t to explain why Russia was charmed by the comic Masks at a time when this genre had already lost i t s appeal in the more l i t e r a t e Western Europe. The Russian love of improvisation, buffoonery, acrobatics, etc., goes back a long way. Russian folk comedy, l i k e the more sophisticated commedia  dell'arte, was characterized by improvisation of action and dia-3 logue. A coarse humour and bright, l i v e l y comic scenes were quali-ties also shared by the folk interludes of Russia and the Italian improvised comedy. The commedia dell'arte stress on vigorous ac-tion, pantomime and musical accompaniment significantly diminished the customary importance of language, thas making their presenta-tions more readily acceptable. Interludes, having their origin i n commedia dell'arte ^  appeared on the Kiev Theological Academy stage in the 16th cen-tury. Summoned to animate the solemn morality plays, the magnetic interludes eventually replaced them altogether. As interest in theatre intensified, demands were made on Western artists to per-form for the monarchy and aristocracy. As a result, Russia's f i r s t theatre was established toward the end of the 17th century. Soon after, foreign theatrical companies brought secular repertories to Moscow and Petersburg: German troupes heralded the arrival of the 18th century with performances of their comedies, many of which were based on commedia dell'arte and required the actors to impro-vise on simple themes. Before long they were followed by Italian composers, musicians, dancers and the comic Masks themselves. At the court of Anna Ioannovna, Russians f i r s t enjoyed the famous com-media dell'arte, opera buffa and intermezzi. Italian actors, how-ever, continued throughout the 18th century to amuse the court and the general public as well, expanding their repertory to include the comedies of the Venetian playwrights. The 18th century Russian dramatists, I. A. Krylov and Ya. B. Knyazhnin, among others, show considerable appreciation for the Comedy of Masks. Their comic works are based on dramatic de-k v i c e s t h a t were i n v e n t e d or at l e a s t i s o l a t e d and proven by the I t a l i a n s . The p l o t b l u e p r i n t , the d r a m a t i s personae t h a t remain c o n s t a n t from p l a y to p l a y , and the dependence on b o i s t e r o u s a c -t i v i t y f o r comic e f f e c t c h a r a c t e r i z e the.comedies of many e a r l y R u s s i a n p l a y w r i g h t s and r e a d i l y i d e n t i f y t h e i r s o u r c e of i n s p i r a -t i o n . S i n c e the importance of the comedy i n 1 8 t h c e n t u r y Rus-s i a n l i t e r a r y developments cannot be over-emphasized, an exam-i n a t i o n o f i t s physiognomy a g a i n s t a background o f commedia d e l -l f a r t e i s d i s t i n c t l y w o rthwhile. CHAPTER I 5 ORIGINS OF THE RUSSIAN THEATRE In order to understand the repercussions of Ita-l i a n Commedia dell'arte i n Russia, a brief look at pre-Eighteenth century Russian theatre i s a necessary digression. The oldest form of theatre in Russia, the folk thea-tre, evolved over a period of decades from pagan peasant r i -tuals. The t i l l i n g of the s o i l and the harvesting of crops, which demanded most of the peasant's time and energy, often became an important and v i v i d part of these r i t u a l s . Offer-ings and prayers were made to win the favour of the gods, thereby ensuring a bountiful harvest. Competitive ceremonial games of s k i l l , i n which peasants vied with one another in much the same way as loggers or cowboys do now, challenged their a b i l i t y to perform the tasks upon which their lives depended. These elements of pagan r i t u a l gradually develop-ed into b r i l l i a n t l y animated performances requiring the par-ticipation of many people. Special events i n the lives of peasants were also f i l l e d with folk traditions which became more and more thea-t r i c a l in tone. A wedding, for example, became a highly com-plex ceremony demanding of the participants, especially the bridal party, considerable grace and expertise. In order to heighten the excitement, jesters were often hired to per-form comic dialogues. Specific holidays were also occasions around which various forms of entertainment developed. During Butter-Week, for instance, people masqueraded as animals, gypsies and rob-6 bers in a manner characteristic of the Western Carnival; mask-ed performers wandered about improvising farces and t e l l i n g stories wherever they could gather together enough specta-tors. Eventually, the more outstanding peasant perform-ances were adopted by urban residents who modified them to suit the new social milieu. As a result, the various roles of a largely pagan r i t u a l became more clearly defined and consequently more important. This popular drama ultimately found i t s way into the repertory of professional actors. Among the most enjoyed were the Skomorokhi who allegedly found their way into Russia from Byzantium during the 10th centuryJ Travelling through-out the country, these comedians disseminated plays, songs, and dances to interested spectators from a l l levels of so-ciety. The Skomorokhi played musical instruments, perform-ed gymnastic feats and acted out simple comedies. Their re-pertory contained rough dialogue scenes of a comic-satirical nature which were the direct ancestors of popular Russian co-medy. Although more primitive, the Skomorokhi performances were comparable i n many respects to early Italian commedia  dell'arte: Skomorokhi often wore masks, improvised on simple themes and entertained crowds gathered i n the streets. The dialogues were performed either directly by the actors or with the aid of puppets. Both i n the plays' subject matter, which was made up of traditional folk elements, and the manner 7 i n which they, were staged uniquely suited a nomadic exist-ence. As their farces, puppet shows and acrobatics had no fixed form or content, and as no stage or props were requir-ed other than the most basic, such as a bench or a bottle of wine, the actors could easily adapt their performances to the particular situations i n which they found themselves. Although these 'Merrymen' had gained great popu-l a r i t y , they eventually f e l l into disfavour with the Church. The broad satire of their farces provoked attempts by the clergy to forbid their productions. The expression "Bog dai pppa,.- chort - skomorokhi" was probably coined by an out-raged clergyman. The puppet shows which the Skomorokhi introduced into Eussia were possibly their most popular and unique fea-ture. They wore large sheets of material which they could invert over their heads to form portable stages upon which to present their finger puppet shows. M. Slonim, i n his book on Russian theatre, comments: "Between the 10th and 16th centuries the puppet show was one of the beloved forms of theatrical entertainment. In almost every country f a i r or market place i n Eussia large crowds watched with delight the antics of Petrushka, the Russian Harlequin" 2 The Petrushka scene was completely Russian i n origin. Not u n t i l the 18th century did i t merge with commedia d e l l 1 arte and opera buffa to give rise to Russian comic opera and s a t i -r i c a l comedy. Largely due to Tsar AlekseyMikhailovich's decree 8 of l6i+5, which effectively banished the Skomorokhi, by the end of the 17th century their place was taken over by German co-medians "who changed the folk themes into Harlequinades with acrobatics and guggling".^ Until the end ..of the 19th century these German comedians, who were undoubtedly acquainted with commedia dell'arte, travelled from city to city pitching their huge tents which accommodated their comic performances i n squares and market places. A more elaborate puppet theatre than that which the Skomorokhi cultivated came to the Kievian Theological Acade-my (Kievskaya Mohylianskaya Akademlja) from Poland i n the 16th century. In a specially designed booth called Vertep, which was divided into three storeys, various episodes from the Bible were enacted. The f i r s t and third storeys were occu-pied by the performing figures, the middle one by the machin-ery necessary to operate the marionettes. These performances formed the chief attraction at the large fai r s held in many principal c i t i e s , in the Ukraine. The tone and content of a vertep play was at f i r s t s t r i c t l y ecclesiastical, but gradually a secular note was added when the religious representations were followed by or interspersed with far c i c a l dialogues and scenes compar-able to the Italian intermezzo. As long as the plays main-tained their religious objectives, they were patronized by the clergy and performed i n the churches. When, however, these plays took a turn toward secularization, they were s t r i c t l y forbidden. Nevertheless, the severest prohibi-9 tions did not curtail these puppet shows and they continued to enjoy popularity T j e l l into the, 1.7th century. From the middle of this century, the yertep play assumed a wider scope by representing humorous scenes i n which historical episodes and contemporary f o l l i e s were vividly caricatured. During the 1 7 t h century another important theatri-cal influence was introduced. The Church School Theatre, which;, played a significant role i n the cultural l i f e of many European countries, reached the Kiev Academy and from there spread to Moscow and other Russian c i t i e s . The Academy's repertory was carefully selected i n order to popularize re-ligious morality in allegorical form. The school plays, s i -milar to the the l i t u r g i c a l drama and the mystery play of Western Europe, had b i b l i c a l themes, chosen particularly from the episodes of Christ's l i f e . Unlike the other forms of theatre art mentioned above, these dramas had li t e r a r y texts and were performed by trained companies whose intructors were also responsible for composing comedies and tragedies for presentation at the Academy. Students were taught the art of acting i n accordance with the principles compiled by F. Lang, which were published in 1727 and based on methods developed by the Jesuit School. Dramatic performances were not confined to the school i t s e l f : during festivals and summer holidays, students staged their plays beyond the walls of the Academy. A l -though the school u t i l i z e d the theatre for essentially d i -dactic purposes, the experience of i t s actors outside the 10 Academy provoked a new realism which f i l t e r e d into the compo-sitions and changed the tone of the performances. The o r i -ginal morality plays gradually lost their staid and stereo-typed form, as the writers began incorporating into their subject matter the daily l i f e they saw and experienced. As secularization of dramaturgy increased, with the decline i n absolute ecclesiastical authority, the school theatre turned from religious didacticism to p o l i t i c a l pro-paganda. Inherited along with the church school plays from the West were l i t t l e scenes known as interludes: humorous sketches which were often inserted after each act of, a se-rious play. E. Lo Gatto, a respected Italian c r i t i c of the-atre, elaborates: "L 1intermezzo o interludio era i n f a t t i noto gia. da circa due secoli nei paesi d'Europa come mezzo di distrarre l'ascol-tatore di drammi r e l i g i o s i o s t o r i c i , con divertimenti o facezie tra un atto a l ' a l -tro. Si tratta di scherzi di contadini non collegati affatto con l'azione del dramma. In Russia l'uso dell'intermezzo venne, come i l "dramma scolastico", dalla Polonia, dove s'era formato sotto l ' i n -fluenza delle farse francesi e della commedia dell'arte." 5 These interludes, modified by the Kiev playwrights as a re-sult of their contact with secular l i f e and folk art, eventu-a l l y achieved greater significance than the school plays. Ap-parently, the f i r s t professional Russian dramatists of the 18th century drew from these interludes material with which they created their f i r s t comedies. 11 In a volume edited by p. N. Berkov, Russkaya narod-naya drama XVII-XX vekov. a collection of Russian folk drama includes the following interludes: "Gaer, pop, pod'yachiy i monakh Kherlikin i shlyakhtich. Intermediya 1-ya Kherlikin i shlyakhtich. Intermediya 2-ya Kherlikin i shkolyary Kherlikin i sud'ya Payats " 6 These interludes, obviously derived from commedia dell'arte, resemble the Italian l a z z i , improvised during the course of a performance by the zanni - usually Arlecchino or Brighella. The appearance in Russia of the hand-me-down Italian inter-lude from Poland,ranks among the f i r s t of foreign trends to make themselves f e l t on early Russian theatre. However, be-fore significant foreign influence was exerted on i t s course, Russian theatre had already reached a level of maturity which included religious plays with written texts, comic inter-ludes and improvised farces of Skomorokhi. Secularization brought the above mentioned genres together, producing a more virulent hybrid of native theatre that competed with the Western European theatre for the attention of Russian dramatists. As early as the 16th century, when Italian archi-tects and technicians came to Moscow at the invitation of Ivan III, Western Europeans, bringing with them theatrical and litera r y innovations, had begun to f i l t e r into Russia. One of the f i r s t to acknowledge Western technological and cultural achievements was Tsar Boris Godunov: 12 "Understanding the superiority of Western education and technique, he was friendly toward foreigners and was the f i r s t of the Moscow rulers to send Russian youths abroad for training." 7 That few, i f any, of the students returned i s incidental con-sidering the significance of the Tsar's intent. Throughout the 17th century, as Russia became more widely known and accepted abroad, contacts with Western Europe increased. Westerners invited to Moscow were no longer re-luctant to come to what had been previously considered a back-ward and barbarous country. The German Colony (German Village) that flourished in Moscow during the 17th century was an important source of Western culture. Merchants settling i n the German Village brought with them new ideas and methods, and, most s i g n i f i -cant for our particular study, their own entertainment. Among the residents were people v/ell acquainted with the western theatre. As the villagers were not completely isolated from the Russian population, a useful exchange evidently took place, thereby arousing Russian interest in western enter-tainment. It i s not surprising that Aleksey Mikhailovich succeeded i n finding sufficient theatrical talent i n the v i l -lage to establish Russia's f i r s t court theatre. Russians travelling i n the West brought back im-pressions that helped to stimulate interest i n drama. Re-cords show that as early as the 1 5 t h century they travelled to Ferrara and Florence: "La prima di esse (queste testimonianze) 13 risale a l i a prima meta del sec. XV, e precisamente al 1437-39 quando i l metropolita Isidoro venne a Ferrara e a Firenze per participare al Concilio di quegli anni. Tra g l i appartenenti a l suo seguito c'era i l vescovo di Suzdal'Avraam, che c i ha lasciato un breve racconto della rappresentazione dell 1Annunziazione di Feo Belcari, a l i a quale i russi assistettero a Firenze. In questo racconto l'interesse del vescovo suzdaliano sembra anche rivolto alio spettacolo i n quanto tale; e g l i c i da informazioni intorno a l palco costruito nella chiesa per l a rappresentazione, sui v e s t i t i dei personaggi, sui disegni del sipario e sulle macchine per lo spettacolo. ...II Varneke ril e v a , a proposito del vescovo Avraam, che l a narrazione del suo viaggio i n I t a l i a dovette suscxtar interesse nei l e t t o r i , perche altrimenti non s i spiegherebbe i l gran humero di copie della sua opera giunte fino a noi." 8 A more vivid account of foreign performances i s found in the travel diary of Peter Tolstoy who v i s i t e d Venice in 1698. He described the spectacles he attended as follows: 11 ...in Venice operas and comedies are be-ing performed and they are so wonderful that no one can describe them adequately. Nowhere i n the whole world are there such wonderful operas and comedies." 9 Tolstoy went on to record i n detail the nature of these per-formances. It was accounts such as these , together with cultural developments of the 1600's, that encouraged the Russian nobility to have such attractions staged. The accumulation of native experience and of im-pressions from abroad bore f r u i t i n 1672, the year Russia's f i r s t theatre, the cultural highlight of the 17th century, was established. I** CHAPTEB II PART I - THE COURT THEATRE AND COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE: 1672-1725 The 17th century witnessed an extensive remodel-ing of Russia's social and economic structure. Contacts with Western Europe, relaxation of church doctrine, an i n -crease in literacy, due to work of the academies, and an increase in avai l a b i l i t y of printed matter, created the basis for the spread of information which, i n turn, resulted in the consolidation of a new national outlook. During this period of transition were in i t i a t e d developments i n the arts that were instrumental i n provid-ing a firm basis for future progress i n theatre. The * rise, of secular art coincided with a disruption of ancient religious canons. As a result, painting became less aus-tere, the female form and love scenes achieved prominence. Artists turned to a depiction of feasts, festival proces-sions and dances i n an attempt to capture the emerging mood of realism. Substantial progress also took place i n poetry and music; singing, for example, acknowledged the transi-tion with the appearance of the l y r i c genres. Keeping i n step, the f i r s t Russian composers began their work: such were Vasily Titov, Nikolai Kalachnikov, Nikolai Babikin and others. 1 As early as 1660 Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich had 10 turned his attention toward theatre. In that year he com-missioned the Englishman, Ivan Gebdon, to go i n search of foreign specialists of various s k i l l s , including people ca-pable of performing comedies. Gebdon managed to hire a group of comedians and i t i s possible that these same actors per-formed i n a comedy staged by the English Ambassador at Moscow, the Earl of Carlisle, i n 1664. Some of the subsequent per-Z formances were attended by the Tsar and members of his court. By 1672, Tsar Aleksey had had ample opportunity to consider the merits of a theatre at court. Deciding i n i t s favour, he sent Colonel Nicolas von Staden abroad to find and bring back to Russia a company of actors and musicians. Von Staden succeeded i n hiring the famous German actor and impressario, Johann Felten, the prima donna of the theatre of Copenhagen and other performers. However, at the last moment, they refused to make the arduous journey to Moscow. The now impatient Tsar did not wait for von Staden*s return, but instructed his chief advisor, Artamon Matveyev, to seek out persons residing i n Moscow qualified to stage comedies. The natural choice for organizer of a court the-atre was Johann Gottfried Gregory, a resident of the German Village. On June k, 1672, an order was issued to Gregory to stage a comedy based on the book of Esther from the Bible. With the assistance of a German translator, a stage director and sixty-four persons, he immediately began rehearsals for the opening performance which took place on the evening of 16 3 October 17» 1673. It lasted for ten hours. To succeeding performances, the Tsar invited his family, his boyars and high o f f i c i a l s . The court theatre quickly became exceed-ingly popular and successful. The repertory consisted of a number of ponderous religious comedies: David and Goliath, Judith, Bayazet, and Tamerlane, and interludes such as Orpheus and Bacchus and  Venus. These plays v/ere borrowed mostly from the repertory of the Kievian Academy. It i s interesting to note that the inter-ludes performed were those that came to Eussia from Poland and which, according to Lo Gatto, had their origin in commedia  dell'arte. P. N. Arapov claims that a famous comedy by Moliere with interludes, Vrach 1 protiv v o l i , was translated into Russian and performed at the court theatre at this time. He adds: "Moliere 1s comedy in 17th century Russia i s an interesting and important fact in the history of our Enlightenment."4 Performances at court were given twice a year - in November and at the end of January. Two main themes found expression on the stage of the court theatre: the social sa-t i r e of popular farces and the religious didacticism of the Church School Theatre. Historical or b i b l i c a l material pro-vided tragic elements for the serious parts, whereas comic parts were based on domestic episodes which had constituted the subject matter for the interludes. The main figure i n the serious plays was often tailored to reflect a benevolent image of the tsar. A new element, ballet, was added to the repertory of the court theatre and was f i r s t performed by the n engineer, Nickolai Lion, organizer and lead dancer, and his students who studied drama under Gregory. They performed a ballet called Orpheus, probably the above noted interlude adapted for ballet. In 1673 Gregory i n i t i a t e d a theatrical school with an enrollment of 26 pupils, the children of commoners and sub-clerks. They thus became the f i r s t group of actors trained at a dramatic school i n Russia. The fact that the school's expenses were paid by the Tsar's treasury i s testimony to his approval of the theatre and of Gregory's efforts. These Russian actors began taking part i n performances after 1673. (Ostrovsky chose this event as a theme for his play, Komik  17-ogo stoletiya, in honour of the 200th anniversary of the Russian theatre.) When Hubner became director of the theatre after Gregory's death in 1675» the repertory assumed a more se-cular character. However, Hubner was relieved of his duties in the same year by the director of the Russian School Theatre, Stephan Chizhinsky, possibly because his repertory did not please the clergy. Chizhinsky produced two comedies, David  and Goliath and Bacchus and Venus, neither of which has been preserved. However, Vsevolodsky-Gerngross speculates that the f i r s t was a religious morality play, the second a f r i -volous interlude.