I would like to share with you a gem of my city, a pearl that the Iasi recently recovered after many years of struggle: The National Theater of Iasi :) (Teatrul National Iasi).
The history of the building of the National Theater of Iaşi – which in 1956 was given the name of Vasile Alecsandri, poet, playwright and theater promoter – is connected to an unfortunate event: the fire that destroyed the old Theatre on the Hill of Copou on the night of 17/18 February 1888.
The efforts to build the new theatre edifice culminated in 1894 when, at the insistence of the Mayor, of the City Council and of MP Miltiade Tzoni, a contract was signed with the Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer, who „until today have built over twenty theaters, true models of good taste and good organization”: Vienna, Prague, Odessa, Mainz, Hamburg, Oradea, Darmstadt, Budapest, Timişoara, Augsburg, Cernăuţi, Carlsbad, Fiume, Pressburg, Szegedin, Cluj and Berlin.
For the building work, a contract was signed with a Bucharest company, and the power station and the boiler house were built by a company from Berlin. A noteworthy fact: it was from the Theatre’s power station that the first public lighting system was supplied with electricity (the 12 electric-arc lamps lighting the Theatre Square); this marked the beginning of electrification in the city of Iaşi. The works took two years, and on the 2nd of December 1896, during the grand opening, the keys of the playhouse were handed to the mayor, Nicolae Gane.
The inauguration festivities taking place on the 1st and the 2nd of December included the “National Overture” by Flechtenmacher, the vaudevilles „Muza de la Burdujeni” (“The Muse from Burdujeni”) by Costache Negruzzi and „Cinel-cinel” (“The Riddle”) by Vasile Alecsandri, as well as the verse comedy „Poetul romantic” (“The Romantic Poet”) by Matei Millo. The proceeds of the first night were distributed to the poor of the city, and those of the second night were given to the artists of the Iaşi Drama Society.
Well... enough for history and let us talk about nowadays :)
At the present date, the building also hosts the Romanian National Opera from Iasi :) Until 2011 The Theatre had multiple locations as the main building was under reconstruction - Sala Teatru³ (Teatru la Cub), Sala Pod Pogor Fiul, Sala Studio Teofil Vâlcu și Sala Uzina cu Teatru. But in June last year (2012), after multiple years of renovation work on the Theater it was reopened. I was glad to be able to show it to my beloved fiancee last December, when we visited my parents :)
We went to a new play about the plays of I.L.Caragiale - combination of ballet, theater and opera :) It was very art nouveau and even though I must admit that I rather enjoyed it. If I remember right the last time I have been inside the National Theater was not long before it was closed, and I went with my family to see "Coana Chirita" written by Vasile Alecsandri :) I think I was somewhere between 5th and 6th grade(ish)... I remember that it was the time when I was reading a lot by Alexandre Dumas and I was getting familiar with French language and literature... I remember that when I read "The Phantom of the Opera" I was imagining the Opera in Paris to look very much like the Theater in Iasi :) (with the entrance and the inside all in red-gold ornaments and with the heavy bloody red curtain...)
Here you can see one of the statues in the entree of the lovely Theater :) When I was small I was always waiting for them to come to life and grab my hand...
The Famous Chandelier <3 that I adore!
The Main Hall, with 750 seats, organized in stalls, boxes and a balcony, impresses through the refinement, originality and lavishness of its Rococo and Baroque inspired painted and sculpted ornaments.
The 1418 electric lights and the chandelier with 109 Venetian crystal lamps light up a playhouse with a unique architectural personality.
The main curtain, painted by the Viennese maestro Lenz and finished by one of his disciples, has in the middle an allegory of life with its three stages, and to the side a symbolic representation of the Union of Principalities; the left-hand side, painted by Lenz’s apprentice, differs from the rest of the curtain in style and colouring.
The ceiling and the iron curtain were painted by Alexander Goltz. The iron curtain shows ornaments placed symmetrically, while the ceiling, a real work of art, has as a narrative basis the Archetypal Story, shown in paradisiacal allegories, with nymphs and cupids framed in rococo stucco.
Above the orchestra pit, the ceiling displays the crest of the four reunited Romanian provinces, combining the heraldry of all four; from the royal coat-of-arms, located in a parallel plan, the most visible is the scepter, the royal insignia being removed after the last king’s abdication.
Hope you liked the pictures and you enjoy the Theater's story :)
If you wanna know more, do not hesitate to contact the...
... Cultural Ladybug :)
**I didn't receive anything for this review, just wanted to share the love!**