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Key words
theater, spectators, aesthetic preferences
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (495) 939-25-64
1, Leninskie gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Folklore Department, Faculty of Philology, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University
Date of publication

This article discusses the role of audience tastes, expectations and preferences in shaping the genre, themes, characters, and style of modern Russian theater.

It is diffi  cult to overestimate the role of memoirs in the reconstruction of the social environment, space-time context and the content of performances of folk theater of the 18th — 1 9th centuries. At the same time, the personal testimony of spectators of professional, amateur and folk theater allows us to identify and compare their ideological, emotional and aesthetic preferences, which in turn had an infl uence on the repertoire, poetic structure and dramatic technique of the actively evolving national theater.

Based on the travel journal of N. A. Demidov (1771–1773) the article analyzes the preferences of this educated Russian traveler that covered a wide range of German, French, Italian and English entertainments and theatrical forms: opera, drama, puppet theater, carnival, circus, horse racing, military maneuvers, religious ceremonies, etc. Apart from his obvious preference for Italian opera and French drama, Demidov also observed everyday forms of urban leisure pursuits (from outdoor concerts to circus performances) with interest and sympathy.

Demidov’s theatrical interests and aesthetic preferences were shared (fully or partially) by his traveling companions, his secretary and editor of the travelogue, N. I. Krymov, as well as with numerous readers of the 1786 edition of the travel memoir, including the author’s son Nikolay Demidov, a person of infl uence in the history of Russian theater.


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For citation

Alpatov S. V. Th e “sympathies of spectators” as a factor in the history of Russian theater. Traditional culture. 2019. Vol. 20. No. 3. Pp. 71–81. In Russian.