^ The most interesting and important ele-ment of the repertory performed at this f i r s t Russian theatre was the interlude, precursor to the 18th century Russian co-medy, originating i n the Italian Comedy of Masks, but colored 18 by local themes and situations. After Tsar Aleksey's death i n 1676, o f f i c i a l per-formances at court were suspended. Only the School Theatre remained active. Amateur functions continued un o f f i c i a l l y i n the Tsar's palace. His daughter, Sophia, wrote plays and act-ed with a group of amateurs from her own court. Despite her efforts, however, for the next twenty-five years the Russian theatre f e l l into a state of relative dormancy. Responsibil-i t y for i t s revival at the court and civic level rested with Aleksey's son, Peter I, who adapted the theatre to his wester-nization program, making i t a permanent and v i t a l element of Russian culture. 1.9 PART II - THE PUBLIC THEATRE, A WESTERN REPERTORY, AMD COMME-DIA DELL'ARTE. That society was ready for change had already be-come evident during the reign of Aleksey Mikhailovich. Hov/-ever, i t was his-son, Peter I, prepared to learn from the ex-perience of the West, who introduced Russia to the Industrial Age and who directed i t s particular influence on Russian l i f e . Its ramifications included the specialization of human func-tion and the categorization of culture into i t s disciplines, i . e . poetry, drama, music, dancing, etc. (Folk r i t u a l had used a l l these elements together, i n a single presentation.) Although Peter I became ruler of Russia i n 1689, i t was not u n t i l the beginning of the 18th century that he turned his attention to the theatre. Consequently, a public theatre was not constructed on Red Square u n t i l 1702, when the f i r s t western company of professional actors presented i t s repertory. Amateur productions increased as a result of the work in the academies and of the general upsurge of i n -terest i n drama. The interlude which figured so prominently in the development of Russian comedy, gained considerable popularity. The fore-runners of professional dramatists appeared, brightening the prospects for theatre i n Russia. In 1701, Peter I sent Yan Splavski, a puppet show comedian, to Europe in search of a drama producer. In Gdansk, Splavski hired Johann Kunst who brought to Moscow a German theatrical company and the repertory of Johann Felten, a 20 famous 17th century German i m p r e s s a r i o . P. 0. Morozov com- •* ments that F e l t e n claims an important post i n the h i s t o r y of German theatre, s i n c e he was the spokesman f o r a new trend i n f o l k drama,and t h a t h i s work had a great i n f l u e n c e on the Rus-s i a n stage of the P e t r i n e e r a . B r i n g i n g F e l t e n ' s r e p e r t o r y J to Moscow was Kunst's noteworthy c o n t r i b u t i o n , f o r i t r e -mained on Russian stages f o r the e n t i r e century. I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, F e l t e n was a keen student of the I t a l i a n commedia d e l l ' a r t e and created a number of p l a y s and s c e n a r i o s i n t h a t comic genre. B. V. Varneke, i n h i s H i s t o r y of the Russian Theatre, comments: "Under the i n f l u e n c e of the I t a l i a n commedia d e l l ' a r t e . F e l t e n ' s r e p e r -t o i r e i n c l u d e d a number of improvised comedies f o r which only a general p l a n of the s c r i p t was o u t l i n e d i n advance. Guided by the o u t l i n e , the ac t o r s could f i l l i t i n with scenes of t h e i r own i n -v e n t i o n , so th a t the pla y g r a d u a l l y took shape i n the course of the p r e l i -minary r e h e a r s a l s . " 7 Kunst had been a student under F e l t e n . Therefore, when he became l e a d e r of h i s own company of a c t o r s , he f o l l o w e d h i s teacher's t h e a t r i c a l methods and while i n R u s s i a h i s troupe used the sc e n a r i o s prepared by F e l t e n . According to S. S. -J Ignatov, "The r e p e r t o r y of F e l t e n ' s troupe, the manner of a c t i n g - a l l t h i s Kunst brought with him to Moscow....We have the b a s i s to b e l i e v e t h a t i n Moscow Kunst's troupe d i d 8 not completely d i s r e g a r d i m p r o v i z a t i o n . " A t h e a t r e was prepared i n Red Square f o r the f i r s t p l a y by Kunst's troupe to which the general p u b l i c was i n -v i t e d : 2,1 "... on the 1i+th of December of the year 1702, the f i r s t performance took place with the participation of Russian actors (later works came to be presented entirely by Russian actors.)." 9 Thus not only did Kunst introduce a western repertory to Moscow, but he also trained Russian drama enthusiasts to per-form these works. Vsevolodsky-Gerngross proposes that Kunst's repertory included French Classical Tragedy, Italian Comedy  of Masks, Pastorals, Opera, Ballet, Folk Farces, etc....**** Other plays produced were variations on currently popular drama i n the west - The Honest Traitor by A Cicognini, Jo-delet the Prince by Corneille and Don Pedro and Don Juan. Although Johann Kunst's tenure as director of the Moscow public theatre was relatively brief, from 1701 to 1703. the repercussions lasted for many years; comic works from his repertory were performed u n t i l well into the 1800's. • His i n i t i a l efforts with respect to the production of impro-vised comedy were reinforced some years later by Italian the-atre companies performing at the courts of Anna Ioannovna, Elizabeth Petrovna and Catherine II. Soon after Kunst's departure, direction of the theatre and school was entrusted to Otto Furst. However, the theatre did not meet with expected results, and i n 1706 per-formances i n Moscow were discontinued. Having more confid-ence in the receptiveness of the St. Petersburg audiences, Peter I moved the theatre there i n 1709. Comedies had been performed i n St. Petersburg as early as 1703. A German troupe called Mann arrived toward the end of 1703 and, i f we are to 22 believe the account given by Ignatov, "despite the fact that the i d i o t i c comedians performed their plays in German, the audience was insatiable".^ ^  Closure of the public theatre on Red Square placed the onus of continuing and preserving drama i n the hands of amateurs and students. Theatrical productions staged during the Petrine era took root i n the higher strata of society where the theatre became quite fashionable. After 1706, ama-teur theatres appeared one after another at various levels of society and with them, the f i r s t secular dramatists. Peter I's sister, Natalia Alekseyevna, a dilettante, i n 1707 produced plays, some of her own composition, at the court theatre of her father, Aleksey Mikhailovich, i n the v i l -lage of Preobrazhenskoye. A foreign v i s i t o r wrote the f o l -lowing description: "The princess herself composed tragedies and comedies i n Russian, borrowing the plots therefore partly from the Bible and partly from secular events. The Harlequin, chosen from among senior army officers, broke i n intermittent-ly with his jests. Eventually a nar-rator appeared who explained the plot of the play to the audience...." 12 This allusion to a Harlequinade attests to Natalia's acquain-tance with the comic interlude of the type found i n Felten's repertory. The following l i s t of plays found i n the cathedral library at Veliky Ustyug i s thought to have been performed at Natalia's amateur theatre: 23 "The religious plays included the co-medy About St. Catherine, the comedy ^ Eudoxia, the Martyr. Judith, the comedy The Prophet Daniel, the comedy To Christ-mas, the comedy St. Andrew, the comedy on the Mother of God, and the comedy Varlaam  and Josaphat. The following comedies were of a secular character: Khrisanf and Daria, Peter's Golden Keys. On the Italian Margrave  and the Excessive F r i v o l i t y of His Margra- ine. and On the Beautiful Melusina." 13 According to Varneke, these plays were similar to the comic re-pertory of Johann Felten, which suggests that at least the se-cular comedies could have been performed i n a manner resembl-ing the Italian commedia dell'arte. After closure of the pu-bl i c theatre i n Red Square, a l l the costumes were sent over to Natalia Alekseyevna's theatre at Preobrazhenskoye. Later, in 1711, Natalia also received a l l the translations of Kunst's repertory (probably the above quoted l i s t ) from the collection of the Public Theatre. A contemporary of Natalia's and a student of J. Kunst, Semyon Smirnov, i s considered one of Russia's f i r s t secular dramatists. Two of his compositions have been preserved: Burlesque About Tonvurtin, The old Polish Nobleman with His  Daughter, Abridged. Varneke writes, concerning ;|>he latter: "The supplementary word•'abridged' (pere-chnevaya) shows that only the scenario was composed, and improvisations were later added to i t . We have one of those inter-ludes which afforded r e l i e f i n serious plays and gave particular pleasure to the unsophisticated spectators....In the begin-ning of the f i r s t scene there i s an old 'mountebank'; he examines his appearance and exclaims: 'Where i s to be found such a bold fellow, such a handsome, corpulent chap, who knows how to wrestle and to box and to run amuck with the goats! Indeed, there's no one l i k e myself! I have bony hips and a heavy hand! When I strike a dead cock - a l l his entrails f a l l out at once. And i f I strike a f l y , i t s s p i r i t leaves i t s body. And even i f I have to deal with a whole bunch of gnats, I shall disperse them a l l as so many thieves. - I am surprised myself that I was born that strong and bold, and that I'm here midst young and old!" 1^  This burlesque monologue smacks of Arlecchino's part i n a typi-cal commedia dell'arte lazzo with a l l i t s vulgarity, bravado and overstatement for comic effect. This interlude i s very l i k e l y representative of those i n Kunst's repertory, since Smirnov was his student, and,therefore, leads us to believe that the f i r s t western interludes to come to Russia:, were of this calibre. The slap-stick tone of such interludes was especially attractive to the as yet unsophisticated Russian spectator - a major reason for the success of commedia del* l'arte i n l8th century Russia. Anna Ioannovna's court, i n particular, relished the boisterous vulgarity and coarse hu-mour attributed to this genre. A contemporary of Natalia's and Smirnov's, and for-mer student of the Kiev Academy, Feofan Prokopovich (1689-1736), composed a drama on an ecclesiastical theme, i n the style of the church school plays. His work was concerned with contemporary events - praising the Tsar's military v i c -tories and his social reforms. The t i t l e of his tragi-co-medy was Vladimir, Duke and Ruler of the Slavic Russian Land  led by the Holy Ghost from the Darkness of Unbelief to Evan-gelical Light, i n the Year 988 After the Birth of Christ. 25 In praising Vladimir's reforms and leadership qualities, the author leaves l i t t l e doubt that he i s campaigning for Peter I's westernization programme. The play i s composed of two dis-tinct parts, one tragic,the other comic - a combining of the morality play and the interlude.. The lat t e r part bears a close resemblance to i t s Italian and French counterparts. Growing i n popularity along with the amateur the-atre, the interlude or intermezzo became a feature attract-ion during the f i r s t quarter of the 18th century, replacing the tedious morality plays which i t was originally intended to animate. Two types of interlude were performed: that o r i -ginally introduced into Russia from Poland and the native folk interlude. More sophisticated than i t s folk r i v a l , the western interlude was edited by writers i n the academies who modified i t i n order to better suit i t s new environment. The folk interlude, of purely Russian content and born spontane-ously of folk art, was performed by roving Skomorokhi who, as we have seen, altered the content according to mood and situation. Sadikova makes the following assessment: "Alongside the interlude of the school the-atre, the interlude of the folk theatre played a significant role i n the develop-ment of the Russian comedy. Between them i t i s necessary to distinguish two types of performance: those preserved in popu-l a r prints, interludes with the p a r t i c i -pation of i d i o t i c characters (duratskikh person) and those preserved in the manu-scripts of popular-farcical interludes in which the main character was the buf-foon (Kherlekin, Gerlikin, Arlekin)" 15 As the school theatre interludes and those in Kunst's reper-2 £ tory had written texts, they l i k e l y had greater i n i t i a l impact on the developing Russian comedy than did the oral folk i n -terludes, which were not recorded u n t i l much later. A would-be dramatist had, i n the written interlude, a ready made plot structure: he had only to f i l l i n such details as he f e l t ne-cessary to animate his play. Interludes varied considerably: at times they were simple comic monologues, but often they appeared as minor i n -dependent plays, relatively complex i n content and performed by two or three actors who maintained the constant character of the comic Masks.1^ The 17th century interludes, often parodies on social vices, were aimed at the correction of contemporary manners and morals. When, however, the clergy came into range of their satire, enthusiasm for the inter-lude as an in-between-acts audience re v i t a l i z e r promptly cooled. Skomorokhi were particularly i l l - t r e a t e d . Their secular, often irreverent performances provoked severe re-action from Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich who, i n 1645» ordered that a l l buffoons be punished and their masks burned. How-ever, by the beginning of the 18th century the o f f i c i a l at-titude had changed considerably. By then the interlude had assumed much greater importance, adopting a topical social-p o l i t i c a l content, s a t i r i c a l i n nature, but decidedly fa-vouring the position of Tsar Peter I and the reformation. The following i s a resume of an interlude preserved from the 18th century: "Harlequin (i.e. Arlecchino) humbly submits to the petty court a report on behalf of a Siberian nobleman who complains that for a long time he suffers much abuse from f l i e s , mosquitoes and other intrusive things; neither by day nor by night i s there peace from them anywhere. The judge gives his verdict: that he (Harlequin) himself swat f l i e s everywhere, not excluding them anywhere. Then Harlequin begins to beat the judge and the secretary pretending that he i s k i l l i n g f l i e s that have settled on them." 17 Laughing a l l the while, Harlequin chases the judge and secre-tary off the stage. He obviously outwits his superiors, the judge and secretary, punishing them for their incompetence. The humiliation of the court o f f i c i a l s parallels that often experienced by Pantalone and Dottore at the hands of Arlecchi-no. Here as i n commedia dell'arte, Arlecchino, the servant, outmanoeuvres his master or his superiors. In another such interlude, the master orders his servant to do only that which he writes i n a memorandum. How-ever the master, having fallen into a p i t , calls for help and abuses the servant for not assisting him, but the servant retorts that this order was not in the memorandum. Interludes of this nature reached a wide audience at fa i r s , market places 18 and festivals throughout Russia. "...of a l l the early repertoire the i n -terlude proved the most viable, and over a long period we see i t revived repeat-edly at fairs as entertainment for the crowds." 1 9 At the turn of the 17 th century, concurrent with the rise of the interlude, the school theatres reached the apex x*£c their popularity. It was during this period that 2 § dramatic techniques were formulated. A significant contribu^ tion was made by the German director of the School Theatre of the Jesuits, Francis Lang (1654-1725). While i n Germany, Lang compiled a book of regulations for actors called A Dis-sertation About Acting which was published posthumously in 1727. Lang based his dissertation on his knowledge and ob-servations of commedia dell'arte as i t was performed i n Ger-many. Thus, i n this book he departed from the prevailing norms of classical aesthetics, directing his attention to the external devices of acting - effective poses and pictor-i a l gestures. This book was popular i n the Russian school theatres during the f i r s t half of the 18th century. Its te-nets exerted considerable influence on the quality and method of dramatic performance. Although i t i s unlikely that Italian Masks perform-ed i n Russia before 1731, their presence was made known i n -directly through the church school theatre interludes and through the secular comedies of Kunst's repertory. How-ever, i t i s doubtful whether the comic characters of these interludes and comedies wore the traditional masks of corn-media dell'arte. On the other hand, the comic personali-ties themselves (duratskie persony), sometimes their names, and often their costumes, as shown in portraits from that period, clearly identify them as relatives of the Italian Comic Masks. Of the Masks, Arlecchino was most commonly im-personated in the 17th century comedies and interludes. He was known as Arlekin, Kherlikin, Garlekin, or Gaer and often 4 $ traded roles with the Russian Petrushka. On one occasion, according to Yu. A. Dmitriev, Ita-l i a n Masks did perform before Russians, towards the end of the 21 1 7 t h century, when an Italian circus was on tour i n Russia. The commedia dell'arte characters paraded before the Rus-sian public in at least one other capacity, as members of a massive masquerade. From 1721 u n t i l Peter I's death, mas-querades were organized annually, involving the participa-tion of up to one thousand persons. Italian comics occupied a prominent role; their function was, undoubtedly, to provoke laughter along the masquerade route. Whether the characters impersonating the Masks were Italian or Russian i s not deter-minable. Certainly, i f Russians played these roles, then their knowledge of commedia dell'arte was far more compre-hensive than i s indicated by information contained i n thea-t r i c a l histories of that period. It i s , therefore, worth-while to look briefly at commedia dell'arte i t s e l f in order to determine i t s direct influence on the Russian theatre and especially i t s role i n the development of original Russian comedy. 