To mark the approaching seventieth anniversary of Russia’s victory in the Second World War, a new exhibition dedicated to the wartime achievements of the Mikhailovsky Theatre has opened in the stalls circle. The photographs and documents on display reflect the cultural contribution that the legendary theatre company made to the nationwide war effort, like an echo of people’s memories of those years.
The exhibition records the theatre’s role, from the very first days of the war, in producing those famous propaganda leaflets for the citizens of Leningrad, a role which continued right up until the theatre company was evacuated to the city of Chkalov. It was in this city, now Orenburg, that the MALEGOT (the acronym by which the theatre was then known) opened its first wartime season on 29 September 1941. In November 1941, the theatre organized a performance by its 1st Concert Brigade on the north-western front. By the end of the war, around 1,500 such concerts had taken place on various fronts. The operatic and ballet productions, symphonic concerts and variety performances held throughout the country at factories, conscription stations, collective farms, military bases and hospitals, were a crucial element of our shared history and a testament to the Soviet people who toiled, persevered and always believed that victory would one day be theirs.
Photographs of everyday life at the front for the concert brigades, propaganda leaflets which have miraculously remained intact, letters, telegrams and theatre posters from May 1945: these, and many other priceless theatrical memorabilia, can all be seen at the exhibition ‘War. Victory. MALEGOT.’
News source: The St. Petersburg Mussorgsky State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
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