“Debates about what constitutes “theatre for children” are still not over and I think will never be over. Do we need a special children-oriented theatre? Or is it better if kids are bringing up by attending grown-up shows?
I have still not found an exact answer, but one thing I know for sure: if at certain period children are not taken to a theatre, art gallery, concert halls or classical music venues something very important for a child’s formation can be lost.
Our theatre is absolutely unique as it is the world’s first and so far the only professional state opera and ballet theatre for young audience. But even though theatre always had its own inimitable style today its mission should be rethought.
In the past our country had a special system of aesthetic education aimed at the all-round development of children. But today things look very different. Children have changed a lot and just a spectacular entertainment show cannot surprise them any longer. I believe that contemporary theatre for children should be as interactive as possible, helping young spectators to discover something new about the world and themselves. Theatre should give children that which they won’t find anywhere else – not in any amusement park or on the Internet. And how can one dispense with Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Verdi assistance? Our theatre’s aim is to establish a foundation for developing children’s taste, their feeling for the genuine music, literature and art.”
The Moscow State Opera and Ballet Theatre for Young Audience named after Natalia Sats is the world’s first and so far the only professional state music theatre, which carries out two great missions simultaneously – to be a full-scale Opera and Ballet theatre and to have large and serious repertoire for children, young people and family audience. Our theatre creates and presents classic, as well as contemporary opera and ballet performances, symphony concerts, education and other special programs for spectators of different ages. The training level of such an interesting audience is different and we try to represent music styles in all the diversity.
The theatre has its own symphony orchestra (over 100 musicians), opera (75 singers) and ballet (60 dancers) companies, as well as own professional chorus, working together under the General management of the theatre.
All the soloists and musicians have higher musical education – they graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire and other higher musical establishments of Russia. “Voices of great strength and rare beauty of the singers of the Moscow State Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Natalia Sats combined with perky recreation of dancing images came out as a surprise for audience”, – wrote the German newspaper “Nachrichten” about the theatre’s performance when it was on tours in Germany.
The theatre was founded in 1965 by the world’s first female opera director, worldwide famous Natalia Sats – women of legendary fate and incredible deeds, “the mother of children’s Theatres throughout the world”. During her long life she organized 6 theatres for children. Daughter of Iliya Sats, composer for Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art Theatre, she raised in the circle of some of the most distinguished Russian artists. After Natalia Sats death theatre went through a difficult time. But theatre survived, kept its audience and stayed in the perfect creative shape.
A new chapter in theatre life began in 2010 when new artistic director, the State Prize of the Russian Federation Laureate and the Golden Mask Prize Laureate Georgiy Isaakyan started in this position. The main idea of the artistic renovation was to present to the audience the greatest opera and ballet music of different periods, to speak to the new generation of the audience on the language of contemporary art.
The theatre is carrying out an important and necessary mission – to bring true art to all kinds of the audience, to help them not just to listen to the music, but also to feel in it beauty and kindness captivating their imagination and enriching the growing and developing characters of a personality with staunchness, love for beauty, ability to listen attentively to the images of musical art, to acquaint people with the musical culture.