30 CHAPTER III PART I - COMMEDIA DELL1 ARTE The f i r s t group of Italian comedians to perform i n Russia arrived i n time for the coronation ceremonies of Anna Ioannovna, i n 1731. It brought to the Russians the renowned Italian improvised comedy with a l l the magnetic brilliance and v i t a l i t y that had f i r s t delighted audiences in 16th century Italy and soon thereafter in the rest of Europe. Just what was commedia dell'arte? Where did i t originate, and why does i t figure so prominently i n the development of Russian theatre? The origins of this dynamic theatrical form are s t i l l very much under discussion. Attempts were made to l i n k com-media dell'arte with ancient Roman mime or to see i t as a d i -rect descendant of comic characters i n the medieval mystery plays. Modern c r i t i c s tend to find commedia dell'arte motifs and figures i n medieval folk literature, thereby supporting the theory that, during the Middle Ages an unpolished secu-l a r comedy may have existed side by side with the sacred re-presentations u n t i l , in the 16th century with the rise of an actor class to a professional level, i t suddenly gained momen-tum and burst forth as a genre in i t s own right. Its unique and most essential feature was impro-visation: having no set words to follow, the actors impro-vised on a previously studied skeleton plot, called a sog- getto or scenario, which outlined the situations and events around which they were to weave dialogue. The action took 3.1 place between fixed character types, who varied only slightly from play to play. An actor almost always portrayed the same character, sometime^ one which he himself had invented. Work-ing with these stock types, commedia dell'arte relied heavily upon the improvisational a b i l i t y of i t s actors to keep the plays fresh and alive. Improvisation, therefore i s the key word i n any dis-cussion of commedia dell'arte, and to a large extent moulded i t s acting methods. Obviously, however, no successful theatre could depend upon completely spontaneous action and dialogue. The degree to which a commedia dell'arte play could be im-- provised depended mainly upon the capability and imagination of i t s actors. As i t was impractical to expect a consistent-l y high standard of improvisation from a group Of actors of varying a b i l i t i e s , there arose the necessity of organizing the action and of establishing set routines upon which the actors could rely. There was, f i r s t of a l l , a firm plot structure, the scenario; a more or less standardized comic business, l a z z i , as well as premeditated rhetorical material, concetti. The plot outline around which the actors performed, included the basic events of the play, the entrances and exits of the v a r i -ous characters. Almost anything could prove worthy material for a scenario: a short story, a folk tale, a written play from ancient or contemporary authors. A l l that was required was an opportunity for creating a comic situation. Quite a number of scenario collections have come 32 down to us, three of which date back to the 1?th century. The most famous i s that of the actor-playwright, Flaminio Scala, Teatro delle Favole rappresentative (1611), consisting of 30 scenarios. Also extant are the collections of Basilio Locatelli (1620-30), containing 103 pieces, and that of Annibale Sersale, two volumes belonging to the end of the 16th century and i n -cluding 183 scenarios. Even with the aid of these collections, however, producers of commedia dell'arte plays were s t i l l faced with two major dilemmas - the v i v i f i c a t i o n of the scenario and the maintenance of novelty. Success depended upon the s k i l l of the director and the degree of sophistication in the impro-visation of the actors. In a typical rehearsal procedure of the average company, the director or maestro as he was called, met with the actors and explained the plot to them in careful detail. His duty was to define the various characters, their names and situations, to outline the plot action, the entrances and exits of characters, to explain stage props and sets in relation to the plot and to determine where lazzos and con-ceits were needed. After they understood the details of the plot, the actors rehearsed, perfecting a new lazzo or material of their own invention. They thought through their own parts, trying to f i t i n a prepared speech, a story, a local rumour, a fact which was applicable to this particualr play but which was l i k e l y memorized and readily available for use i n any play with a similar situation. 33 The actors naturally found i t useful to collect se-ries of speeches and stage tricks for the particular character they, portrayed. In these collections of dialogues, jokes, out-bursts of feeling, characterizations and soliloquies, grouped under such headings as f i r s t entrances, desperations, saluta-tions and lazzos of every kind, one recognizes the personali-ties of the commedia dell'arte characters. The l a z z i more than any other stage technique gave an improvised play i t s uniqueness. Exactly what these l a z z i were i s d i f f i c u l t to determine. Often i n the scenario they were either merely named, for example, "lazzo del tacere" and "lazzo del porco", or at a certain point in the scenario the directions would simply read "fanno l a z z i " . Obviously these pranks and jests were so familiar to the performers that the name sufficed to t e l l the actor what actions he should pursue. A modern c r i t i c describes a lazzo as "...a kind of comic play that today we might characterize as slap-stick comedy".1 They were, in other words, simple stage tricks employed most often by the zanni or buffoons, to enliven a scene by evoking un-sophisticated laughter. Although l a z z i stood outside the mainstream of the plot, they served to give i t continuity and lightness of tone. As such, they constituted a v i t a l part of an improvised comedy. Before theatrical production methods had developed much in Italy, the early commedia dell'arte plays were per-formed on stages that were merely collapsible platforms boxes or booths (one recalls the Skomorokhi and the Vertep) which could 34 easily be packed and carried i n the wagons used by the wander-ing bands of actors to travel from place to place. As these plays did not require elaborate decorations, or complicated scenery, they could be, and in fact were, performed anywhere an audience would gather together to watch them: in a h a l l , in a market place or a main piazza. The height of the stage was level with the eyes of the spectators to f a c i l i t a t e a good view for a l l . At the back of the stage hung a canvas on which was painted the scene of a town's square with two or three streets leading away from i t . As commedia dell'arte and the theatre in general gained more popularity and support, a more sophisticated and often permanent stage was constructed. The most common was a form of amphitheatre with a platform i n the front and a set-ting of three streets or arcades leading off, as in the ear-l i e r canvas. At f i r s t the only stage props, ruled by neces-sity, were portable and inexpensive: a bench, a table, a trunk, a basket of flowers. Later, when groups of actors were sup-ported by wealthy patrons, they were able to make use of this patronage by borrowing what they required. S t i l l later, the invention of fake stage props enabled a company of actors to own many inexpensive, yet real-rlooking props to assist i n creating effects. The material which commedia dell'arte used as plots for i t s own performances was often derived from the contem-porary Erudite or written comedies. In these plays appeared the situations and characters which improvised comedy was to 35 stereotype. In taking plots from the Erudite comedy, comme-dia dell'arte was inheriting the classical theories and comic situations which had been the basis for Renaissance comedy. However, commedia dell'arte did not feel bound to accept these classical aesthetics as law. l i t h wonderful dexterity, i t moulded and adapted what i t took to suit i t s own specific pur-pose. Because i t was able to assimilate anything theatrical, i t found inspiration not only i n the learned written comedies, but also in the popular farces and contrasti. i n the acrobatic and mime shows of the piazza. The main feature of the plots of improvised plays i s intrigue and a resulting comic situation. The subject of the intrigue i s the love a f f a i r between a young couple who, a l -though impeded by their parents, are encouraged by the con-niving servants. These lower class comic figures often form a sub-plot parodying the serious characters and intensifying the comic effect. The dramatis personae are divided into two cate-gories: the comic and the serious. These categories are clear-ly defined and each character stays within his definitive boundaries. Their actions are predictable, their character static. They have one or two outstanding t r a i t s , such as mi-serliness, cunning, or g u l l i b i l i t y . Much could,therefore, be taken for granted i n a commedia dell'arte performance, as the characters were already established, eliminating the need to define the various roles. The actors simply presented themselves on stage and immediately recalled i n the minds of the spectators 36 the entire range of l a z z i , tirades and gestures already tra-ditional for that particular character. As the principal cha-racters wore masks, their f a c i a l expressions, therefore, re-maining constant, the mobility of their bodies attained a special importance. As a result, a series of characteristic gestures and body poses evolved which constitute a language in themselves. (This new theatrical language was readily ac-cepted by actors throughout Europe, Eussia included.) Two of the important traditional characters of com- media dell'arte are Pantalone and Dottore, representatives of the older generation. Pantalone i s an ojd Venetian merchant, a rich retired businessman, a severe father of one of the l o -vers, or occasionally a bachelor. Although he i s essentially good-natured, a quick temper and i r r a t i o n a l i t y often overcome him. He i s given to garrulousness and when excited or anger-ed, blusters incoherently i n his native Venetian dialect. Both his simple personality and his comical pot-bellied figure make him the perfect butt for the relentless pranks of the servants, and evoke a sympathetic response from the audience. How-ever, his disgusting tantrums, his strutting and his pre-tense to youthfulness dilute this reaction, thereby main-taining the comic perspective. Dottore, the second old man, comes ffom one of Ita-ly's early developed cultural centres, Bologna. Generally, he represents a lawyer, although often a physician or a mix-ture of astrologer, grammarian, philosopher and wit. A bom-bastic pedant, he comically c e r t i f i e s his glib utterances on 37 academic matters with solemn, pompous and misconstrued quota-tions i n Latin. Dottore considers himself a model of wisdom, maturity and rationality while he i s actually devoid of these qualities: he i s easily deceived and outwitted by the young-er characters and by the servants. The most important of the Masks are the zanni, or buffoons. They play the role of servant or confidant to either Pantalone or Dottore or to one. of the serious characters. Be-sides -plot weaving, their task i s to provoke laughter by slap-stick, pantomime, acrobatics, exaggeration or gimmickry. , The - zanni's character reflects a duality: he i s both an astute and clever servant, promoting the intrigue of the plot, and a gul-l i b l e , simple servant, a bungler whose ridiculous remarks and actions arouse much mirth. Arlecchino, the most popular and widely known of the zanni, plays the role of valet. Everyone knows him from the cat-like expression of his mask, his motley coloured clothes and the v/ooden sword in his belt. On stage he exhibits a keen wit, acrobatic prowess and a talent for instigating intrigues which appear destined for certain disaster. However, at the crucial moment, an unexpected event saves Arlecchino from the impending unhappy situation. Of the zanni, Arlecchino, Har-lequin to us, became the most popular outside Italy, especial-ly i n France, where he evolved into Pierrot, a character not unlike the Russian Petrushka. Columbina, the female counterpart of Arlecchino and the object of his amorous desires, plays servant to the 5 8 Inamorata. She adds to the main intrigue and i s usually part of a subordinate love a f f a i r , parodying that of the Inamorati. Although often selfishly ambitious, she displays a lighthead-edness, an a b i l i t y to forgive easily and a consistent lo y a l -ty and affection for the mistress she serves. She developed along with Arlecchino into such characters as Harlequine and Pierrette. Brighella i s a caricature of the devilish rogue and cowardly v i l l a i n who would do anything for money. De-void of r. conscience, he maliciously provokes those weaker than he, but when threatened by a superior force, prudently withdraws. He usually plays the role of a cook, and some-times that of a valet. The Inamorati, the young lovers, are son and daugh-ter to Dottore and Pantalone. The only characters who go un-masked, they are the non-comic persons around which the action revolves. Fashionably dressed and fine featured, they are kept apart by parents who seek wealthy marriage partners for them. However, their own unfailing devotion plus the maneuvering of their servants conquers the e v i l schemes of their parents. The traditional commedia dell'arte play ends with wedding fest-i v i t i e s at which the zanni entertain actors and audience alike. A host of other characters besides those mentioned have earned respectable places within the realm of improvised comedy. The above basic personalities were selected merely in order to refresh the reader's memory and to bring to light sufficient facts to f a c i l i t a t e the investigation of the direct l39 influence this cornice genre had on the basic structure and de-velopment of 18th century Russian comedy. PART II - THE-MASKS AT ANNA IOANNOVNA'S COURT The direct influence of commedia dell'arte on Rus-sian theatre commenced with the arrival i n Russia i n 1731 of a troupe of Italian comedians and singers. The company, led by maestro compositore Reinhard Kaiser and comic actor Tomaso Risto r i , opened in February with a play entitled A Comedy with 2 Singing. Having succumbed to her predilection for buffoonery, Empress Anna Ioannovna made arrangements with August II, King of Poland, to have this company, which for several years had entertained his court, sent to Moscow in time, for her coronation f e s t i v i t i e s . From their very f i r s t appearance, the Italians knew nothing but success. Their engagement lasted about a year and upon their departure, a new troupe was summoned, only this time directly from Italy. At the Winter Palace i n St. Petersburg, in a room specially constructed by Anna's architect, Count Barto-lomeo R a s t r e l l i , the company performed almost exclusively the traditional commedia dell'arte. As the Empress did not know Italian, she made Academician Shtelin responsible for compos-ing short librettos in German which were then translated into Russian by the poet Tredyakovsky. During their three-year stay i n Russia, the Italian comedians performed at least thirty-nine works, preserved i n 3 a collection published by V,. Peretts. In 1733, they presented fourteen comedies and three interludes with music; in 1734, twelve comedies and five interludes; and i n 1735, four comedies and one tragedy.^ "By means of this collection (thirty-nine plays i n the commedia dell'arte genre) i t i s possible to establish that the Russian public became acquainted with Arlecchino i n the early 30's of the 18th century. The dramatis personae of the comedies were: Arlecchino, Smeraldina, later re-placed by Columbina, Brighella - i n the roles of knaves, Pantalone and Dottore -in the roles of comic old men, S i l v i o , Eduardo, Diana and Aurelia - in the roles of the lovers." 5 This c r i t i c , S. K. Shambinago, continues, saying that the popu-l a r i t y of the Italian comedy created such a deep impression that CI9I4) even up to the present day, Arlecchino and Columbina appear on stage. As mentioned above, Russians had become acquainted with Arlecchino much earlier through the church school theatre interludes and in the German repertory. The other Masks were less commonly known prior to 1731. Why the great success of Italian commedia dell'arte i n 18th century Russia? In the words of Lo Gatto, the state of moral decadence at Anna's court resulted in the audience showing a preference for the often vulgar performances of jug-glers and actors who could improvise on themes. Shambinago adds that the success of commedia dell'arte was due to the enthusiasm Russians had for improvised musical comedy. 4/1 The diluted imitations of commedia dell'arte, which had preceded the Italians into Russia via the church school the-atre interludes and the secular comedies of Kunst's repertory (and even the Russian folk tradition) also played their part i n directing special attention to the Comedy of Masks when i t f i n a l -ly appeared i n i t s original b r i l l i a n c e . Furthermore, because the Italian comic actors were such excellent mimics, the spectators had l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y following their comic antics and, there-fore, the expected reliance on language v/as effectively minimized. The comic genre i t s e l f , with i t s outstanding qualities - humour, v i t a l i t y , variety - so attractive to Western Europeans a century earlier, exercised a similar hypnotic effect on Russians, who were by now looking for a dynamic theatrical form which could stimulate interest and encourage developments leading toward the establishment of a Russian national theatre. By the time Italian comics appeared at Anna's court theatre, a great many Russians were already well prepared to accept a completely secular theatre, now that the s t i f l i n g cloak of Orthodox morality had been essentially discarded. The coarse humour and l i v e l y music offered by the comic masks was vora-ciously enjoyed by a Russian public which craved secular enter-tainment. The commedia dell'arte trick of involving the audi-ence i n their play won approval. The introduction into the l a z z i of local personalities and events familiar to the audience i n -tensified interest and humour - an attribute lacking i n the i n -flexible written comedy. Due to the consistency of the commedia dell'arte form, k2-i t s audience, after one or two performances, could readily re-cognize the comic personalities and situations i n which they were involved. As a result, the cultural-linguistic gap, a major problem i n written comedy, was narrowed, making improvised comedy more easily understood and enjoyed. The u t i l i z a t i o n of standard comic situations focused -responsibility for production of effective comedy on the acting a b i l i t y of the Masks: as these comic situations were predictable from scene to scene, the manner in which the Masks manipulated and improvised on them to evoke laughter was all-important. The acrobatics, gymnastics and mime employed by the Masks, which added zest to the comic business, had a particular attraction for Russians. Their energetic folk dances and folk comedies display a generous quantity of these same characteristics. The novelty to Russian audiences of the traditional commedia dell'arte love theme was undoubtedly another attract-ive feature. This theme i s almost completely absent from pre-18th century Russian folk literature. It was f i r s t introduced from the West during the latte r half of the 17th century by means of the short s t D r y . However, i t took the Italians at Anna's court the-atre to present a love theme with a flourish. The provocative, often risque amorous intrigues central to commedia dell'arte must certainly have stirred the imagination of the relatively naive Russian viewer. The interference of the parents, Panta-lone and Dottore, in the happiness of their offspring-, the In-namorati, surely evoked the audience's indignation. The pre-ar-ranged marriage, a common practice i n Russia, was among the f i r s t subjects satirized by early Russian dramatists. Of the Italians coming to 18th century Russia, the Neapolitan composer-conductor, Francesco Araia, was the most important because of the example his vast repertoire gave Rus-sian audiences and writers, and because he opened the doors of Russian theatres to other Italian performers. Araia f i r s t at-tracted the attention of Anna'a court with his opera Amore per  regnare v/hich had i t s premiere in Rome in 1734. At the court's invitation, the maestro arrived in St. Petersburg i n 1735, with a thirty-five member opera company and ballet led by Antonio Renaldo Fossano and his wife, Gulia Cortesi; the stage,;scenery for their productions was designed by a Bolognese architect, Giovanni Buon. For twenty years Araia's compositions domina-ted the Russian entertainment scene and had a considerable im-pact on the development of opera and theatre. During the course of his lengthy stay i n Russia, Araia composed a variety of works: La Forza dell'amor e dell'odio (translated by Tredy.akovsky and performed i n 1736), Semiramide (from the libretto of Pietro Metastasio, 1738), Alessandro i n  India (also from a libretto of Metastasio, 1743), Scipione (1745) J Bellerofonte (1750), L'incoronazione di Eudosia e Teo^ -deosio II (1751), Antigone (1757), Didone Abbandonata (from the libretto of Metastasio, 1758), Ifigenia in lauride (1758) and others. Araia's Cefalo e Proci deserves a place of i t s own among his works. According to Lo Gatto, i t was based on a libretto by A. Sumarokov, was sung completely by Russians and was f i r s t published i n Russia. 44 Under the directorship of Araia, Italian music and opera became firmly secured i n the hearts of Russia's theatre goers, but i t s popularity was strongly contested by the picturesque Italian comedies and interludes that accompanied Araia. Con-cerning the success of Araia's company, M. Slonim remarks: "The Italians brought with them, among other things, the commedia dell'arte with i t s iraprovizations and masks; they impressed the spectators with their ela-borate sets, machines, and various tech-nical tools. They greatly enhanced the stagecraft i n Russia, and their Giovanni Buon, an architect from Bologna, was ac-claimed as the master of his trade." 6 Commedia dell'arte may not have been the main feature of Araia*s company; however, the fact that the great maestro met with such success in Russia attracted other well-known persons, such as A. Sacchi and G. L o c a t e l l i , and a large number of lesser comic artists who discovered a vast new audience i n the Russian public. As Shambinago points out: "Italian spectacles performed on ama-teur stages, the participation of ed-ucational institutions i n the support of the theatre arts, gradually exposed the cultural significance of theatre." 