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From the history of work of the Italian troupe of J. Locatelli in St. Petersburg and Moscow

t. S. Baynova


Work is presented by department of a technique of the organization of educational process of non-standard higher education institution of Vaganova Ballet Academy.

The research supervisor — the doctor of art criticism, professor I.V. Stupnikov

In article the interesting subject describing features of activity of the Italian troupe in the middle of the 18th century is considered. The author analyzes features of the contract signed by Court office with the Italian impresario and also gives documentary examples of organizational and financial activity of troupe of Locatelli. Article contains useful material for studying development of theater in the middle of the 18th century. Keywords: Locatelli, Italian troupe, impresario.

T. Bainova


The article describes the peculiarities of the Italian Opera and Ballet Company's work in the mid-18th century. The author does a profound analysis of the contract signed by the Office of the Court and the Italian entrepreneur and refers to the documents illustrating the organisational and financial features of the company’s activity. The article may serve as useful material for studying the development of theater business in the mid-18 th century.

The ballet belongs to number of the arts which are the most esteemed and cultivated in Russia. Disclosing content by means of musical and choreographic images, connecting in a whole dramatic art (scenario), music, choreography (dance and a pantomime), the fine arts (scenography, suits, lighting, etc.), it was strongly approved in Russia as a scenic genre in HVSh of century

At the same time it is interesting to address also some organizational problems which arose on the way of formation of this scenic genre.

In terms of studying organizational problems of ballet theater the activity of troupe of Italian J. Locatelli is of interest. The history of its work in St. Petersburg and Moscow appeared as a result of very instructive.

In comparison with maintenance costs of other court companies, the contract which was signed with Locatelli in 1757 by the courier Ivan Shakurov was one of the most favorable court departments for all history of relationship with foreign impresarios. Shakurov reported that he signed the contract "on very most useful standards, than in the instruction... it is offered" [2, page 56]. The impresario had to receive for free performances of the company on the court stage 7 thousand rubles a year and 500 rub for hiring of apartments. All other sum to justify keeping of troupe, it should gain as a result of open public activity for money. At the opera by Locatelli there was a ballet troupe which at once won sympathies of public, and Locatelli distance court theater at the Summer garden in which in seredi-

not the 1730th also the company Araja acted sometimes, and the subsidy in 5 thousand rubles is granted. The St. Petersburg nobility subscribed in theater, paying for boxes 300 rub

The ballet troupe of Locatelli was quite considerable on structure, in it dancers Bellyutsi, Lieber and Andrean Sacchi, Sacchi's dancers, Bellyutsi, etc. worked. Sacchi was a ballet master. The Russian dancers and dancers also participated in work of troupe: Timofeeva, Mikhaylova, Afanasyeva, Kirillov, Afanasyev, etc.

It is interesting to note that besides actors the Court office allocated in Locatelli's order of 20 musicians who are on court service. The troupe really first had success, this conclusion can be drawn from the following fact: in 1758 from 102 representations shown to public 44 Locatelli's troupe played, and at each of them there was Elizabeth Petrovna. As a sign of the arrangement she presented to Locatelli 500 rub. Said about the ballets shown by Locatelli's troupe: "... the best ballet cannot be found in Europe and that it surpasses Italy and Paris" [2, page 60].

But, despite initial tremendous success, in two years put Locatelli reeled.

In "A historical essay of the St. Petersburg ballet" L.P. Stukolkina is told about it so: "Locatelli using attention of the St. Petersburg public as the dexterous foreigner took in head to collect a tribute and from Muscovites. We find in Archive of Directorate of Imperial theaters that the resolution of Court office on permission to it constructions of theater in Moscow took place on April 27, 1758. But Moscow accepted it not especially sympathetically, and it, having suffered fiasco, was ruined in it finally. (Its theater failed here in 1761 — T.B.) Besides, owing to possibly same reasons, his troupe broke up" [4, page 4].

Follows from the same source that madam Sacchi (one of sisters — T.B.) went abroad, Bellyutsi with the husband passed into the Oranienbaum theater of the grand duke. There passed as the director and the ballet master tantsov-

Kaltsevaro's chic. Taulato was passed into troupe by Araja.

