GORDEEV P.N. S.M. Volkonsky and the Reform of the System of Honorary Titles of the Imperial Theatrеs Actors

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2017.1.6

Petr N. Gordeev

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia,

Naberezhnaya reki Moyki, 48, 191186 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. The article, based on the archival sources for the first the time introduced into scientific discourse, deals with an attempt to reform the system of honorary titles for the artists of the Imperial theaters undertaken by director of the Imperial Theatres S.M. Volkonsky in 1899-1900. The research is based on the archival sources for the first the time introduced into scientific discourse. In the Russian Empire artists were awarded with two honorary titles: “soloist of His Majesty” and “honored artist of the Imperial theatres”. Having taken the position of director, S.M. Volkonsky presented his project “Provisions” to the officials of the Court Ministry, in which he proposed to abolish the title of “honored artist”, and to differentiate the “soloist of His Majesty” title and a special badge, which all the artists with the honorary titles had been given since 1895. After criticism by the representatives of the Ministry S.M. Volkonsky presented a new project in which he proposed to establish a two-rank award for the representatives of all kinds of performing arts, in which there would be the lowest level of the title – “honored artist” and the highest – “soloist of His Majesty”. However, this project was not adopted as well by two reasons: 1) inappropriateness of awarding dramatic actors with the “soloist” title; 2) impossibility of achieving the first degree of the award after the second one. As a result the reform of honorary degrees was not carried out until 1917, largely due to the inexperience of S.M. Volkonsky in bureaucratic affairs.

Key words: S.M. Volkonsky, soloist of His Majesty, honored artist of the Imperial theatres, Ministry of Imperial Court, Imperial theatres.

Лицензия Creative Commons

S.M. Volkonsky and the Reform of the System of Honorary Titles of the Imperial Theatrеs Actors by Gordeev P.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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