7 While Italian comics performed for the public, Russians were assisting Italian productions for the court theatre. Per-formances of the stature of Araia's musical compositions re-quired a large number of participants which made i t necessary to recruit the services of native Russians. The obvious choice for this task was the Cadet Corps of St. Petersburg. Their as-sociation with Araia was an invaluable experience: while working with the Italian a r t i s t s , the cadets had ample opportunity to k3 study and learn the sophisticated Italian acting and staging tech-niques. The young men who f i r s t participated i n the mass scenes of Araia's operas were destined to jbe the core of Russia's Na-tional Theatre. One of the youthful participants was Alexander Sumarokov, who joined the Corps i n 1732. Sumarokov later became Russia's f i r s t professional dramatist and had his f i r s t play, Khorev, staged by this same Cadet Corps i n 1747. Although the Cadet Corps performed effectively i n i t s supporting role i n the operas and musicals, according to Shambi-nago, i t s debut i n the theatrical l i f e of Russia began with the Italian intermezzo which i t staged with Araia's co-operation. The theatre craft which the Cadets were required to learn i n order to perform intermezzi must certainly have influenced their a r t i s t i c approach to future comic productions. The Corps' to-t a l experience with Araia and his company obviously provided some of i t s members with the materials and the incentive with which to become the f i r s t professional actors, dramatists and theatre technicians i n Russia. A decade after i t s introduction to Araia, the Corps produced i t s f i r s t play written by a native Russian. The unexpected success of the Cadets prompted their dance instructor, J. B. Landet, to organize a corps de ballet i n 1738. Thus an important step was taken toward the creation of an Imperial theatrical school, which followed several years later. The leader of the Corps, Rrince Yusupov, a man of i n -fluence at the court, was able to petition for i t s needs and main-tain a strong a r t i s t i c organization. No doubt stimulated by the 46 commedia dell'arte performances, the prince was responsible for organizing dilettante spectacles, staged mostly in the homes of influe n t i a l people. These amateur performances prompted both the expansion of amateur theatre and i t s development away from foreign imitation toward a more original form. During the decade (1731-1741) of complete domination of commedia dell'arte on the Russian stage, a c t i v i t i e s in the native theatre were accelerated: people were no longer content to s i t in the wings, but now were interested in taking an active part. Native actors became more abundant; they assisted the I t a l -ian professionals with comic productions and worked in amateur theatres which were also rapidly increasing in number. Thus, in the shadow of commedia dell'arte, the early Russian theatre was stimulated to a degree i t had never before experienced. The total effect of the Italians and their comedies on Russian theatre can-not be definitively determined due to a scarcity of information about that period. However, i t was sufficiently strong to se-cure Italian comedy a favoured position at court and the pub-l i c stage for the remainder of the century, during the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna and Catherine II. 47 PART III - COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE AMD THE RUSSIAN NATIONAL THEATRE When Peter I's daughter, Elizabeth Petrovna assumed responsibilities of the imperial throne i n 1741, she was greet-ed by a grandiose Italian spectacle, including an opera by Pietro Metastasio: "...Italians staged i n 174-2, for the f e s t i -v i t i e s of Yelisaveta's coronation in Moscow, the opera La Clemenza di Tito, accompanied by a spectacular prologue with dances, mu-sic , and recitation, a l l under the t i t l e Russia. Af f l i c t e d and Consoled which attract-ed thousands of spectators. The whole show was an a r t i s t i c 'apotheosis of the Empress." 8 The involvement of Italian players i n the coronation f e s t i v i t i e s attests to their importance and popularity at the Russian court and to the likelihood of Italian comedy continuing to attract interest i n other social spheres. However, by this time the Italians no longer occupied the Russian stage unchallenged. A prominent French company, a German company and later a Viennese ballet came to Russia to amuse the court with productions of both western classic theatre and French and German imitations of com-media dell'arte. Under Elizabeth's patronage, the theatre was given the opportunity and encouragement i t needed to develop and expand. In 1750, the Empress signed an Inperial order authorizing per-formances i n private houses. At the palace theatre performan-ces, she expected her entire entourage to be present and also invited prominent members of the merchant class, provided they were suitably dressed! Talented young people i n theatre were encouraged and #8 often supported by the court treasury. Attracted by rumours of Imperial generosity, artists from a l l over Russia and from the West converged on St. Petersburg i n the hope of winning the re-cognition and favour of the court. Elizabeth Petrovna's most noteworthy contribution to the theatre was the formation of Russia's f i r s t national theatre, whose existence she ensured with the support of the court treasury. Elizabeth was interested in improving and enriching the cultural stature of her court, bringing i t up to the level of sophistica-tion and splendour enjoyed by western monarchs. The theatre, therefore, occupied the focal point i n her plans and, as a re-sult, reached a new degree of refinement. Almost immediately arrangements were made to employ Italian and French troupes to animate courtly functions. Having heard that A. Sumarokov's play, Khorev, was be-ing performed by the Cadet Corps, she invited them to her court in 1750 for the f i r s t in a series of presentations and was im-pressed by their s k i l l . In the same year, a group of native act-ors staged a comedy at the house of a merchant i n Yaroslavl. Al-ways alert to recognize Russian talent, Elizabeth, attracted by this group from Yaroslavl, which was headed by the Volkov bro-thers, Fyodor and Grigory, invited them to court. Their perfor-(Tuptalo) manee:. of The Repentance of a Sinner by Dimitry, Metropolitan of Rostov, in 1752, was so well liked that some of the actors from Volkov's group were given the opportunity to further their edu-cation at the Academy for the Nobility (the Petersburg Cadet Corps). As an additional regard, the Yaroslavl actors remained i n the court's employ and formed the basis for the f i r s t native company in the history of Russian theatre. By mid-century, the way was prepared for formal l e g i -slation which would o f f i c i a l l y create the f i r s t national theatre: Sumarokov had written and produced his f i r s t play, the Yaroslavl actors had received recognition at court, and the Cadet Corps, benefitting from i t s association with Araia, had gained popular-i t y . On August 30, 1756 Elizabeth Petrovna issued the follow-ing edict: "For the performances of tragedies and co-medies, we have now ordered the inaugura-tion of a Russian theatre for which the Golovin stone house, on the Vasilyevsky Island, near the Cadets building, shall be assigned. For the said theatre we have issued an order to engage actors and actres-ses: actors from among choir boys and the Yaroslavl residents studying at the Corps of Cadets, such as may be required, and, in addition to these, actors from among other private people, as well as an appropriate num*-":.-ber of actresses...." 9 The Yaroslavl actors formed the core of the theatre*, their leader, Fyodor Grigoryevich Volkov (1729-1763) assumed a prominent role in i t s direction. The son of a Kostroma merchant, Volkov studied unceas-ingly, gaining early i n l i f e , a n exceptionally broad and thorough knowledge of languages and the arts. Theatre historians credit him with the a b i l i t y to perform equally well i n comedies and i n tragedies. According to V. Vsevolodsky-Gerngross, he could sing in Italian and was acquainted with Italian acting methods: "F. Volkov was able to perform i n operatic presentations...he played well on the c l a -vichord and sang Italian operatic arias.... Remember what K. Novikov and A. Malinovsky 30 wrote about the familiarity of F. Volkov with Italian actors." 10 Volkov, indeed, had a working knowledge of Italian: he trans-lated from the Italian Titovo Miloserdiya (libretto by P. Meta-stasio, music by Araia) and presented i t on opening night at the Yaroslavl theatre. 1 1 Evidently, Volkov's f i r s t acquaintance with foreign theatre was with the performances of Italians. In Petersburg on a business t r i p , he apparently spent his leisure hours attending the theatre and the Italian opera; he was greatly impressed by what he saw. Making his way back stage, he sketched the sets and 12 stage plans. These details he certainly transferred to his theatre i n Yaroslavl. Obviously, while leading comic presentat-ions at his theatre, Volkov would have recalled his experiences with commedia dell'arte. Nor did he f a i l to include the comic masks i n the famous masquerade which he organized and directed for the benefit of Catherine 1II's coronation. Murals depicting the occasion show performing jugglers and masked comedians who are identifiable as the stock characters of commedia dell'arte. During the i l l u s t r i o u s reign of Empress Elizabeth, nu-merous Italian companies appeared on the Russian court and public stages, performing their opere buffe. intermezzi and scenati. The great 18th century Italian actor, Antonio Sacchi, for whom the renowned playwrights Carlo Goldoni and Carlo Gozzi wrote, was among the celebrities who delighted Russian theatre-goers. In 1742, suddenly leaving the San Samuele theatre i n Venice, Sacchi and half of his theatrical troupe went to Russia and stayed there 5:i 1 3 u n t i l 1745. Sacchi's company performed for the court and before .the^populace of Petersburg and Moscow, creating a tremendous s t i r i n appreciation of i t s comic creations. Famous for his portrayal of Truffaldino (a variation of the Zanni, Arlecchino), Sacchi with his company contributed a great deal to the popularization of commedia dell'arte with the general public and in theatrical c i r c l e s . Part of his repertory was com-posed of works by Goldoni, who, a decade later, became famous through-out Russia for his l i b r e t t i and his comic plays. In his study of Goldoni's works in Russia, N. Mahgini comments: "Come e accaduto anche i n a l t r i paesi, Carlo Goldoni in Russia e stato conosciuto prima * di tutto come l i b r e t t i s t a di drammi giocosi per musica. Nel repertorio delle opere buffe eseguite a Pietroburgo e a Mosca da a r t i s t i i t a l i a n i , tra i l 1755 e i l 1760, troviamo, i n f a t t i , numerose l i b r e t t i goldoniani, come II Mondo della Luna, II Filosofo di campagna, L'Arcadia in Brenta. I Bagni d'Abano e a l t r i . Ma come commediografo W% molto probabile che i l nome del Goldoni sia stato fatto conoscere prima di tutto dal famoso 'truffaldino' An-tonio Sacchi, che nei suoi diversi g i r i per le c i t t a di tutta Europa non dovette certo mancare di rappresentare quegli scenati che l'autore veneziano aveva composto espressamente per l u i , da Le trentadue disgrazie di Arlecchino a II Servitore d i due padroni." 14 While Sacchi was s t i l l playing i n Russia, Rehaldo Fos-sano, formerly Araia*s ballet master, returned to Petersburg, after six years absence, with some of the best artists of Italian ballet, including Tordo, Signora Columba and Fabiani and his wife. Fos-sano's troupe rivaled the serious ballet, staged in the French manner by Lande, with comic ballet performances i n which he was supported by native Russian dancers. When Fossano retired, he was replaced by Giovan Battista 52 L o c a t e l l i , one of the greatest impressarios of his day, who ar-rived i n St. Petersburg in 1757. E. Lo Gatto remarks: "Venne i l periodo di successo del Locatelli e dei suoi collaboratori, specialmente di Giovanni Sacco, delle sue due sorelle Libera e Andreina, di sua moglie Conti e del signor Belluzzi." 15 His repertoire included both serious and comic opera and ballet. Performances of L o c a t e l l i 1 s comic operas reached a wide cross-section of the Petersburg-Moscow citizenry: "From 1757 i n Petersburg, and from 1759 i n Moscow, Locatelli's troupe began performing Italian comic operas; being in the position of the court troupe, i t also gave public spec-tacles. The comic opera rivaled the serious opera of the court and was i t s dangerous com-petitor. It experienced tremendous success with a large portion of the public." 16 Obviously, these Italian comic operas caught the interest of Rus-sian dramatists due to this genre's simplicity and popularity. Locatelli's unquestionable success resulted i n the appearance on the Russian scene of a multitude of less s k i l l e d Italian actors. Thus, Russia was virtually invaded by comic performers. Italian companies were not alone in the performing of commedia dell'arte. German companies i n Russia during Elizabeth's reign also staged comedies based on interpretations of the I t a l -ian improvised comedy: "The repertory of the German troupes continued along the lines familiar to us already during the Petrine epoch, but with a strong readjust-ment toward the Italian comedy. Arlecchino and i l l u s t r i o u s transformations captured the centre of attention of the unpretentious audience." 17 Moliere's comedies as performed by French troupes, beginning i n 1743, were l i v i n g examples of commedia dell'arte transformed into 53 conventional written comedy. Native Russian actors gradually took a more active role i n theatre. They produced translations and adaptations of Ita-l i a n , French and German works together with the f i r s t creative efforts of their own dramatists. Hoping to encourage such talent, Elizabeth suggested that budding artists compose interludes using as their theme the controversial landlords-peasant conflict. Suma-rokov as author-actor, F. Volkov as actor-producer and I. A. Dmi-trevsky as Russia's f i r s t outstanding actor figured prominently in these early and important theatrical accomplishments. The encouragement and assistance of the Empress, the ingenuity of artists of Volkov's stature, and the general enthu-siasm for theatre was responsible for putting Kussian theatre on a firm footing. Native talent was plentiful enough in the cultur-a l centres to f a c i l i t a t e the establishing of a national theatre manned completely by Russians. During the course of these for-mative years, Italian artists had held a favoured position at court and on the public stage. Their }comedies, opera and music had won the admiration of a l l . Italian comedians had been prin-cipal performers i n Russia for 20 years prior to the establish-ment of the Russian National Theatre and they continued in that capacity for another 50 years. As their presence coincided with important achievements i n Russian theatre i t s e l f , a f e r t i l e col-laboration between Russian amateur and Italian professional ar-t i s t s seems- entirely credible: in other words, Italian comic per-formances did influence the mode of acting, the staging, the pro-ducing and writing of Russian comedies. The effects of this col-54 laboration come into clearer focus during the next period, Rus-sia's Enlightenment, under the patronage of Catherine II,' when Russian dramatists began creating original comedies. PART IV - COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE AND THE RUSSIAN COMEDY The theatre flourished during the reign of Empress Ca-therine II (1762-1796). Having been energized during the pre-ceeding 30 years, theatre expanded i t s sphere of influence to i n -clude a l l levels of society. In the Imperial theatre, the tempo of activity increased while the grandeur of the spectacles knew no bounds. Provincial theatres were being established i n var-ious centres throughout Russia. The serf theatre became the rage: wealthy noblemen, i n an attempt to imitate the splendid-.... court theatre, imposed new cultural duties upon their serfs, forcing them to be both artists on stage and toilers i n the f i e l d . The great increase in theatres and the consequent growth i n the number of trained actors created a demand for plays of Russian origin. Accepting the challenge, talented Russians energetic-a l l y began writing and producing what were at f i r s t merely trans-lations and adaptations of foreign works. Later, however, they gradually broke free of their imitative enslavement and created works of genuine originality. Many Russian writers of comedy turned to commedia del-1'arte for plots, character types and comic effects. The basic 55 comic elements in commedia dell'arte scenarios are neatly pack-aged. Dramatists saw a subject matter, a plan of action and a roster, of character., types i n the Comedy of Masks that readily suited their creative needs. Into the basic plot sketch i t was natural to interweave elements of their own folk culture and sa-t i r e on contemporary conditions. As an indication of their suc-cess, by the end of the 18th century a prominent owner of serf theatres, Count Sheremetyev, had i n his library 250 Russian plays, printed or i n manuscript. Despite the expansive developments i n Russian theatre, artists from Western Europe continued to be the main attraction with the nobility and the general public partly because foreign spectacles were more fashionable; they were more attractive sim-ply because they were foreign and because the calibre of perfor-mance, i n most instances, was s t i l l superior to the native efforts. Besides the regular commedia dell'arte repertory, Ita-l i a n players were now.performing Carlo Goldoni's comedies, while Russians were attempting to stage them in translation. A l -though i t i s very probable that Antonio Sacchi produced Goldoni's comedies as early as 1742, the f i r s t definite indication that his comedies were being performed i n Russia i s a translation of Bourru  bienfaisant by Mikhail Chrapoyitsky which was published in Pe-terburg i n 1772. Other Goldoni comedies translated and l i k e l y performed both by Italians and Russians were: I Puntigli dome- stic!/ (1773) , II Bugiardo (1774), II vero amico (1795) and II Servitore di due padroni, an adaptation in verse by M. P. Gal-perin (1796). 