"And Locatelli began to subsist on masquerades which, however, were very willingly visited by public and even the Empress Catherine II subsequently" [4, page 6]. It is known that on February 16, 1785 he was admitted to Drama school the teacher of the Italian and French languages, but on April 22 the same year died.

It is interesting to pay attention to some features of setting of business at Locatelli and his relation with the Russian yard.

Locatelli was written out on service by the decree "Imennago Ey of Imperial Majesty" on September 13, 1757 for one year.

The order sounded so: "Eya Imperatorskoye deigned to specify majesty by the nominal Decree of Imperatrosky Majesty Most highly being in service at court of Eya of Imperial Majesty of the Italian comic opera holder Locatelli with kompaniyeyu which in this service is written out owing to its imperial Majesty of the Decree foreign to Kollegiyey on the concluded standards in the past 1757 for one year and I define to it that year from Stats-office 7 thousand rubles, and its service begins September from the 13th of that 1757, and that year onyya money to it, takozh and for whom it was necessary into the account it are given out wholly" [1, page 59].

Thus, Locatelli's fee made 7 thousand rubles which were paid to it from Stats-office. Then, on the basis of decrees of August 24, 1758 and on April 25, 1759 and the signed contracts, it had to be left on service for three years with the fee of 7 thousand rubles a year. The documents which are in archive confirm longer stay of Locatelli in Russia and expansion of its powers for the contract. "... For the statement in Moscow of the same theater seven thousand rubles from Bank Office, local for the nobility, in which number a half, i.e. three and a half thousand rubles, in Bank Office are returned from Stats-Kohn are given it (Locatelli) on decree force from the Government Senate, with payment of the specified percent,

Torahs, and other half, tozh three and a half thousand rubles, is received in Court office, and instead of it — Locatelli, used in payment of the debts which are available on it, and taka remained on it state byvshago is long — three and a half thousand rubles and moreover still, on decree force from the Government Senate ten thousand rubles are given it from the Moscow Noble bank in 1759 in July, and that with it to make thirteen and a half thousand rubles which he nowadays is still able to pay. For this purpose, from the termination under the last contract of the term, i.e. September of the 13th of the future 1761 to leave in service Eya Imperatorskogo Velichestva for five years of September of nynyashny year, to make six years and as the term to consider next 1766 September on the 13th, on the same basis of the contract, and monetary treasury to give it those five years only five thousand rubles in every year, and that sum Court Office to demand from the Ruling Senate still, and for this time — Locatelli on appropriate standards to sign the contract with it. And at the same Eya Imperial Majesty most gracious desired to point to give out to it — Locatelli nowadays over the above-written, available on it thirteen and a half thousand rubles, for the best correction here and in Moscow of theaters, i.e. to invoicing of comedians and on other ten thousand rubles from local Noble Banka and if in that number in it will be insufficiently, from zdeshnya-go Mednago Banka, and from these ten thousand rubles, takozh and nowadays available on it Noble Banka it is long, from this time of percent not to collect from thirteen and a half thousand rubles because it as higher means, nowadays conceded in treasury from the sum put for five years in every year two thousand rubles, and takozh and before not vzys-Cannes, only twenty three thousand and a half rubles to subtract these ten thousand rubles at it from following and from the money above mentioned, again put in the dacha in every year under four thousand rubles of that for the sake of Court office, in pursuance of this Eya of Imperial Majesty of the Personalized Decree, ordered: with it with -

