7 Surprising Facts of Golden Mask Theatre in Russia

Many people believe that theatre art is considered acting only. However, it is not true, because theatre art is actually a vast subject. It comprises of set-designing, lighting, writing, scripting, editing, translating, adapting, sound-recording, sound-playing, dancing, singing, costume designing, make-up, producing, instruments-playing, directing, marketing, educating, coordinating, entertaining, and of course, acting.

Russia is very proud of its theatre art. It has been known worldwide that Russian people have always gone to the theatre art not so much for the recreation but for revelation and the truth. It has also been known everywhere in the world that Russian theatre art plays have been always written by the best writers and that engaging performances express the tension of the epoch. There is, however, one of the most celebrated theatre art among Russian people, named Golden Mask Theatre.

In this article, we will learn more about 7 surprising facts of Golden Mask Theatre in Russia in order to have better understanding about it. Are you ready? Then, keep on reading.

1. It is a National Theatre Award and Performing Arts Festival 

Golden Mask Theatre is Russian National Theatre Award that was established in 1993 for productions in all genres of theatre art, such as drama, opera, modern dance, operetta, ballet, musical, and puppet theatre. It is the largest festival devoted to theatre, which is the lifeblood of the country’s culture and possibly more important than mere cinema. It is also an all-Russian Performing Arts Festival that is taken place in Moscow in the spring of each year, presenting the most profound performances from cities all over Russia. Golden Mask National Theatre Award, as well as its festival, is funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and also the Moscow Government.

2. It Holds a Wide Ranges of Programme

The programme includes Russian productions that are personally selected by professionals from the premieres of the previous season and also those which are nominated for the current Golden Mask Award. During the festival, there are two juries who are in charge of drama and musical theatre. Those are composed of recognized Russian actors, directors, conductors, choreographers, and also theatre critics. Both of the juries get to decide on the winners of the Golden Mask Award in over thirty nominations.

3. It is a Cultural Institution

The Golden Mask Theatre is not only a reputable and prestigious award in the field of theatre art in Russia, but also plays a role as a cultural institution, performing a complex of key strategic tasks for the theatre art. The history of Golden Mask Theatre is a chronicle of contemporary Russian theatre art, including all of its major trends and developments. Apart from the main competition programme, the festival also holds a number of other significant events and projects, with a special focus on the promotion of Russian theatre art and presenting the best Russian productions in all Russian cities and abroad. It is by far the most important cultural events of the season in Russia; hence it is widely covered by the press and broadcast by a central TV channel.


4. 2019 Golden Mask Award

In 2019, Golden Mask Theatre will be held for the 25th time where the main competition programme will take place in Moscow in spring 2019. It will be held on April 16 at the Bolshoi Theatre, Historic Stage. The best Russian productions of opera, operetta, drama and comedy, ballet, contemporary dance, and musicals, and puppet theater from cities all over Russia will be performed in the capital. The festival consists of a competition program called The Maska Plus. There is also a selection of productions for children, as well as other special events, such as The Russian Case program, which will be shown March 28 until April 2 and also the best of the best showcases from Moscow and other Russian cities from past years.

5. Non-Russian Speakers Get to Enjoy

There is a way for non-Russian speakers to enjoy the festival. They can watch plays like “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare. Three theaters will show their own versions of “Hamlet”, three of them are all completely different. The festival stretches for three months. It gives Moscow residents and also foreign visitors a chance to see the most interesting productions of the last year from cities all over Russia.


6. A Celebration of Diversity

Among the prominent winners, there is always a touch of diversity on the list, such as the Russian adaptation of “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” which is directed by Alexei Frandetti at the famous Taganka Theater, the “Billy Budd” which is based on Herman Melville’s novel and directed by American David Alden. They also invite foreign artist to participate, such as Greek Teodor Currentzis who has been the resident conductor at the Perm Opera and Ballet Theater for many years, Oliver von Dohnanyi the Slovak conductor who conducts at the nearby Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet, and many others.

It really brings people together, because for a performance to happen, a hundred to a thousand or more people need to gather in one place for a couple of hours and share together in contemplating an event that may be beautiful and thought-provoking.

7. It is a Highly Competitive Award

According to the statement from general director of the Golden Mask Theatre Festival and Award, among the participants are dozens of theatre troupes and fifty percent of them are coming from all regions of the country. The festival involves more and more new theatres each year. More than 170 performances are expected at the festival in total.

So, those are 7 surprising facts of Golden Mask Theatre in Russia. There are many benefits we can harness from it, like we can expresses a basic human instinct and bring people together. Also, for Russia, it contributes to education and literary and sparks economic revitalization.

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