56 A contemporary of Carlo Goldoni, the poet and drama-t i s t , Pietro Metastasio, lived and wrote at both Elizabeth's and Catherine's court. The librettos for comic operas which he wrote while i n Russia received an enthusiastic welcome at the Imperial theatre. • - The presence at court of such a celebrated l i t e r a r y personality favourably affected the position of Italian comic entertainment i n Russia. The Italian opera buffa gained p a r t i -cular popularity and consequently a wide influence. Introduced into Russia by the Italian troupes that animated the court of Anna Ioannovna, this gay light-hearted genre reached the zenith of i t s popularity during the 1?70's. Comic opera represented an a r t i s t i c improvement over the intermezzo; the dramatic structure of. the comic opera i s more completely developed and supported by a musical score. The plot became more distinct and the role of the actor more i n t r i -cate. The dramatis personae were required, besides acting, to sing simple songs and to perform simple dances. Promise of immediate success enticed young writers to test their s k i l l s with the popular comic opera. As a result, many f i r s t attempts were made i n this genre and served to pro-Vide the dramatists with the materials and experience with which they could eventually reach a more original r e a l i s t i c comedy. During the la t t e r part of the century, the develop-ment of comic opera proceeded via two distinct routes. The emi-nent dramatists of the gentry wrote i n an accusatory-realistic manner. To this category belong the comic operas of such writers 5? as Popov, Kniazhnin and Krylov. The other direction was pur-sued by the conservative writers of the nobility (including Catherine II) who either idealized the harsh r e a l i t i e s of Rus-sian serfdom or deprived the comic opera of any significant 19 subject matter. Although Russian comic opera was quite varied in con-tent, i t s attention was directed mainly toward the depiction of peasant l i f e . The comic opera, which derived i t s form from im-provised comedy, followed i t s example by adapting the tradition-al commedia dell'arte master-servant relationship to a local i n -terchange, between landlord and peasant. Russian artists wrote and produced a great number of comedies and comic operas between 1760 and the end of the cen-tury. The public, especially outside the court theatre, applaud-ed them enthusiastically. Not only were the comedies written i n the native tongue, but also the content was Russian, enabling the spectator to grasp quickly the subtleties and nuances. This creative period of theatre was actually i n i t i -ated a decade earlier by Alexander Petrovich Sumarokov (1717-1777). However, he experienced d i f f i c u l t y i n producing his plays because of the lack of competent Russian actors and therefore ceased his work after 1751. With the debut of a company of Rus-sian actors in 1756, this problem was eliminated and, in 1758, Sumarokov resumed his dramatic writing. A successful writer of comedies, Sumarokov produced two such works i n 1750: Tresotinius and The Monster. However, few of his comedies exhibited originality; they were either 5 8 adaptations or imitations of Moliere's works - The Dowry by Fraud, The CuckbiL'oL Through Imagination, A Petty Quarrel, The Querulous  Woman and others. Sumarokov, however, was also well acquainted with the Italian Comedy of Masks in i t s original 16th century form: he attended performances of the f i r s t Italian troupes in Russia: "...as a student of the Cadet Corps, he was able to acquaint himself with the l i v e l y , diversified dialogue of the repertory of 2 Q  commedia dell'arte that was being performed'.1 Sumarokov's familiarity with commedia dell'arte and his predilec-tion for Moliere together determined the style and quality of his comic works. A. Sumarokov deserves recognition for being the f i r s t professional playwright i n Russia to create dramas that tended toward originality and also for being the motivating force be-hind dilettante actors, stage directors and writers who, as a result of his i n i t i a l successes and encouragement, thrust them-selves whole-heartedly into a r t i s t i c careers i n the theatre. Other writers that followed i n Sumarokov's wake were better, more original craftsmen. The distinctive feature of the work of V. I . Lukin (1737-1794) i s that i t represents a trans-ition: from imitation of foreign models to the creation of new comedy. Realizing that i t was not r e a l i s t i c for characters with foreign names to be speaking and behaving as Russians, Lukin made a concerted effort to eliminate foreignisms from his comedies. He was also among the f i r s t to incorporate into, his work the language characteristic of the middle class and the peasantry, but like those of Sumarokov, his comedies s t i l l suffered from didacticisms. Lukin's campaign, against foreign imitation was more vigorously and fervently espoused by the actor-playwright, Peter Aleksyevich Plavilshchikov (1760-1812) : "We have f i l l e d our theatre with either imi-tations or translations which not only do not elevate i t , but keep i t enslaved and make i t crawl before the originals of these trans-lations...." 21 The comedy most representative of his work i s The Store Clerk, in which the action develops around a s a t i r i c a l expose of the mer-chant class. The plot i s described as follows: "The merchant's virtuous clerk, overcoming many obstacles, marries the boss's daughter who, for a while, has been threatened with a marriage to a repulsive rich man." 22 The above described situation possesses remarkable resemblance to a multitude of commedia dell'arte scenarios which were per-formed i n Russia i n the original and also i n translation. Plavilshchikov's comedy i s considered the prototype for The Fashion Shop, written by his contemporary, Krylov, and for Poverty Is Ko Disgrace, by the well-known 19th century drama-t i s t , Ostrovsky. The plot structure and development i n these plays display considerable similarity with commedia dell'arte where servants, their masters, heroes and heroines become invol-ved i n intricate and hopeless love affairs that unexpectedly and happily sort themselves out i n the end. Plavilshchikov strove to represent l i f e as r e a l i s t i c a l l y as possible and, i n so doing, placed himself i n the vanguard of the movement toward Russian dramatic realism. A position of respect among the outstanding play-60 wrights of the 1 8 t h century belongs to Denis Ivanovich Fonvizin ( 1 7 4 4 - 1 7 9 2 ) . In two of his best works, The Brigadier' (Brrga-dir) and The Minor (Nedorosl 1), Fonvizin used to good effect a device from the Comedy of Masks: contrasting the action and t r a i t s of paired characters. Hence, the Masks, Pantalone and Dottore, are equivalent to Fonvizin's Brigadiere and Sovyetnik. The i n -teractions of these characters and their wives remind the read-er of scenes from scenarios of the improvised comedies. In The Minor, this device i s less evident, however, the servants reflect characteristics of the zanni - they appear more clever than their patrons. Furthermore, the character of Starodum i s reminiscent of the pompous Dottore of commedia dell'arte. These and other notable 1 8 t h century Russian drama-t i s t s , keen observers of l i f e , discovered themselves i n the midst of an i n f i n i t e abundance of material which they sought to recre-ate in their dramatic compositions. Coupled with careful obser-vations and study of foreign models at hand, these Russian wri-ters were able to better organize their own experiences into force-f u l and meaningful comic presentations. Their s a t i r i c a l treat-ment of social injustices and of the lack of respect for tradi-tional human ethics had a purpose i n common with commedia del-l'arte which employed a simple, but effective method for propa-gating social criticism. Relying, therefore, on a combination of basic elements originally developed by Italian comedians and the substance of their own culture, Russian playwrights captured t'He^tteh'ti&nof world theatre. Commedia dell'arte continued to penetrate Russian drama-61 t u r g y w i t h i n c r e a s i n g impact. In c e r t a i n d r a m a t i s t s i t l e f t a v e r y c l e a r i m p r e s s i o n . I;.mentioned the name P l a v i l s h c h i k o v i n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n , but the i n f l u e n c e o f commedia d e l l ' a r t e was r e f l e c t e d i n the works o f o t h e r d r a m a t i s t s o f t h i s p e r i o d , i n p a r t i c u l a r , i n the comedies o f Ya. B. Knyazhnin and I . A. K r y l o v . T h e r e f o r e my o b j e c t i v e s f o r the f o l l o w i n g two c h a p t e r s s h a l l be to i n v e s t i g a t e t h i s phenomenon i n s e l e c t e d comic works o f these two p l a y w r i g h t s . Both a u t h o r s opened t h e i r dramatic c a r e e r s by w r i t -i n g comic operas: K r y l o v w i t h The C o f f e e - m i l l ( K o f e y n i t s a , 1788) and Knyazhnin w i t h The U n f o r t u n a t e Coach ( N e s c h a s t i e o t K a r e t y , 1779). However, both a l s o succeeded i n w r i t i n g s a t i r i c a l co-medies t h a t s u r v i v e d the t e s t of t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n and r e -p r e s e n t e d a r e a l advance f o r 18th c e n t u r y R u s s i a n comedy. CHAPTERW COMEDIES OF Ya. B. KNYAZHNIN Ya. B. Knyazhnin made his literary debut in 1769 with a publication of a translation from Italian called Zapiski i s t o r i o -grafieheskie o Moreye, o tsarstve Negropontskom i prochikh b l i z l e -zhashchikh mestakh. For a decade (the 1770's) he was the only trans-lator of Italian literature of any significance, and managed to make a l i v i n g at i t . ^ This venture coupled with his observations of Italian stage productions l e f t i t s mark on Knyazhnin's comedies. Underscoring this contention, B. V. Neyman remarks i n his discus-sion of Knyazhnin's comic works that the comedy i n his plays i s based not on the text, but exclusively on the acting of the drama-2 t i s personae. Dependence on gesture and motion for comic effect, a device used by the Comic Masks as early as the 1 6 t h century, i s particularly evident i n Chudaki (The Eccentrics), to a lesser ex-tent in Khvastun (The Braggart) and Neschastye ot karety (Misfor-tune from a Coach). By the end of the 70's, Knyazhnin had turned from trans-lating to creative writing and prepared his f i r s t original comic opera, Neschastye ot karety ( 1 7 7 9 ) - Considered one of his best dramatic works, i t exerted considerable influence on early Russian comedy. It endorses the peasant-theme tradition adopted from I t a l -ian and French writers and introduced to Russian comic opera by M. I. Popov's Anyuta ( 1 7 7 2 ) . With Misfortune from a Coach, Knya-zhnin improved considerably on Popov's f i r s t attempt to typify peasant l i f e , customs and language. Whereas Popov's Anyuta was written mainly for the sake of comedy, Knyazhnin's comic opera 6(5 expresses a sincere sympathy for the serfs. Although f i r s t to point out the hopeless plight of the serfs, Misfortune from a Coach i s above a l l a gay, witty comedy in which the author does not at-tempt a penetrating analysis of the protagonists, but instead draws a grotesquely comical portrait of an ignorant, capricious landowner who i s ruining the li v e s of his serfs by selling them i n -to the army in order that he may buy the latest French coach. In contrast to the landowner and his b a i l i f f , the serfs are sympathe-t i c a l l y represented as warm-hearted, intelligent people upon whom the parasitic landowner i s totally dependent. The sequence of events i n Misfortune from a Coach keeps pace with the usual order of developments i n commedia dell'arte. The theme traces a conflict involving a blacjguqrd b a i l i f f , Klementi, and a benevolent young peasant, Luk'yan, antagonists in love with Anyuta, a pretty serf on the F i r i u l i n estate. On the day of Luk'-yan'andnAnyuta's marriage, F i r i u l i n orders KLementii to round up and s e l l some serfs as he wishes to purchase a new carriage. Seiz-ing the unexpected opportunity to r i d himself of his r i v a l , the b a i l i f f choses Luk'yan as one of the serfs to be sold. Unmoved by the protestations and pleadings of the lovers and Anyuta's father, Trofim, he deepens their despair by having Luk'yan put in chains. At this crucial moment, the master's jester, Afanasii, a clever buffoon who i s sympatheticv.toward the oppressed peasants, arrives at the village. Masquerading as a fool, the jester (who closely resembles Arlecchino), laughs at the malicious b a i l i f f and the Gallomanic master. Accepting an offer of money from Luk'yan on a promise to help them, Afanasii assures the lovers he w i l l find 64 a happy eolution to their seemingly hopeless situation. Learning that Luk'yan and Anyuta know a l i t t l e French, the jester advises them to say something in French in the presence of their master. Afanasii's judgement i s proven correct. Amazed that, on his estate, peasants speak French and touched also by the fact that they are also capable of loving each other devoutly, F i -i u l i n , having returned to the village from a hunt, takes but a mo-ment to quash Klementii's dark plot and free the young serfs to marry. To the reader and probably more so to the viewer of the play who i s familiar with commedia dell'arte, the role of jester in Misfortune from a Coach immediately recalls the energetic, comic antics of the famous Arlecchino., The jester, Arlecchino-like, champions the lovers' cause (for a price!), mocking a l l the while the stupidity of the master and his evil-disposed b a i l i f f . The b a i l i f f , Klementii, reflects an obvious kinship with sly Brighella. Like the masterful schemer Brighella, he acts quickly, seizing the opportune moment v/hich would provide him an advantage over his opponent. Having decided on an objective, he pursues i t relentlessly and ruthlessly. However, he also knows his limits and, fearing for his own safety, cowardly;- retreats i n the face of danger. With equal ease one recognizes features shared by the lovers in this play and by the inamorati of the commedia del-11arte. As i s invariably the case with the inamorati, Luk'yan and Anyuta abandon themselves to the mercy of fatej their ration-a l i t y , which could bgs deployed on their behalf, a l l but consumed by their passion. Begging for mercy, the lovers* single resort, proves ineffective against the stubborn resolve of their callous master. Fortunately, the resourceful buffoon sets everything right everyone i s satisfied with the end result including the victim (in commedia dell'arte, Dottore and Pantalone) of the ruse; F i r i u l i n f e l i c i t o u s l y appoints Luk'yan as his French-speaking footman. A comparison of F i r i u l i n with the Mask, Pantalone, be-trays sufficient consistency of character make-up to give good i n -dication of the source of inspiration for the former. Prompted by materialistic aims, they interfere with lovers dependent upon their charity, thus provoking the intrigue of the comedy. How-ever, the old men have exploitable weaknesses; : Pantalone, his love of money, F i r i u l i n , his predilection for things French. Pre-dictably, therefore, the persecuted inamorati, coached by a Comic who determines their offensive, at the very end, surmount the ob-stacles preventing their happiness. The result calls for a cele-bration which, as v/e have seen, closes the play in a traditional commedia dell'arte way,. The creation of Knyazhnin's best comic works, Khvastun and Chudaki, was inspired by N. E. Noviko^s satire, D. E. Fon-vi z i n 's humour and by certain aspects of the comic works of Carlo Goldoni. Fonvizin and Novikov directed Knyazhnin's attention to the abundance of indigenous material while Goldoni offered ex-amples of a superb comic mould by which the author's insight could be effectively translated. Reminding us that Knyazhnin translated three Goldoni comedies during his career, as opposed to a single French one, L. Kulakova explains: 66 "His direct work on the b r i l l i a n t dramaturgy of Goldoni was an excellent school....Namely, from Goldoni he was able to acquire that l i v e -liness of. action which distinguishes the come-dies of Knyazhnin from many of the comic wri-ters of the 18th century. Goldoni...was able to inspire the complication and diversity of characters inherent in Khvastun and especially i n Chudaki." 3 No doubt our author's inclination towa#& Italian comedy was engen-dered not only by his translations, but also by performances in Rus-sia of Italian actors playing the improvised comedy and the writ-ten comedy of their great compatriots, C. Goldoni, C. Gozzi and P. Metastasio. At a superficial glance there would appear to be con-siderable disparity between the dramatis personae in Knyazhnin's Khvastun and the traditional comics of commedia dell'arte. How-ever, a more deliberate investigation immediately uncovers a re-markable congruity between the Russian and Italian comic person-a l i t i e s regarding their roles and their interactions i n the cen-t r a l intrigue. For the main theme of Khvastun, Knyazhnin chose an episode from 18th cen.tury Russian 'high society*. Contrary to the usual r e a l - l i f e outcome (the 'VerKholets1, more often than not, suc-ceeded handily with their fraud), the author steers his comedy to the ideal commedia dell'arte ending: the v i l l a i n s are chastised, the heroes are rewarded and the play concludes with a happy mar-riage . Posing as a rich count who enjoys the favour of the court, Verkholet, who i n reality i s an impoverished, rankless aristocrat, c r a f t i l y resolves that marriage to Milena whose ere-dulous mother, Chvankina, harbours a large and prosperous estate, w i l l secure him the social rank and financial independence he co-vets. Under normal circumstances, his knavery would have been ex-pedited without interference since Chvankina, li k e the parents of the inamorati, prefers an advantageous social-financial arrange-ment for her marriageable daughter. Milena, however, i n love with Zamir, a passionate young nobleman who i s likewise inclined, con-siders marriage to Verkholet equivalent to a death sentence - she contemplates a suicidal escape - and stubbornly opposes her mo-ther's wishes. In order to undermine the obstinacy of his victim, the guileful braggart induces his servant, Polist, to assist him. Po-l i s t in turn wins the confidence of Milena's servant, Marina, and together they launch an •Arlecchino-Colombina' intrigue intended to sever the Milena-Zamir l i a i s o n . Themselves spurred on by the anticipated rev/ard of their own marriage at the successful con-clusion of their contrivance, the Russian zanni resort to a var-iety of trickery. Disguised as her master, Milena, Marina de-ceives Zamir, making him believe that his love has forsaken him for Verkholet. Enraged, our hero sets off i n search of his r i v a l . Meanwhile, continuing to play her zanni role expertly, Marina^who i s aware of Chvankina's vulnerability, cleverly tempts her with Verkholet's t i t l e , riches and.importance, goading her to force Milena to marry the self-appointed Count. During their discourse, each reveals her peculiarities: Chvankina, as the inamorata par-ent often does, imagines herself s t i l l attractive to the opposite sex (Pantalone often pursues the young g i r l who marries his son). S8 She panics at the prospect of losing an opportunity to gain money and social prestige. Social and economic factors influence her selection of a husband for her daughter, and because of her im-maturity, she i s easily victimized by her servant. Marina, blessed with a keen wit, makes fun of her mistress, humours and controls her at w i l l by playing on her weaknesses. Championed by his servant cohorts, Verkholet i s confi-dent of the success of his scheme. However, Zamir's father, Che-ston, appears on the scene and during an ensuing conversation in which Verkholet, Prostodum, Polist and Chvankina take part, the authenticity of Verkholet's self-proclaimed importance becomes suspect. Cheston, responsible^for unmasking the braggart-impos-ter, f i l l s the slot of father of the inamorato, exemplifying a wise respectable old man who holds his son's best interests at heart. Discarding the commedia dell'arte garb and manner, Cheston, a re-modelled Pantalone, establishes a polarity with the Dottore-like Prostodum. Like his masked counterpart, Dottore, who considers him-self well educated, informed and competent in debate, but i n ac-tuality i s a pedantic hypocrite, so Prostodum considers himself qualified for a position in the senate when, in fact, he i s just a gullible simpleton. Prostodumls nephew, Verkholet, reflects characteristics akin to the commedia dell'arte bravado, Capitano. A braggart, cheat and imposter, Verkholet responds to Zamir's challenge as does the Spaniard when similarly confronted: "Zamir: We must bid each other farewell with swords in our hands! ... In any case one of us must die!" k 69. Frightened by the threat, Polist tries to sneak away but i s caught by Verkholet whose intention i t i s to pit him against Zamir: "Verkholet: I am a count, s i r , I am a count; i t i s beneath me to Sight with you; ^ you may. confront Polist with your sword." Claiming that rank has no significance i n the face of an insult, Zamir insi s t s on satisfaction from Verkholet. Attempting a second evasion, Verkholet, Capitano-style, boasts: "Verkholet: Fine. Have you heard about me, About the miracles I have per-formed in the past? Had you heard, you wouldn't be so brave." 6 With Polist's superlatives as encouragement,(He displays a ready wit and sarcasm thoughout the play), Verkholet relates his heroic deeds (the slaughtering of hundreds of enemies, the taking of c i t i e s and fortresses, etc.), adding that he does not want Zamir to die at his hand. Losing patience, Zamir draws his sword, but before he can carry out his vengence, Chwankina and Milena, attracted by the commotion, enter in time to save the cowardly Verkholet. A victim of his own bragging, vanity and indiscretion, Verkholet himself brings on the disintegration of his plan. Ma-rina's impersonation of Mileha i s also discovered by Zamir and the lovers' quarrel i s quickly reconciled. When Verkholet's machination i s fi n a l l y bared to a l l , Chvankina, like the parents of the inamorati, does a complete about-face and enthusiastically accepts Zamir as her son-in-law. Apparently; , the social e l i t e of the capital learning i n a flash of Verkholet's misdeed, banish him from the fold forever. A l l that remains undone i s the cus-tomary marriage ceremony. 