Riga Russian Theatre

The stage of the Riga Russian Theatre gets modern lighting


August 2010

Riga Russian Theatre is the oldest Russian theatre in the world outside Russia. It was opened with the premiere of Ippolit Shpazhinsky’s General’s Wife on 2 October 1883.

The company, with entrepreneur Lavrov (the stage name of the provincial director and actor Yefim Sokolov) as its artistic director, initially employed 16 actors. During the first season 60 plays were staged which were mostly works of the greats of Russian and world literature.

Over time, thanks to the participation of distinguished directors and excellent actors, Riga Russian Theatre became one of the best outside Russia.

In 1931 Mikhail Chekhov, the great Russian actor and director, came to Riga and throughout the following two years staged plays in Riga Russian Theatre, and also took part in performances as an actor.

When Latvia was incorporated into the USSR, the Theatre was renamed the Latvian SSR State Russian Drama Theatre, keeping this name until 1958.

Throughout many years there were two paths for the creative development of the theatre. Firstly, many deeply social and psychological plays were staged. Secondly, there was an expansion of the dramatic range of performances – colourful musicals became a stable part of the Theatre’s repertoire.

In 2003 the Theatre marked its 120th anniversary, but it spent its 126th and 127th season on stages of other theatres and cultural institutions, since the building of RRT was under renovation during that time.

The Theatre opened its 128th season in 2010 in the newly renovated premises with the performance of Twelfth Night under the guidance of the new artistic director Igor Konyayev.

Nowadays, the Theatre’s repertoire covers Russian and world classics, as well as young playwrights’ works. On the big and small stages, performances of all genres are held, including children's and musical productions. The Theatre actively goes on tour and is quite successful in the festival arena.

In the course of the renovation of the Theatre from 2008 to 2010, deconstruction and renovation works of the facade, as well as the interior were carried out merging the values and remnants of the olden times with modern elements and the introduction of technology in keeping with the activities of needs of a contemporary theatre. 

During the renovation, SGS Sistēmas provided – delivered and installed – new stage lighting equipment suitable for the needs of the Theatre according to the instructions and specifications set out by the Theatre management.

The lighting needs of the new stage were met by using a wide range of Philips Selecon and Clay Paky products (the Theatre had already worked with the products of these companies and had been satisfied with their quality and reliability) which were delivered and installed in a three months period.

Installed equipment:

  • 10 x Selecon Pacific 12-28 – profile luminaires;
  • 23 x Selecon Pacific 14-35 – profile luminaires;
  • 30 x Selecon Rama PC 175 – PC lens luminaires;
  • 6 x Selecon Aurora Cyc Groundrow – asymmetric halogen floodlights;
  • 30 x Major Par 64 PRO - PAR-type spotlights;
  • 6 x Clay Paky Alpha Wash 575 – moving colour-change projectors;
  • 6 x Clay Paky Alpha Wash Halo 1200 – moving colour-change projectors;
  • 80 x ADB 4-channel dimmers;
  • 16 x ADB 3-channel dimmers;
  • 23 x ADB 4-channel relay units.