the holder Locatelli the contract on above-written, September from the 13th of the future 1761, five-year time not former standards to sign, and about delivery nowadays to it — Locatelli of above-written ten thousand rubles that this Locatelli, half-learning that sum could the following to theaters, without omission of time, improve and that from these ten thousand rubles takozh and nowadays available on it prezhnya-go it is long, from thirteen and a half thousand rubles, percent from this time were we do not collect, to present to the Ruling Senate a donosheniye and to thus demand that from this Ruling Senate opredel-but was and shown again for five-year time the sum, on five thousand rubles for every year, beginning from next 1761 September from the 13th to release from where is necessary, still and in number of it, takozh and former, in appropriate terms on four thousand rubles for every year from the place direct pays in remembered banks, and then to Stepan Rambur, and about that about all Court Office for information to define by the decree that this Office, half-learning this Decree, could with it the contract ought to sign again. About what for information and announcements of that to send to rechenny Locatelli and the remembered colonel Mr. Stepan Rambur the warrant and to write the contract for the conclusion to it — Locatelli, to send to it to Mr. Rambur and on a zarucheniya to order to give to Court Office at the official report" [1, page 59]. This document is dated on June 1, 1760. Thus, it becomes clear what for creation in Moscow of the same theater of Locatelli was given according to the decree of the Government Senate 7 more thousand rubles of Bank office. At the same time a half, i.e. three and a half thousand, has to be returned in Bank office from Stats-office. Other half had to be returned in Court office and is used on account of the debts which are available for Loka-telli. Besides, according to the decree of the Ruling Senate to it 10 thousand rubles were given from Moscow Noble to Banka in July, 1759. By this moment at Locatelli 13.5 thousand rubles which it should return were at disposal.

For this purpose it was upon termination of the contract, namely since September, 1761, is left on service for 5 years, i.e. till September 13, 1766

In order that upon termination of all his contracts the debt was repaid, according to the decree Eya Imperatorskogo Velichestva, from 1761 to 1766 paid to it from treasury only 5 thousand rubles. Also, over the written-out thirteen and a half thousand, "for the best correction here and in Moscow of theaters", i.e. on invoicing of comedians and so forth, 10 more thousand rubles from Moscow Noble were given to Banka. Thus, the general sum of money which is at the disposal at Locatelli was 23 thousand rubles. It was forbidden to collect percent from this sum and it was explained that in the last 5 years of the work to it it was paid 5 thousand rubles a year, but not on 7 as it was earlier. It agrees to the contracts signed with it since 1761 Locatelli had to pay 4 thousand rubles in "the remembered Banks, and then dostalny to give to department of Court Office to the colonel Stepan Rambur" [1, page 59].

From these data obtained in Archive of Directorate of Imperial theaters, it becomes clear that the course of affairs in Locatelli's troupe was watched by the empress, besides, the order of financing of troupe was accurately established. Money, according to decrees, went into Locatelli's disposal from various sources: Moscow Noble Banka, Court office, Stats-office, at the same time Locatelli was exempted from payment of interest.

If to track Loka-telli's fees and the amount of loans by years, then it is visible that they were appointed not accidentally. Even in case of failures -

a leg of business management of Locatelli could repay all debts from the fee before the termination of the contract, i.e. till 1766. But its troupe was impractical and broke up earlier.

Locatelli's activity — the only case in the history of court theaters of the 18th century when one impresario who was in the court service not only gave free performances for the yard, but at the same time had also two city theaters in St. Petersburg and Moscow playing for general city public. In 1761 as it was already told, Locatelli's enterprise in Moscow went bankrupt. "In the history of a private Russian theatrical affair there was probably the first bankruptcy which subsequently, in the 19th century, was "not to consider number"" [3, page 59].

Soon stopped the existence and the St. Petersburg enterprise of Locatelli. As it was already mentioned, after termination of work of this company some of her actors were a part of court troupes. Considering the facts given above, it is possible to draw a conclusion that process of formation of troupes at that time was very mobile. That is the impresario came to Russia with the troupe, but in case of need if it coincided with desire of the persons interested in development of activity of this troupe the actors who were in the court service were at its disposal. If work of the company did not develop, then her actors joined as required other troupe. Till some time it occurred according to the decrees "Eya Majesties" appointing the fees and loans and defining the translations of actors from one troupe in another.


1. ADIT. Issue 1. Otd. Item (1746-1801). In 3 otd. SPb., 1892.
2. Vsevelodsky-Gerngross V.N. Teatr in Russia at the empress Elizabeth Petrovna. Copy of author's updates, typewriting. RNB., inv No. 340/227.
3. G.Z. Mordison. History of theatrical matter in Russia. The basis and development of the state theater in Russia (HU1-HUSh of a century). Part 1. St. Petersburg state Academies of theater. SPb., 1994.
4. L.P. Stukolkin. Historical essay of the St. Petersburg ballet//RGIA. T. 678. Op. 1. Unit hr. 992.
Arabella Loren
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