70 Knyazhnin's f i n a l comedy in verse, Chudaki (The Eccen- t r i c s ) , i s a penetrating satire on the highborn of 18th century Eussia. The author's comical presentation represents an i r r e -vocable condemnation of the senseless eccentricity of the suppo-sedr-responsibile members of Eussia's e l i t e . Only the two servants, Prolaz (Dodger) and Marina, and to a lesser extent the helpless lovers, Priyat (Friend) and Ulin'ka are accepted by the audience simply because their faults are human. Chudaki (1790) of a l l Knyazhnin's comedies, most closely resembles the commedia dell'arte in i t s character types and thema-t i c layout. Clearly evident i s the servant-lover-master associa-tion in which the quick-witted servants maintain steadfast control over the developing course of events, thereby determining a desi-rable fate for their lover-masters. A co-ordinated servant i n -trigue unites the 'inamorati', Priyat and Ulin'ka, whose only hope i s their servants' guile. Knyazhnin does not forget the traditional v i l l a i n , Vetromakh (Windbeater), who schemes to marry the Russian inamorata for her money. He i s assisted by a repulsive Brighella-like servant, Vysonos (Highnose), who plays third party to the ser-vant triangle which parodies the main love theme. Aside from the tenacious Vetromakh, the major obstacle confronting the servants i s the g i r l ' s parents. Both Lentyagin (Laggard), a self-proclaimed philosopher (a hypocrite cast i n the image of Dottore), and his wife, Lentyagina, a social climber, select a .husband for Ulin'ka on the basis of their selfish ambitions. However, the servants (Prolaz in particular).intervene, involving themselves i n a series of co-mical scenes that attest to the author's f a c i l i t y in the use of ac-tion to create laughter, a s k i l l well developed by the Masks in improvised scenarios. The outstanding action scenes of the comedy involve the two servants, Prolaz and Vysonos. Rivals for Marina's attention, the 'zanni' cannot muster the courage to assert their claims. Each' readily threatens the other with violence: Vysonos assures Prolaz that he would throw him out the window, while Prolaz counters with a v i v i d description of how he would catch Vysonos by his locks, mess his curls and punch him in the nose. However, the ridiculously extreme caution with which they approach each other betrays their cowardice and the unlikelihood of their intentions being carried out. -At their next encounter (a scene that i s reminiscent of a commedia dell'arte lazzo or a Russian folk interlude), they come within striking range of each other. Emboldened by the presence of Vetromakh whom they believe w i l l not permit bloodletting, they ex-change slaps. However, Prolaz, underestimating his opponents, provokes an attack on himself. Instructing Vysonos to hold him, Vetromakh beats Prolaz with a rope, evoking a loud clamour from the luckless servant. In veritable zanni fashion, the servants meet for an ac-t i o n - f i l l e d third and decisive confrontation. The comic interlude of scene 1£, act IV (8 pages), i s obviously intended as an anima-ted highlight of the comedy. It i s distinguished by a liveliness of action and a slant of humour which vividly recalls the comic Masks' interludes. The comic business stems from the ridiculous behavior of the antagonists in their attempts to out-bluff each other. For the duration of the scene, the dialogue, which includes 72 numerous effective asides, assumes a complementary role, enhanc-ing the comic effect produced by the pantomime of the buffoons. The servants' asides, i n contrast to their verbal facades which are intended to conceal cowardice, outline the fear of conflict ex-pressed by the actions of the adversaries. Assuming proud and brave postures, Prolaz and Vysonos, their knees quaking, utter the following: "Vysonos (to himself): May the Devil take him! He looks as i f he'd eat, me alive. Prolaz:(to himself): His pale countenance fore-bodes i l l for me: he looks li k e he'd eat me up as i f I was a l i t t l e turnip." 7 Th'e entire scene affords ample opportunity for improvised action. The author's instructions, i n parentheses, may well be a fragment of a commedia dell'arte scenario. The antagonists, with-out unsheathing their daggers and with great distance separating them, have feigned a battle. Satisfied with their display of bra-very, they lay aside their weapons: "Vysonos (laying aside his dagger). Prolaz (laying aside his dagger),(Takes one step forward). Vysonos (also takes one step forward) (They approach each other!) Vysonos (stopping) Prolaz (Suddenly runs up to Vysonos, unbuttons his shirt and a multitude of papers f a l l out),(He gives Vysonos a slap i n the face. Vysonos (gives Prolaz a slap i n the face) Prolaz (runs for his dagger) g Vysonos (also runs for his dagger)" Appearing serious about concluding their duel, they again prepare to determine a victor: "Prolaz: Good-for-nothing! Be prepared to de-fend yourself." (Thrusting from a dis-tance, retreats) Vysonos: Bid your last farewell! ( A l s o t h r u s t i n g from a d i s t a n c e , r e t r e a t s ) P r o l a z : (aside,): No one's coming, to s e p a r a t e us. Vysonos ( a s i d e ) : How m e r c i l e s s people have be-come! We're s p i l l i n g b l o o d , but no one pays us any heed! I ' l l make a r a c k e t , maybe t h a t ' l l h e l p . Both t o g e t h e r : ( T h r u s t i n g a t each o t h e r from a d i s t a n c e ) H i ! H i ! Hi!* 1 9 D e s p i t e t h e i r e f f o r t s to a t t r a c t a t t e n t i o n , no one comes to i n t e r -r u p t t h e i r sham. T h e r e f o r e , h a v i n g concluded, t h a t they have " s p i l -l e d enough b l o o d " , the R u s s i a n z a n n i r e a d i l y agree t o cease h o s t i l i -t i e s and i n s t e a d , t o drown them i n wine. While s t i l l under the i n f l u e n c e of the r e c e n t b a c c h a n a l , Vysonos unknowingly a s s i s t s P r o l a z to overcome the o n l y remain-i n g o b s t a c l e s e p a r a t i n g the ' i n a m o r a t i ' . E n c o u n t e r i n g L e n t y a g i n a , the drunken Vysonos unmasks h i s master, Vetromakh,before her , r e -v e a l i n g h i s t r u l y c o r r u p t c h a r a c t e r and h i s e v i l p l o t . P r o l a z ' s t a s k ( c o n v i n c i n g L e n t y a g i n a t o a c c e p t P r i y a t ) i s , t h e r e f o r e , con-s i d e r a b l y s i m p l i f i e d . The o t h e r s u i t o r s , the z a n n i p a i r , Trompetin, S v i r e l k i n , the r e t i r e d Judge and Major, assembled by the matchmaker, Trusim, who a l s o e x h i b i t s z a n n i t r a i t s , a r e a l l spurned by the i n a m o r a t a and her p a r e n t s who have f a l l e n f o r the s e r v a n t i n t r i g u e and now welcome P r i y a t i n t o t h e i r f o l d . The i n t r i g u e h a v i n g reached i t s s u c c e s s f u l c o n c l u s i o n , everyone l o o k s forward t o a commedia d e l -l i a r te double marriage o f :the. r e w a rdedcservants and o f the i n a m o r a i t i Chudaki can be c o n s i d e r e d the b e s t example o f Knyazhnin's a r t i s t i c i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f the p r i n c i p l e s o f the Comedy of Masks. "•' As i n d i c a t e d e a r l i e r , a nother such author was I . A. K r y l o v , t o whom I s h a l l now d i r e c t my a t t e n t i o n . -CHAPTER V: COMEDIES OF I. A. KRYLOV When f i r s t encountering I. A. Krylov, most students of Russian literature unfortunately consider only Krylov the Fabulist, not recognizing that he was also a dramatist of considerable sta-ture. Yet during a fifty-year liter a r y career which also included journalism, he produced six comedies, five comic operas, four tra-gi-comedies, two tragedies and one fairytale opera. One of the harshest social c r i t i c s of the 18th century, throughout his plays Krylov mercilessly censures those corrupt members of the nobility whose senseless pursuit of wealth and social status caused much human suffering. Employing comedy s k i l l f u l l y and effectively, he capitalized on the s a t i r i c a l benefits gained,, from laughter aroused at the expense of these human improprieties. Krylov launched his literary career with a comic opera, Kofeynitsa (The Fortune-gteller). which he presented to a Petersburg theatre i n 1785. Unaccustomed to doing business with sixteen-year olds, the theatre directors turned Krylov down. However, undaunt-ed by this i n i t i a l failure, the youthful writer dedicated himself to his chosen career with renewed ambition and energy. Over a num-ber of years he created dramatic works which equalled the best Rus-sian comedies of the 18th century. His last and best known comic works, Modnaya lavka (The Fashion Shop. 1806) and Urok dochkam (A Lesson for His Daughters, 1807) were very enthusiastically welcomed by the public, and the theatre c r i t i c s alike. Although relentlessly ridiculing the despicable Gallomania of the Russian nobility, both plays miraculously passed the censor and remained i n theatre repertories for roughly forty years. One of Krylov's most controversial plays, a satire ob-75 viously directed at the classical tragedy and at the decadent court of Paul I, v/as Podshchipa (Trumf) j written i n 1797 expressly for Prince C. F. Golitsin and f i r s t performed by his amateur serf the-atre company. Staging of this tragi-comedy was tolerated only in private or amateur theatres and permission to publish i t was not granted u n t i l 1869, forty-five years after Krylov's death. How did this controversial and able playwright f i r s t be-come interested i n the theatre? His early associations with the-atre originated in the provincial market place where the public was entertained, especially during festivals and holidays, by tra-veling comedians and by local amateurs. Krylov apparently took a keen interest in these impromptu performances of interludes, puppet shows and folk comedies. As a result, an atmosphere re-miniscent of the market place entertainment pervades many of his works. At some time during his youth, Krylov came into contact with Italians, probably by way of the theatre. His interest led him to learn the language and to translate several Italian comic works. As a playwright, he was certainly familiar with the per-formances of Italian improvised comedies, then prevalent i n a l l segments of Russian society-. The plot structure, the comic busi-ness and the characters of his comedies attest to the influence of commedia dell'arte on his dramaturgy. The plot structure of an Italian improvised comedy cen-ters around the interaction of two paired sets of characters -the master and his servant, and the lovers. One c r i t i c comments on the presence i n Krylov's comedies of the servant-master rela-5& t i o n s h i p : "The noteworthy c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of K r y l o v ' s co-medies i s t h a t the s e r v a n t s i n them are more c l e v e r than t h e i r masters, they a d v i s e them, make d e c i s i o n s f o r them and h a p p i l y marry them, g a i n i n g f o r themselves i n the p r o c e s s advantage-ous c o n c e s s i o n s . " 1 K r y l o v adapted t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p , u s u a l l y denoted i n i m p r o v i s e d comedy by a z a n n i and P a n t a l o n e , as a means of d e c r y -i n g the wretched c o n d i t i o n o f the peasant i n h i s own c o u n t r y . In j u x t a p o s i n g nobleman and s e r f on s t a g e , he i n e x o r a b l y condemned the s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e of the r u l i n g c l a s s and sought to e l e v a t e the lower c l a s s e s to the l e v e l o f d i g n i t y they d e s e r v e d . Except f o r the o c c a s i o n a l d i g r e s s i o n i n t o s e r i o u s m o r a l i z i n g , as i s the h a b i t o f the c h a r a c t e r Sumburov i n Modnaya l a v k a , the noblemen e l d e r s K r y l o v p r e s e n t s on s t a g e do not d e v i a t e much from the t r a d i t i o n a l comic Masks, f a t h e r s of the i n a m o r a t i , D o t t o r e and P a n t a l o n e : d e s p i t e t h e i r p e d a n t i c , h y p o c r i t i c a l and p r e t e n t i o u s t e n d e n c i e s , they remain sympathetic and g u l l i b l e o l d men. By c r e a t i n g i n h i s own comedies a s a t i r i c a l e f f e c t t h a t b e ars a r e l a t i o n s h i p to commedia d e l l ' a r t e , K r y l o v succeeded i n making t h e a t r e a u d i e n c e s l a u g h h i s comic c h a r a c t e r s i n t o p u b l i c prominence where the r e a l p e o p l e i n s o c i e t y which they c a r i c a t u r e d c o u l d be fudged by a l l . Once K r y l o v had d e c i d e d upon a l i t e r a r y c a r e e r , he man-aged a f o o t - h o l d w i t h h i s f i r s t t h e a t r i c a l attempt, K o f e y n i t s a , a comic o p e r a i n f o u r a c t s , w r i t t e n i n rhymed f o l k c o u p l e t s . A l -though i t l a c k s the keen w i t and t h e a t r i c a l f i n e s s e m a n i f e s t i n h i s b e s t comedies, K o f e y n i t s a does r e v e a l k e r n e l s of r e a l i s m and %1 insight which, when combined with theatrical experience, were to make Krylov a f i r s t - r a t e dramatist. The play i s a p o l i t i c a l state-ment, a r e a l i s t i c and s a t i r i c a l expose of the merciless tyranny of landowners on their serfs. The v i l l a i n of this comic opera, Prikazchik ( B a i l i f f ) , overseer for the estate of landowner, Novomodova (New Fashion), de-siring the serf Anyuta for his wife, devises a scheme to inter-rupt plans for her marriage to Pyotr, another serf on the estate. After stealing some precious sil v e r spoons from his landlady, P r i -kazchik accuses Pyotr of the crime. He then bribes Kofeynitsa, a fortuneteller, to support his accusation. The gullible Novomodova orders Pyotr sent into the army as punishment for his supposed theft. In an effort to save Pyotr and their daughter's marriage, Anyuta'a parents s e l l a l l their belongings, hoping to repay Novo-modova for the stolen spoons. Unappeased, however, she takes the money, refuses to allow Pyotr to marry, and decides to s e l l him i n order to buy herself fashionable clothes. With the odious intrigue a virtual success, Kofeynitsa demands her share of the sil v e r spoons. As Prikazchik i s counting them out, Novomodova, Pyotr, Anyuta and her parents burst in un-expectedly. Caught 'red handed*, the thieves are sternly punish-ed: Prikazchik i s sent into the army, and Kofeynitsa to j a i l . Pyotr i s appointed Novomodova*s new b a i l i f f and.the young serfs look for-ward to a happy wedding celebration. Of interest in Krylov's Kofeynitsa i s the plot: lovers endure anxiety due to the excessive authority of their masters. - C n Kofeynitsa, the master i s provoked by an intriguing v i l l a i n who has designs on the inamorata, a serf. The lovers' future, there-fore, appears in grave danger. Krylov achieves the predictable hap-py ending by introducing a lucky stroke of fate that reveals the con-spiracy and re-establishes the integrity of the accused. The pre-paration for the marriage of the virtuous serfs ends the play. The plot's basic likeness to the Italian comic opera and scenario i s obvious. However, i t has been slightly altered. The zanni (usually a male and female pair), who combine an adeptness at manipulating people and events with a measure of luck to se-cure good fortune for their inamorati masters, have been modi-fied by Krylov into a pair of offensive characters, the b a i l i f f and the fortuneteller. Their traditional role (assisting the l o -vers) has been substituted by the deus ex machina - a timely coinci-dence. The lovers, although they are serfs, do reflect the tra-ditional line of commedia dell'arte inamorati: paralyzed by their fatalism, they are incapable of controlling their own destiny. Their master's g u l l i b i l i t y on the one hand and her generosity:, on the other, when she realizes her mistake, recall; qualities a t t r i -butable to Pantalone. Kofeynitsa shows promise of a bright future for the play-wright: the play demonstrates a genuine attempt by the author to create a new awareness and originality. By taking up the cause of the serfs, making them the central figures of his comic opera, and by writing their dialogue in the vernacular, Krylov placed himself at the outset of his career, among the avant-garde of the 18th cen-tury Russian dramatists. As Krylov matured and accumulated exper-i?9 i e n c e i n t h e a t r e , he was a b l e t o a p p l y and r e f i n e h i s t a l e n t . A tragi-coraedy, P o d s h c h i p a (Trumf), v / r i t t e n some f i f t e e n y e a r s a f t e r K o f e y n i t s a , d i s p l a y s the a u t h o r ' s expansive i n g i g h t i n t o the a r t of w r i t i n g comedy. Follovd-ng K o f e y n i t s a , K r y l o v wrote two t r a g e d i e s and s e -v e r a l comedies. Dis e n c h a n t e d , however, due to l a c k of p u b l i c a t i o n and s t a g i n g s u c c e s s , the young p l a y w r i g h t t u r n e d t o j o u r n a l i s m , de-v o t i n g h i s t a l e n t and energy to e d i t i n g and w r i t i n g f o r v a r i o u s j o u r -n a l s over a p e r i o d of a decade. Renewing h i s i n t e r e s t ' i n drama, i n 1798, he t r a n s l a t e d an I t a l i a n comic opera, Sonniy poroshok, and composed h i s tragi-comedy P o d s h c h i p a . W r i t t e n f o r the amateur s e r f t h e a t r e of P r i n c e C. F. G o l i t s i n , who had f a l l e n i n t o d i s f a v o u r w i t h T s a r P a u l I , the p l a y was f i r s t performed i n 1800. K r y l o v h i m s e l f p o r t r a y e d the v i l l a i n , Trumf, and, i f we are t o b e l i e v e contempora-r y a c c o u n t s , h i s performance was e x c e l l e n t . P o d s h c h i p a never r e a c h e d the p u b l i c t h e a t r e s , nor was i t p u b l i s h e d d u r i n g h i s l i f e t i m e . However, p r i v a t e and amateur t h e a t r e groups s t a g e d the p l a y r e g u l a r l y and i t achieved: a wide c i r c u l a t i o n i n m a n u s c r i p t form, e v e n t u a l l y becoming a f a v o u r i t e w i t h the Decem-b r i s t s . K r y l o v ' s aim i n w r i t i n g P o d s h c h i p a was t w o - f o l d : t o c r e -ate a d e v a s t a t i n g s a t i r e of the German o r i e n t a t e d c o u r t o f P a u l I, and t o parody the s t i l t e d c h a r a c t e r s of c l a s s i c a l t r a g e d y . H i s s u c c e s s i n the former i s e v i d e n t from the uncompromising r e a c t i o n o f the c o u r t censor, who p r o h i b i t e d p r e s e n t a t i o n o r p r i n t i n g of the work. The parody of c l a s s i c a l c h a r a c t e r s i s d e s c r i b e d by one c r i t i c as f o l l o w s : "The d r a m a t i s personae of the comedy are d e p i c t e d 80 i n the manner of the folk theatre, as gro- ^ tesque and comical figures of a puppet show." This c r i t i c might have mentioned the fact that these comical f i g -ures also reflect the behavior of the comic Masks. The plot around which Krylov chose to weave his satire of Paul I's court i s uncom-plicated and in many respects recalls the plot form of commedia  dell'arte. In order to retain his throne, the vanquished Tsar Vakula has offered his daughter, the beautiful Princess Podshchipa in marriage to a villainous German prince, Trumf. From Podshchipa 1s confidant, Chernavka, we learn that Trumf and his army have con-quered the tsar's kingdom. The princess, i n love with her child-hood sweetheart, Prince Slyunyai, resolutely refuses to marry the conqueror. The comedy and suspense reach a climax as Trumf, with sword drawn, i s about to disembowel Slyunyai and drag- the t e r r i - , fied heroine, off to her hapless wedding. Tsar Vakula's timely en-trance saves the day. He proclaims the incredible - Trumf's for-ces have been miraculously defeated! The play closes with expect-ations of a jubilant celebration: Podshchipa's marriage to her l o -ver, Slyunyai. Princess Podshchipa's refusal to carry out her father's wishes provokes the events of the play. The interaction -of the three protagonists, forming a parody on the classical love t r i -angle, sparks a series of highly amusing scenes which, as well as revealing Krylov's .ability as a dramatist, also ..'betray his know-ledge of the Italian improvised comedy. The play opens on the day that Podshchipa i s to be forced to marry Trumf. He v i s i t s the princess to inform her of the wedding 81 plans and to proclaim his love for her. Podshchipa's cold re-ception, however, angers him and he f i n a l l y storms out. Mean-while, having overheard the conversation, Slyunyai tip-toes cau-tiously on stage to decry Trumf's mean nature and to express his fear for the princess* l i f e . She urges him on: "Podshchipa: Would you really k i l l the v i l l a i n with your sword? Speak, dear Prince, console me quickly! Slyunyai: Yes, yes! See, I'm wearing a wood-en sword. Chernavka: Is that possible, sire? Slyunyai: Well, what do you expect? Mother didn't l e t me carry a steel one. Chernavka: But, Prince, i f someone were to attack you ... Podshchipa: T e l l me, how would you defend yourself? Slyunyai: And what were feet made for?" ^ Slyunyai's wooden sword offers a clue which links him with the tra-ditional Italian masked^comic, Arlecchino. Reliance upon speedy feet to deliver him from danger also recalls a frequent recourse of the zanni. As the scene continues, the romantic Podshchipa pro-poses that they take refuge i n death as they cannot rely upon Slyunyai's swordsmanship to save them: "Podshchipa: Are you ready to die with me? Slyunyai: Certainly! Podshchipa: Dying together w i l l make death welcome to us. Let us go, we shall throw ourselves headlong out of the window and break our skulls. (Pulling him by the hand) 8£ Slyunyai: Wait, wait" a minute! It i s too high from here. Certainly I ' l l jump, but lis t e n , only from a lower window. Podshchipa: I can see this mode of death fright-ens you. ... Come, we shall throw ourselves into the pond. Slyunyai: Certainly ... only you see, I can't swim." k As a last resort, Podshchipa hands Slyunyai a knife. Returning i t , however, he suggests she use i t f i r s t and he w i l l follow suit. Ex-asperated and outraged by Slyunyai's cowardice, the princess de-clares that she no longer loves him and cannot tolerate his slob-bery countenance. In presenting this polarized character pair as lovers and social equals, Krylov i s exploiting the comic and s a t i r i c effect accrued from the juxtaposition. By so doing, the playwright has deviated from the tradition of the inamorati of commedia dell'arte, who had their origin i n classical comedy and who were equals in a l l respects. Podshchipa, parodying the classical heroine who seeks to escape her e v i l suitor by s e l f - i n f l i c t e d death, i s obviously i n -compatible with Slyunyai who, Arlecchino-like, jealously guards his own 'skin', abandoning his love and self-respect in the face of a direct threat to his person. A cowering, pathetic, and sluggish figure whose speech defect (he cannot enunciate the consonants "1" and "r") further diminishes his already unimposing figure, Slyunyai i s stimulated into action only by the instinct of self preserva-tion. Inheriting Arlecchino's wooden sword and the disagreeable side of the zanni's character, he i s , however, denied any of Ar-lecchino 's positive qualities, such as v i t a l i t y , a g i l i t y and cun-ning. A s t e r i l e nonentity, Syunyai i s incapable of outwitting even 83 the brazen, moronic Trumf. In the following scene Slyunyai has the opportunity thrust upon him - a face to face confrontation with his dreaded r i v a l . After a brief verbal exchange Trumf, who throughout the play speaks with a heavy German accent, draws his sword: "Trumf: Prepare yourself to die! Slyunyai: Oh, am I to die? Have mercy! What have I done to anger you so?" Abruptly changing his mind regarding a duel with sabers, Trumf pro-duces a pair of pistols: "Trumf: Well, chose your weapon! Slyunyai: Look, he i s giving me one! ... Thank; you >.y my dear Count! But, i t isn't loaded, i s it? Trumf: Ya, Ya! He i s loaded! Now come on, shoot - which prince w i l l to marry." 