Moscow; Leningrad: Iskusstvo, 1940. 314 pp., 6 ill., drafts.: ill., schemes, drafts. In original blue cloth. Very good, occasional foxing.
Scarce. First edition.
A detailed guide to achieving a high-standard Soviet theatre. This textbook for students of art institutes was written by Nikolay Izvekov with the purpose of acquainting its readers with the structure and equipment of the modern stage, as well as the peculiarities of theater decoration. The edition consists of two main sections and opens with a brief overview of the development of stage technique from the VI century B.C. to the early XX century. In the book, the author outlines the essentials of stage and auditorium arrangement and describes different types of stages (rotating stage, a stage with rolling platforms, combined stage, spatial stage, etc.) and the specifics of their installation.
Izvekov pays particular attention to stage lightning and offers detailed characteristics of light sources in theatre: incandescent lamps, projector lamps, etc. Importantly, the author provides a thorough review of the stage lightning network from the components of the devices and the ways of voltage increase to the disposition of tools. The book differentiates light devices in accordance with their purposes (general lightning - ramp, backlight, horizontal lights; local lightning - spotlight) and features numerous recommendations for achieving the best result, such as collecting the maximum amount of light from lamps to get a local lightning, using a filter with soft edges to reduce the sharpness of the light circle produced through a spotlight, etc. From the easiest (applying colored spirit lacquer to the glass bulb of the lamp) to the most common way (filters from color glass) of receiving color combinations, the author describes addition and subtraction principles of color lightning and underlines the importance of color transformations.
An important part of the edition is devoted to the technique of artistic imitation and special effects. The text discusses some of the most common devices for reproducing the sounds of transport (train, airplane, automobiles, etc.), natural phenomena (thunderstorms, wind, rain, etc.), and battle events (gunshots) in the theatre. While the author offers numerous tricks to recreate a certain sound (the sound of a passing tram is imitated by bells and the hum of tram motors), he also encourages the transmission of noise with genuine items when the result bears imitational character, such as using regular car signals instead of looking for replacement. In the book, Izvekov characterizes a number of special effects: the movement of individual installations - a train, a boat, a ship, swinging objects (a swimming swan, a crawling snake), a rough sea, the effect of rain, fountains, etc., and provides brief descriptions of the most common techniques (in both Soviet and world practice) for creating visual illusions: the use of spotlights with color filters to obtain a colored fountain, installing the shower pipe to create a rain effect, etc.
The edition includes numerous illustrations depicting the auditorium of the Gorky House of Culture, proscenium and orchestra of the Lenin Komsomol theater, platform in the S. M. Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre, loading gallery in the Lenin Komsomol theater, proscenium tower and light bridges in the Lenin Komsomol theater, the first act of the play Tri sestry [i.e. Three Sisters] in the Moscow Art Theatre (1940), rheostat, regulators, various color transformations, etc.
Overall, an important Soviet work dedicated to the stage technique.