5 Slyunyai refuses to give Trumf satisfaction, despite the latter's tirade of insults and abuse. "Slyunyai: Whatever you say! I'm guilty; but of death I am afraid. Trumf: Shoot! Slyunyai: Oh, no!" On Slyunyai's promise that he completely withdraw his claim to Podshchipa, Trumf agrees, to spare his l i f e ; but Slyunyai must go. to the princess immediately and persuade her to marry the German conqueror. Very l i k e l y recognizing the parallelism betv/een Ita-l i a n sentiments toward the ruling Spaniards and Russian resent-ment of the Germans at court, Krylov's choice of a mould in which to cast his v i l l a i n , Trumf, v/as influenced by his acquaintance with the Mask, Capitano.. This caricature of the dashing soldier and lover was distinguished by a pretended courage, an insolent swag-ger and a reputation of mythical victories in hand-to-hand combat and in'..winning the hearts of countless beautiful ladies. He i s seen constantly forcing his attentions on the inamorata, always without success. Trumf, i n the manner of Capitano, challenges Slyunyai to a duel, knowing beforehand that his opponent poses no threat. How-ever, were he challenged by a superior force, he would obviously be quick to show his heels. Failing in his courtship of Podshchi-pa, Trumf i n desperation resorts to blackmail, threatening to k i l l the defenceless Slyunyai i f he does not succeed i n persuading her to marry him. Unknown to Slyunyai, Podshchipa has consulted a gypsy fortuneteller (Krylov's substitute for the intriguing Servetta), who praises him, thereby reawakening i n the princess her love for him. When they next meet, the princess greets Slyunyai with a dis-play of emotion that unnerves him. How w i l l he ever be able to keep his promise to Trumf? "Slyunyai (aside): Ah! She loves me even more! Podshchipa: Slyunyaiyushka, my friend! Slyunyai (aside): Oh, no! I'm completely lost!" Trumf, who has been waiting for Podshchipa to accompany him to the church, furiously confronts the lovers. He i s on the verge of slay-ing his r i v a l when Tsar Vakula bursts i n to announce the defeat of 8§ the German forces: o "Vakula: Hurrah! Our boys took, 'em, ya hear!" Tsar Vakula's features link him to Pantalone. He i s the heroine's degenerate father who offers her to the v i l l a i n in exchange for a personal concession. His undignified speech and actions make him a s a t i r i c a l caricature of the tsar. He casts the figure of a child-ish, incompetent ruler. The lovers and the v i l l a i n compare favourably with the inamorati and Capitano of commedia dell'arte. However, the ser-vants, Chernavka and Durduran, who would normally carry on the i n -trigue of the comedy, content themselves with the roles of messen-ger. Their commedia dell'arte niche i s f i l l e d by a Russian folk theatre character, the Gypsy, who, summoned by the Tsar, brings a-bout the unexpected rout of Trumf. In contrast to Kofeynitsa, where dialogue and action are kept simple and r e a l i s t i c , Podshchipa puts to better use these dra-matic elements, blending them with the absurd to produce a keen edged satire shrouded in unsophisticated comedy. The scenes i n -volving the lovers and the v i l l a i n , in particular, clearly invite exaggerated gesticulation to accompany the verbal exchange. In some instances (the conflicts between Trumf and Slyunyai) action completely dominates, becoming the main source of humour. In 1806, f u l f i l l i n g a promise he made to an old friend, the famous actor, I. A. Dmitrevsky, Krylov wrote a comic satire, Modnaya lavka (The Fashion Shop) in the short space of three weeks. Its triumph i n Russian theatres was instantaneous. Directing his satire primarily at the Gallomania which stigmatized the Russian 86 nobility for a quarter of a century prior to the Napoleonic i n -vasion, Krylov resolutely censures the fatuous noblemen for clas mouring after French fashion. At the same time he draws a sympa-thetic picture of the underprivileged of Russian society, a l l too often victimized by the capricious aristocracy. - - The setting for Modnaya lavka i s a French fashion shop in St. Petersburg, owned by a Madame Kare. Masha,(a Russian ver-sion of Servetta), the salesclerk-serf whohas been permitted to work in the city, i s the property of the hero's (Lestov) sister. In the shop with Masha, Krylov's passionate inamorato, Lestov, relates the unhappy consequences of his marriage proposal to Liza, the daughter of a provincial landowner, Sumburov (a parochial Pan-talone). I n i t i a l l y , Sumburov had given Lestov reason to be op-timistic, as he and Lestov's deceased father had been close friends. Unfortunately, however, S'umburova managed to persuade him to re-ject Lestov In favour of her choice, a wealthy relative named Ne-doshchetov. Showing no compassion for the mutual feelings of the lovers, she has arranged her step-daughter's marriage on the pro-mise of a handsome profit. His means considerably more modest, Lestov has been forced to withdraw. In his absence, a rumour of his death has spread, probably spawned by Sumburova and intended to divest Liza of any remaining hope for her lover. For a year, Lestov t e l l s Masha, he has not heard news of Liza, and although as a result of their estrangement he languishes in despair, his passion for her has intensified. Entering the shop on the heels of Lestov's lament, Sum-burova, v/hose head spins at the very mention of Paris, announces 87 that she i s preparing a dowry for her step-daughter and demands to be shown the latest French fashions. Shaken by the unexpected news of Liza's imminent marriage, Lestov vows to forestall i t at a l l costs. Taking pity on him, Masha proposes a plan which, she as-sures Lestov, w i l l win him Liza's hand. In return, Lestov pro-mises her a substantial reward upon successful implementation of her scheme. Learning from Sumburova that Liza i s waiting in a near-by carriage, Masha takes the situation i n hand and instructs Les-tov to bribe a servant i n order to find Liza. While he meets Liza, Masha promises to keep Sumburova occupied i n the shop. Instead of offering him a bribe, however, Lestov gets the servant drunk. En-couraged by his happy reunion with Liza, he later v i s i t s her parents in a fr u i t l e s s attempt to persuade them to accept him as their son-in-law. The result might have been positive but for Sumburova, who discloses that not only was Lestov responsible for the ser-vants shameless drunkenness, but that this offensive act.was promp-ted by an even greater outrage - Lestov's secret rendezvous with Liza. Angered by this trickery, Sumburov shatters any new hOpe for the lovers. Act II opens with Masha reading a letter from Lestov, delivered by his servant, Andrei. The le t t e r describes his recent misfortune and proposes his latest solution. Masha reads aloud adding her own contemptuous comments: "Masha: '...I want to go and fight my r i v a l ! ' -Excellent! - 'Then I ' l l return and fight v/ith the Sumburovs...' - S t i l l better! -'Then I ' l l shoot myself.' - How ingen-ious! - 'Can you think of anything bet* ter? Come and counsel me.' - This would be far more sensible. Andrei: He ordered me to ask you for an answer! Masha: T e l l him politely: you, forsooth, Sir, are out of your mind. Goodbye." 9 Although this new predicament disrupts Masha's scheme, she capi-talizes on a fortunate coincidence to return the blundering Les-tov to Sumburov's favour. An old acquaintance of Madame Kare, Trishe (a Brighella-like zanni), entering the fashion shop, pro-duces a promissory note belonging to Nedoshchetov, with whom he apparently has had i l l i c i t business transactions. At Masha's prompting, Trishe offers to s e l l the note to Sumburov. The dis-covery of the dissolute side of Nedoshchetov's character forces Sumburov to reconsider his condemnation of Lestov*s recent t r i c k -ery. Just, as the situation seems to be improving, Lestov, due to his consistent lack of tact and his incapacitating "inamorato romanticizing", suffers another, more severe setback. Liza and Sumburova join Masha and Sumburov in the shop. Masha s k i l l f u l l y arranges for the Sumburovs to be busy in another room, leaving Liza alone to meet Lestov. On Masha's cue, Lestov enters the shop. During the ensuing dialogue, Liza promises that she w i l l marry Lestov, or die an old maid. Reminding her that they must consider an a l l or nothing approach, Masha provokes an exag-gerated romantic outburst which i s so characteristic of the I t a l -ian inamorati: "Lestov: Will you agree to come with me to my sister's; her village i s three versts from here, there we w i l l get married -and then no one w i l l separate us. Liza: My God, what are you proposing? ..... §9 Lestov: I want only one word from you ... you are silent? Then good-bye forever..." His daring proposition and f i n a l farewell are too much for gentle Liza. She faints. At his wits' end, Lestov throws himself on his knees before her. Returning i n time to see the finale of the l o -vers' melodrama, an astounded Sumburov exclaims: "Sumburov: What! What! What does this mean? Before my daughter on his knees! ... In a shop! In view of the whole city! In broad daylight! Oh horrors, oh shame! ... C r i -minals J " 11 Lestov's pleas for forgiveness f a l l on deaf ears. Suspecting a conspiracy, the outraged Sumburov, i n a withering invective, dis-solves a l l hope for the lovers. In the f i n a l act, Masha undismayed by the recent mis-fortune, completes preparations for a police inspection of the fashion shop: Trishe has informed them that Madame Kare i s s e l l -ing contraband. Meanwhile, Lestov, hoping to entice Sumburova to come back to the shop with Liza, sends her a message offer-ing her fashionable clothes at a reduced price i f she comes to the shop that evening. F i r s t to arrive i s Sumburov. However, Masha manages to get r i d of him, thus avoiding ano-ther Lestov blunder. Attracted by the proposed bargain, Sumburova steals into the shop, but i s forced to hide i n a closet when her husband, with Liza, knocks at the door. Following them, the police officer and Trishe, whose role recalls the zanni, enter and begin to search the prem-ises. When Lestov appears, Masha, who has already determined the "winning combination", takes him aside and explains the s i -90 tuat'ion. Finding no contraband, Trishe and the police officer ap-proach the closet which conceals Sumburova. On Sumburov*s i n s i s -tence, they demand the key from Masha. Sumburov himself snatch-es i t out of her hand and moves to unlock the door. Masha f i n a l -ly t e l l s him the bad news: "Masha: Your wife, I'm t e l l i n g you; take a look through the window i f you don't believe me. Sumburov: Ooph! I must be delirious! - No, i t ' s she a l l right.... Oh, the c r i -minal! Oh, the scoundrel! Now, here's a good marketable product. There's contraband for you! Masha: Well why aren't you opening the closet, Sir?" 12 The policeman and Trishe press Sumburov to open i t . By this time totally distraught, he claims not to have the key. Masha, how-ever, forcing the intrigue to i t s conclusion, reminds him that i t i s in his hand: "Sumburov: Ah! You're right, I would li k e to swallow and choke on i t i n order to avoid this catastrophe; oh, worth-less wife! Satan himself must have put you i n this damned closet to shame me." 13 Choosing the ideal moment, Lestov reminds him of the scandal which w i l l surely follow, then offers to help him, provided that Sum-burov reconsider his marriage proposal to Liza. Having no other recourse, Sumburov calls Liza and announces his decision. "Sumburov: Daughter, come here, give me your hand - here i s your fianc£! Liza: What happiness! Dear father, to whom do I owe such a change c3f fate? 93 Sumburov: To my good-for-nothing wife. Liza: Ah! I am ready to throw myself at her feet! Where i s mother? Sumburov: Quiet, quiet! What concern i s i t of yours where she is? It's none of your business!" 14 Quite certain by now, that the closet conceals the sought-after contraband, Trishe demands the key. Anticipating this moment, Lestov steps forward to f u l f i l l his promise. Recognizing Trishe as a valet he had employed previously, Lestov takes care to remind him of certain irregularities for. which he was responsible and in which the police should s t i l l be interested. Fearing he may jeo-pardize his new social image, the former valet accepts Lestov's alternative - to withdraw his accusations regarding the fashion shop and to discontinue the search immediately. With Trishe and the police officer gone, the door of the closet i s opened. Unleashing a volley of abuse, Sumburov drags his mortified wife into the room and declares his decision to per-mit Liza and Lestov to marry. Questioning his sincerity, Sumburo-va evokes the long-awaited response: "Sumburova: Is this possible, dearest husband? Sumburov: Just watch and you'll see! Liza, kiss your fiance! Now, do you be-lieve that my intentions are sin-cere? I would allow no one except her fiance" to kiss my daughter. Liza: Dearest father, you have made my l i f e worth l i v i n g ! Lestov: How can I ever express^my gratitude! Liza, dear Liza! What happiness!" 15 Turning to Masha, Lestov reminds her that she w i l l soon have her 9E freedom, and the dowry he promised her for helping him win Liza's hand. Thus, not only are the lovers to be married, but also s i -milar prospects for the servant Masha appear i n f i n i t e l y brighter. The basic theme of Modnaya lavka compares favourably with those elaborated by the Comedy of Masks. A servant contrives to outsmart the inamorata's parents who are determined to choose a husband for her. A variety of suspensefully comical moments en-sue, out of which the servant arises the victor. A self-assured v i t a l i t y and keen insight among her "zanni attributes", Masha uses to advantage the idiosyncracies of the Sumburovs to accomplish the union of the inamorati. Altering the Modnaya lavka theme somewhat i n Urok doch-kam, Krylov features a servant couple whose daring scheme to ex-tort money i s motivated by their desire to conclude their long delayed marriage plans. Encouraged by the unexpected success of Modnaya lavka. Krylov set to work immediately on his next, but unfortunately, last comedy, Urok dochkam (A Lesson for his Daughters), published in 1807. The stage triumph of Modnaya lavka was repeated for this last play.. Very l i k e l y sensing the Napoleonic threat against Eussia, Krylov intensified his anti £Gallomania thrust which had received public approval with Modnaya lavka. Urok dochkam represents an obvious attempt to renew feelings of nationalism that had been doused by the wave of Gallomania which had swept over the Rus-sian aristocracy. Although the subject matter of the comedy i s l U i f e i l i t a r i a n , as a c r i t i c a l expose, i t i s couched i n a dramatic 93 form which i s readily distinguished by i t s structural conformity with the Italian improvised comedy. In Urok dochkam, Krylov presents a patriotic Russian nobleman's attempt to cure his Frenchified daughters of their "foreign ailment". The mildly tyrannical Vel'karov, father of two teenage daughters, Fekla and Lukerya, who were educated in Mos-cow by a Parrsienne, Madam Gri g r i , considers their fanatical attrac-tion for everything French and their equally irrational abhorrence of everything Russian beyond his endurance. Determined to r i d himself of their fatuity, Vel'karov escorts them to a country es-tate; where he intends to confine them under the care of Nyanya Vasilisa, Krylov's re-creation of a Russian folk character, and their servant, Dasha, unti l they learn to appreciate their Russian heritage. He also chooses their husbands (in Pantalone fashion) whom they despise as being beneath their French-acquired dignity. Despite his tenacity, however, his empirical method of instruc- , tion appears ineffective. By lucky coincidence, a gentleman, Cheston, arrives i n the village of Vel'karov's estate. His servant, Semyon, and Dasha are engaged but cannot marry because they are unable to save enough money. Through a window in the Vel'kov home Semyon chances to see his love, with whom he parted i n Moscow. The two servants quick-ly engage i n a typically Arlecchino-eolomblna dispute over who should be f i r s t to relate his experiences during the separation. At the conclusion of their lazzo, their anecdotes are heard; no-thing extraordinary i s revealed. This sort of comic scene which interrupts the flow of the main theme, afforded the comic Masks an 94 opportunity to display their improvisational ingenuity. During their exchange, Semyon learns of Fekla's and Lukerya's Gallomania and remembering the ease with which the French extorted money from this 'type' in Moscow, he s k i l l f u l l y devises a plan to procure from them the funds that would make his marriage to Dasha a re a l i t y . Returning to the Vel'karov home, Semyon, disguised as the French traveller, Markiz, receives a cordial welcome from Vel'-karov and, as he expected, i s made to promise to abide by the rule imposed on Fekla and Lukerya: to speak only Russian. The daugh-ters who pride themselves i n speaking Russian poorly, are complete-ly victimized by the servant-imposter. They praise his many su-perior French qualities and vie for the honour of being his wife. Assisted by Dasha, Semyon succeeds beyond his expecta-tions. Unfortunately, the garrulous females do not give him suf-ficient opportunity to ask for a loan. Anxious to try their French on a genuine Parisienne, they disregard the consequences of a re-pr i s a l from their fatherland lock Kyanya Vasilisa i n their room. Alone now with Markiz, they begin to quiz him i n French. Inca-pable 6§ uttering a single French word, Semyon i s hard pressed to avoid unveiling his ruse: "Lukerya: Ecoutez, cher marquis... Semyon: My God! What are you doing? I gave your father my word I wouldn't speak French with you. Fekla: II ne saura pas. Semyon: Impossible! Impossible! Ko way i s i t possible - h e ' l l hear. Lukerya: Mais de grace".>. Semyon (running from them to the other side of the stage): Speak Russian, 95 speak Russian. Merciful God, speak Russian! Oh, Nyanya Vasilisa!" 15 The sisters, chase Semyon about the stage, imploring him to say some-thing in French. At his wits 1 end, and on the verge of exhaustion, he i s rescued by the return of Nyanya Vasi l i s a who restores the con-versation to the obligatory Russian. This highly comic episode in which a servant's intrigue i s threatened with discovery was a favor-ite scene i n the commedia dell'arte repertory; the Masks used most advantageously such opportunities to create humour and satire. Having barely escaped detection at the hands of Fekla and Lukerya, Semyon inadvertently reveals his trickery v/hen he gives his family name as Glagol' (from the Russian verb glagolit' meaning •to speak'). Learning his guest's surname, Vel'karov suspects a hoax and moves to expose Semyon's deceipt: '•Vel'karov: ...Mr. Markiz, I permit you, or better s t i l l , I demand that you t e l l my daughters in my presence in French about your unfortunate adventure.y. how you were robbed in the forest." Realizing his game i s up, Semyon replies: "Semyon (on his knees): Akh! Forgive a re-penting sinner. I, s i r , ... Akh! I'm not a Markiz, I, s i r . . . Akh! I'm not a Frenchman, but only a ^ free man ... and am called Sen'ka." Semyon explains that his passionate love for Dasha caused him to assume the identity of a marquis. Dasha joins him on her knees before Vel'karov and begs him to have pity on true lovers. Struck by the humour of Semyon's intrigue and appeased by the value of the unexpected lesson given his daughters, Vel'karov allows his gener-ous nature to influence his decision. Releasing Dasha from her ob-'96 ligations, he orders that something be prepared for the free ser-vants on their journey. ^Following the familiar commedia dell'arte route, the ser-vant's brazen intrigue appears destined for success, but totters on the brink of disaster when discovered by the master. An unex-pected benefit, the lesson learned by Vel'karov's daughters, trans-forms the impending disaster into good fortune. Although empow-ered to punish the schemers, Vel'karov magnanimously forgives and rewards them. Thus blessed, the triumphant servants rejoice at the prospects of their marriage. His determimation renev/ed, Vel'-karov returns to the task of rereducating his daughters. The co-mic circuit i s completed. Krylov's use of commedia dell'arte techniques i n his co-medies i s readily apparent. Relying on the love intrigue as his central theme, as does improvised comedy, he also makes i t the servants* responsibility to develop and carry the intrigue to i t s desired conclusion. The lovers can be of the nobility,' as in Mod-naya lavka, comparable to the :'inamorati, or simple servants, as in Urok dochkam, comparable to the zanni. Whether Krylov's servants intrigue in order to secure their own happiness or that of their masters, they consistently succeed, as do their commedia dell'arte counterparts, in outwitting their elderly opponents. Remnants of the paired character situation of commedia dell'arte are apparent i n Krylov's works although he evidently used this structural form only when convenient. Physical dexterity and l i v e l y punning, two essen-t i a l ingredients to a successful improvised play, also find predom-inance in Krylov's comedies. The humour of his plays depends large-ly upon comic gestures and antics; the dialogue assumes a bantering tone akin to that of commedia dell'arte. •97-CONCLUSION Although Russian theatre originated i n folk r i t u a l and although folk comedy developed only to a relatively primitive l e -vel, noteworthy progress, in terms of existing Western theatre, was not achieved u n t i l after Europeans performed their comic repertor-ies on the 18th century Russian stage. The Italian masked comedians, performing their impro-vised commedia dell'arte, were among the most popular and most inf l u e n t i a l . From 1730 they animated courtly functions and i n -dulged the audiences of public and private theatres. Their per-formances provided young Russian dramatists with l i v i n g examples of a comic genre that boasted two centuries of triumphant exist-ence and nearly a century of domination i n Western European the-atres. Unfortunately, only scenario-remnants of the Italian im-provised performances remain and because they have l i t t l e a r t i s t i c value, the matter of l i t e r a r y analysis and comparison i s consider ably complicated. Nevertheless, the basic t r a i t s of the Masks have been preserved i n literature and on this basis a f r u i t f u l compari-son i s possible. Despite the fact that Russian dramatists unmasked the Italian Comics, divest.ed them of their multicoloured dress and much of their spontaneity, and although the names of Arlecchino, Fantalone, Brighella and Colombina do not appear among the drama-t i s personae of Russian comedy u n t i l the 20th century, the essential qualities of these standardized figures and their relationship to one another in the plot of the comedy are very much apparent in the 9:8; comic works of I. A. Krylov, Ya. B. Knyazhnin and other 18th cen-tury dramatists. The favoured contention of theatrical and litera r y scho-lars that the French theatre, Moliere i n particular, provided the basis for Russian comedy I have avoided discussing because i t would necessitate extending the scope of this thesis beyond reasonable li m i t . The fact that the French language and fashion was extreme-ly popular i n 18th century Russia inevitably prejudiced the judge-ments of researchers regarding due responsibility for theatrical development i n Russia. As a result, the considerable Italian i n -fluence was obscured by the shadow of an exaggerated fund of re-search extolling French contributions. However, i t i s evident sim-ply from the number of Italian a r t i s t s , the duration of their pre-sence i n Russia and the wide scope of their artistry, music, ballet, opera and comedy, that they offered an effective tonic to the t h i r s t -ing 18th century Russian theatre. The Italian influence, however, did not cease at the gate-way to the 19th century, but continued on, leaving i t s imprint on the comic works of such renowned Russian dramatists as N. Gogol. At the beginning of our present century, the Masks returned to the public stage, but on this occasion they hid the faces of native Russian actors. As comedy represents the highest achievement i n 18th century Russian drama, i t i s f i t t i n g that the greatest comedians in the world, the Comic Masks, were the main source of inspiration. 99 BIBLIOGRAPHY KNYAZHNIN: QR(EGiENAL WORKS Knyazhnin, Ya. B. Sochineniya Yakova Knyazhnina. 3rd ed. (Sankt Peterburg; 1818), Vol . 3 , 4 , 5. Polnoe sobranie sochinenie russkikh avtorov. (Sankt-Peterburg: Izdanie Aleksandra Smirdina, 1848) , 2 vols. Ya. B. Knyazhnin: Izbrannye proizvedeniya, (Leningrad, 1961). KNYAZHNIN: CRITICAL WORKS Berkhen-Glagoleva, T. "Ya. B. Knyazhnin.", Literaturnaya Entsi-klopediya, ed. Lunacharskiy, (Moskva, 1934), Vol . 5 , PP.359-360. Gukovskiy, G. A. "Ya. B. Knyazhnin", Russkaya literatura XVIII veka, (Meskva, 1939). Kulakova, L.I. Introduction to Ya. B. Knyazhnin, (Leningrad, 1961). "Ya. B-. Knyazhnin", Russkiy dramaturgy XVIII vek, ed. G. P. Makogonenko, (Leningrad-Moskva, 1959), Vol.1, PP.291-338. Yakov Borisovich Knyazhnin: 1742-1791, (Moskva-Leningrad: Iskusstvo, 1951J. Neyman, B. V. "Komedii Ya. B. Knyazhnina", Problemy realizma v  russkoy literature. (Moskva-Leningrad, 1940). Veselovskiy, Yu. A. Ya. B. Knyazhnin. (Moskva, 1918). KRYLOV: ORIGINAL WORKS Krylov, I. A. I. A. Krylov: Polnoe sobranie sochineniy, ed. V. V. Kallash, (Petrograd, 1918), I. P'esy, (Moskva-Leningrad: Iskusstvo, 19^4). I. A. Krylov: Sochineniya dramaturgiya, ed. D. Bedniy, I(jMoskva, 1946). Ivan Andreyevich Krylov: Polnoe sobranie sochineniy, ed. V. G. Belinskiy, (Moskva, 1955), VIII. 10? I. A. Krylov: Sochineniya v dvukh tomakh, ed. N. L. Stepanova, (Moskva, 1956), I. KRYLOV: CRITICAL WORKS Blagoy, D. D. I. A. Krylov: Issledovaniya i materialy, ed D. D. Blagoy, (Moskva, 1947). Ivanov, Yu. D. Ranee tvorchestvo I. A. Krylova, (Moskva, 1967). Kallash, V. V. Rukopisi I. A. Krylova, (n.p., n.d.), 37 pages. Karskaya, T. Ya. " I . A. Krylov i estetika russkogo teatra", Russkie k l a s s i k i i teatr, (Leningrad-Moskva, 1947). Lobanov, M. E. Zhizn' i sochineniya I. A. Krylova, (Sankt-Peter-burg, 1847). Maykov, L. N. Pervye shagi I. A. Krylova na literaturnom ffopri-shche, (Sankt-Pefeerburg, 1889)-Muratov, K. D. Istoriya russkoj,' literatury XIX v. : Bibliogra- ficheskiy ukazatel', (Moskva-Leningrad, 1962). Includes ar t i c l e on Krylov. Pletnev, P. A. Zhizn 1 i sochineniya Krylova, (n.p., n.d.). Peretts, V. N. Ivan Andreyevich Krylov kak dramaturg, (S.-Peter-burg, 1S95). Sergeyev, I. V. Krylov, (Moskva, 1966). Shiryaeva, V. G. I. A. Krylov na shkol'noy stsene, (Moskva, 1947). Stepanova, N. L. Introduction to I. A. Krylov: Sochineniya v  dvukh tomakh, (Moskva, 1956), pp.1-34. Vsevolodskiy-Gerngross, V. "Krylov i teatr", I. A. Krylov: Issle- dovaniya i materialy, (Moskva, 1947). Zapadov, A. V. " I . A. Krylov", Russkiy dramaturgy XVIII veka, ed. G. P. Makogonenko, (Leningrad-Moskva, 1959), Vol.1, pp.399-452. 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Sipovskiy, "Ital 1yanskiy teatr v S.-Peterburg p r i Anne Io-annovne (1733-1735)", Russkaya Starina, VI(1900), 593-611. A. Sirotinin, "Ocherk razvitiya russkogo stsenicheskogo iskusstva, Art i s t , No.I6(0ct.1891), 68-88; No.l8(Dec.1891), 26-48. V. Solov'yov, "K i s t o r i i stsenicheskoy tekhniki Commedia dell'arte", Lyubov' k trem apel'sinam, (Peterburg, 1914). "Stranstvujcushchie komedianty", Russkiy khudozhestvennyy l i s t o k . No.2, Jan.10, 1862, pp.5-6/ P. I. Sumarokov, "0 Rosseyskom teatre s nachala ego osnovaniya do kontsa tsarstvovaniya Ekateriny II", Otelchestvennye za- piski, No.32(Dec.1822), 289-311; No.35(March 1823), 370-399. S. R. Vorontsov, "Torchestvuyushchaya Minerva", Teatral'nyy i muzy- kal'nyy vestnik, No.29, July 22, 1856, pp.522-525. A. N.. Voznesenskiy, "Maski", Ezhemesyachnik iskusstva teatra, No. 6, (1912-1913). 112 APPENDIX I FOOTNOTES FOOTNOTES TO INTRODUCTION 1. K. Miklashevsky, La Commedia dell'arte. (Petersburg, 1914), P. 15. 2. V. V. Kallash, Istoriya russkogo teatra. (Moskva, 1914)» P. 95. 3. A. N i c o l l , The World of Harlequin. (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1963), P. 197. FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER I 1. M. Slonlm, Russian Theatre. (Cleveland and New York, 1961), p. 18. 2. i b i d . , p. 18. 3 . "Stranstvuyushchie komedianty", Russkiy khudozhestvenny li s t o k . No. 2 (January 10, 1862), p. 6. 4. V. Vsevolodskiy-Gerngross, Russkiy teatr ot istokov do serediny XVIII v. (Moskva, 1957), pp. 83-84. 5. E. Lo Gatto, Storia del teatro russo. (Firenze, 1952), I, p. 23. 6. P. Berkov, Russkaya narodnaya drama XVII-XX v. (Moskva, 1953), PP. 88-110. 7. G. Vernadsky, A History of Russia. (New Haven and London, 1964), P- 114. 8. Lo Gatto, I, pp. 25-26. 9. B. V. Varneke, History of the Russian Theatre. (New York, 1951), P- 21. 1 1 3 FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER II 1. V. Vsevolodskiy-Gerngross, Russkij; teatr ot istokov do serediny XVIII v. (Moskva, 1957), P«44. 2. i b i d . , p.103. 3 . B. V. Varneke, History of the Russian Theatre. (New York, 195D, p.26. 4. P. N. Arapov, Letopis' russkogo teatra. (Peterburg, 1861), p.21. 5. V. Vsevolodskiy-Gerngross, Kratk!# kurs i s t o r i i russkogo teatra. (Moskva, 1936), pp.16-17. 6. P. 0. Morozov, Ocherki i z i s t o r i i russkoy. dramy. XVII-XVIII stoletie. (n. p., 1888), p.231. 7. Varneke, p.44. 8. S. Ignatov, Nachalo russkogo teatra i teatr petrovskoy: epokhi. (Moskva, 1920), p.30. 9. D. D. Blago^, Istoiya russkojf literatury XVIII veka. (Moskva, I960), p.52. 10. Vsevolodskiy-Gerngross, p.20. 11. Ignatov, p.28. 12. Varneke, p.42. 13. i b i d . , p.43. 14. i b i d . , pp.47-48. 15. D. M. SadyJcova, Iz i s t o r i i massovoy: dramaticheskgy l i -teratury XVIII v.: Teatr intermedii. (Moskva, 1956), p.7. 16. Blagoy, pp.57-58. 17. i b i d . , p.58. 18. Vsevolodskiy-Gerngross, pp.176-177. 19. Varneke, p.49. 20. G. V. Gurko, "Lang, Frantsisk", Teatral'na^a Entsiklo-pediya. (Moskva, 1961), III, p.386. 21. Yu. A. Dmitriev, Stat'yi o tslrke. (Moskva, 1961), p.103. FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER III 1. I. A. Schwartz, The Commedia dell'arte. (Paris, 1933), p.10. 2. V. Vsevolodskjy-Gerngross, Kratkiy kurs i s t o r i i russkogo teatra. (Moskva, 1936) , p.33. 3. V. N. Peretts, Ital'yanskjya komedii i intermedii predstav-lenrtEvapri dvore Imperatritsy Anny Ioannovny v. 1733-1735gg. (Petrograd, 1917), see appendix for translation of t i t l e s . 4. V. Vsevolodsky-Gerngross, p.33. 5. S. K. Shambinago, Istoriya russkogo teatra. Ed. V. V. Kallash. (Moskva, 1914), p.94. 6. :-M. Slonim, Russian Theatre. (Cleveland and New York, 1961), p.24,. 7. Shambinago, p.97. 8. Slonim, p.25. 9. - B. V. Varneke, History of the Russian Theatre. (New York, 1951), P.71. 10. V. Vsevolodsky-Gerngross, Russkiy teatr ot istokov do serediny. XVIII v. (Moskva, 1957), p.224. 11. P. N. Arapov, Dramaticheskiy al'bom s portretami russkikh artistov. (Moskva, 1850), p. XVI. 12. Varneke, p.69. 13. I. Sanesi, La Commedia. (Milano, 1954), I, p.549. 14. N. Majagini, "Russia",- Studi. Goldoniani. (Venezia-Roma, 1957), II, pp.305-311. 15. E. Lo Gatto, Storia del teatro russo. (Firenze, 1952), I, p.61. 16. Vsevolodsky-Gerngross, p.51. Kratkiy kurs i s t o r i i russkogo teatra. 17. i b i d . , p.51. 18. Mangini, p.306. 19. B. N. Aseyev, Russkiy dramaticheskiy teatr XVII-XVIII vekov. (Moskva, .1958), PP.298-99. 20. N, L. Brodskiy, Istoriya s t i l y a russkoy komedix XVIII veka. (Moskva, 1923), p.181. 21. Varneke, p.139. 22. i b i d . , p.140. 7 1 5 FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER IV 1. L. I. Kulakova, Ya. B. Knyazhnin, Introductory remarks. (Leningrad, 1961), p.10. 2. B. V. Neyman, Komedii Ya. B. Knyazhnina. (Moskva-Leningrad, 1940), p.171. 3. L. I. Kulakova, p.34. 4. Ya. B. Knyazhnin, Ya. B. Knyazhnin: Izbrannye Proizvedeniya. 5. i b i d . , p.394. 6. i b i d . , p.392-393. 7. i b i d . , p.526-527. 8. i b i d . , p.531. 9. i b i d . , p.531-532. H>6 FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER V 1. G. P. Makogonenko, Russkiy dramaturgy XVIII veka .(Leningrad-Moskva, 1959), p.444. 2. N. L. Stepanov, I. A. Krylov, Introductory remarks. (Moskva, 1956), . P.13. 3. I. A. Krylov, I. A. Krylov: Sochineniya v Dvukh Tomakh. (Moskva, 1956), p.2?2. 4. ib i d . , P.274. 5. i b i d . , p.288. 6. ib i d . , P. 289..' -7. i b i d . , p.290-291. 8. ib i d . , p.294. 9. ib i d . , p.352. 10. ibi d . , P.370. 11. i b i d . , P. 371. 12. ibi d . , P.392. 13. ib i d . , P.393. 14. ibi d . , P.394. 15. i b i d . , P.431. 16. ibid . , P.436. APPENDIX I I : TRANSLATIONS OF ITALIAN. QUOTATIONS: Chapter I , page 10, q u o t a t i o n 5: "The i n t e r m e z z o o r i n t e r l u d e had been, i n f a c t , well-known f o r r o u g h l y two c e n t u r i e s i n the c o u n t r i e s of Europe as a means of d i v e r t i n g the s p e c t a t o r of r e l i g i o u s o r h i s t o r i c a l p l a y s , w i t h j e s t s o r q u i p s between a c t s . These were peasant j o k e s i n no way connected to the p l o t o f the p l a y . The i n t e r m e z z o came to Russia, as d i d the s c h o o l p l a y , from P o l a n d , where i t had developed under the i n f l u e n c e o f the F r e n c h f a r -ces and the commedia d e l l ' a r t e . " C hapter I , page 12 -13 , q u o t a t i o n 8: "The f i r s t o f these ( t e s t i m o n i e s ) d a t e s from the f i r s t h a l f of the 15th c e n t u r y , and p r e c i -s e l y from 1437-39 when the m e t r o p o l i t a n , Isodoro, came to F e r r a r a and F l o r e n c e to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the c o u n c i l then i n p r o g r e s s . Among those i n h i s r e t i n u e was the Bishop of S u z d a l ' , Avraam, who has l e f t us a b r i e f account of a performance of the A n n u n c i a t i o n of Feo B e l c a r i i n F l o r e n c e , a t which R u s s i a n s were p r e s e n t . I n t h i s account, the i n t e r e s t of the b i s h o p from S u z d a l ' seems d i r e c t e d toward the p r e s e n t a t i o n i n i t s own r i g h t ; he g i v e s us i n f o r m a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the s t a g e c o n s t r u c t e d i n the church f o r the p e r f o r -mance, c o n c e r n i n g the costumes of the c h a r a c t e r s , the d e s i g n of the c u r t a i n , and the machinery f o r the p l a y . . . . Varneke p o i n t s out, r e g a r d i n g B i s h o p Avraam, t h a t the n a r r a t i o n of h i s journey to I t a l y must have s t i r r e d i n t e r e s t i n i t s r e a -d e r s , o t h e r w i s e one c o u l d n o t e x p l a i n the g r e a t number of c o p i e s of h i s work s t i l l i n e x i s t e n c e . " Chapter I I I , page 53 , q u o t a t i o n 14: "As had happened i n o t h e r c o u n t r i e s , C a r l o G o l -d o n i was known i n R u s s i a f i r s t of a l l as a l i b r e t -t i s t of comic p l a y s s e t to music. In the r e p e r -t o r y of the comic operas performed i n S t . P e t e r s -burg and Moscow by I t a l i a n a c t o r s between 1755 and 1760 we, i n f a c t , f i n d numerous l i b r e t t o s 1.T8 by G o l d o n i , such as I I Mondo d e l l a Luna, I I F i -l o s o f o d i campagna, L ' A r c a d i a i n B r e t a . I Bagni  d 1Abano and o t h e r s . But" as a w r i t e r of comedies, i t i s v e r y l i k e l y t h a t G o l d o n i ' s name was made known f i r s t of a l l by the famous T r u f f a l d i n o , A n t onio S a c c h i , who, i n h i s v a r i o u s t o u r s t o major c i t i e s throughout Europe, c o u l d c e r t a i n l y not have f a i l e d to p r e s e n t those scenes which the V e n e t i a n p l a y v / r i g h t had composed e x p r e s s l y f o r him from Le t r e n t a d u e d i s g r a z i e d i A r l e c c h i n o t o I I S e r v a t o r e d i due p a d r o n i . " Chapter I I I , page 54, q u o t a t i o n 15: "The p e r i o d came of the s u c c e s s of L o c a t e l l i and of h i s c o l l a b o r a t o r s , e s p e c i a l l y of G i o v a n n i Sacco, of h i s two s i s t e r s , L i b e r a and And r e i n a , and of h i s w i f e C o n t i and of B e l l u z z i . " 11'9 APPENDIX I H This collection of comedies compiled by V. N. Peretts, entitled "Ital'yanskiya Komedii i Intermedii predstavlenniya p r i Iaperatritsy anny Ioannovny v 1733-1735 g.g.", published in Pet-rograd in 1917, although not complete, nevertheless, i s repre-sentative of the style of Italian comedy translated into Russian and performed in Russia during the 1 8 t h century. The following l i s t i s a translation of the t i t l e s of these comic works. 1. The Honest Courtesan. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1733. 2 . Smeraldina Learns to Hate. Italian comedy. St. Pe-tersburg, 1 7 3 3 . 3 . The Nightmarish Smeraldina. Italian comedy. St.-Petersburg, 1733. 4. Climbing Over the Fence. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1733. 5- Newspaper or Gazette. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1733. 6. Arlecchino and Smeraldina, the Angry Lovers. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1 7 3 3 . 7 . The Birth of Arlecchino. Italian comedy. St. Pe-tersburg, 1 7 3 3 . 8 . The Disguises of Arlecchino. Italian comedy. St.-Petersburg, 1733. 9 . Four Arlecchinos. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1733. 1 0 . Arlecchino as a Statue. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1733. 1 1 . . An Impressario of Opera in the Canary Islands. A musical interlude. St. Petersburg, 1733. 1 2 . The Old Miser. A musical interlude. St Peters-burg, 1733. 1£0 13. The Great Basilisk from Bernagass. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1733. 14. Brighella Armed. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1733. 15. A Frenchman in Venice. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1733. 16. The Metamorphosis or Transformation of Arlecchino. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1733. 17. The Card Player. A musical interlude. St. Peters-burg , 1733. 18. The Embarking Noble. A musical interlude. St. Pe-tersburg, 1733. 1 9 . The Useless Footman. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1734. 20. The Jealous Husband. A musical interlude. St. Pe-tersburg, 1734. 21. The Successful Fraud. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1734. 22. The Floor-washer Noblewoman. Italian comedy. St.-Petersburg, 1734* 23. Wishing to be 111. A musical interlude. St. Pe-tersburg, 1734. 24. The Affected German Woman. A musical interlude. St. Petersburg, 1734. 25. In Love with Oneself or the Narcissus. A musical interlude. St. Petersburg, 1734. 26. The Misfortunes of Happy Arlecchino. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1734. 27. Fun in the Water and in the Fie l d . Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1734. 28. Perfury. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1734. 29. The Majestic Marquis Gasconet. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1734. 30. The Sorcery of Peter Dabana and Smeraldina, Queen of the S p i r i t s . Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1734. 121; 31. The Misfortunes of Pantalone and Arlecchino, the Imaginative Courier, After, also a Barber of  Fashion. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1734. 32. The Doctor with Two Faces. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1734. 33. The Realization of Appollo's Answer or An Innocent G i r l Bought and Sold. Italian comedy. St.-Petersburg, 1734. 34. The Lovers Oppose Eachother with Arlecchino the Turkish Pasha. Italian comedy. St. Peters-burg, 1734. 35. An Argument about the Polish Gentry between Eularia, the Extravagant Widow and Pantalone, the Argu-mentative Merchant or Marquis D'Alta Polvere. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1735. 36. The Honest Squalor of Renod, the Ancient Gallic Cavalier During the Time of - Karl The Great. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1735. 37. The Hiding Place. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1735. 38. Sampson. Italian Tragedy. St. Petersburg, 1735. 39. Advising the Glorious Tsar How to Conquer Himself. Italian comedy. St. Petersburg, 1735. 

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