|Rakhlin Ilya Yakovlevich
People's Artist of Russia, head of the St. Petersburg State Music Hall Theatre.
Born October 10, 1922 in the town of Klintsy of the Bryansk region in an administrative worker's family. His father was Deputy Director of a textile technical school, his mother's occupation was raising children, whom she loved very much.
He had wanted to become an artist since he was a child. His father wanted him to become either a doctor or a lawyer. When the young Ilya Rakhlin was being admitted into the Leningrad School of Theatre Art, his father threatened that he would not help him financially. However, he started to send him money after a month. In 1939 he has graduated from the institute and finally could call himself an artist.
Ilya Yakovlevich Rakhlin has been working in theatre for nearly sixty years. He has been granted the First Actors' Category at the Leningrad Drama Theatre, where he was working after graduation. Since the first days of World War II he has been a volunteer, serving in the Pacific Ocean Fleet during 1941-1946. He has been wounded, but continued his artistic activities in the Navy. He has received the rank of a navy captain and headed the Pacific Fleet Theatre, performing there as a leading actor. After military service he has begun to work at the Leningrad Theatre of Drama and Comedy. From 1946 to 1949 he has worked at the Leningrad State New Theatre and later, from 1949 to 1950, at the Russian Republican Drama Theatre in Estonia as a higher category actor. Since 1950 he has been involved in Leningrad's performance arts scene as an actor and later as artistic director of the Comedy Ensemble and Chief Director of mass performances. In 1960 he has been appointed Chief Director of the Bureau of Soviet Cinema Promotion. In 1962 he became Chief Director of the National State Concert and Touring Association's mass performances, in 1963 artistic director and head of the Theatre of Mass Performances in Moscow.
Since 1966 he has been the artistic director and head of the St. Petersburg State Music Hall Theatre. The idea of Music Hall's creation has been ripening for several years. Significant efforts and persuasion abilities were required for this idea to become reality. But it was even more difficult to gain possession of a decent building and to renovate it fully. At the same time he continued to select artists, to create and stage new plays. In 1976 he has created a school of his own, where he trains new theatre workers. Many well-known actors are among this school's alumni, including the majority of Music Hall's actors. Since 1995 Mr. Rakhlin has also been the administrative head of the theatre. His main incentive in work is his goal of creating "a theatre of joy", that would forever remain young, that would incorporate all the riches of Russian folk art and in which every play would be performed like a premiere.
Mr. Rakhlin's principle in leadership is to love every theatre worker personally. His secret of commercial success is indeed a SECRET. He is interested in sports, such as soccer, hockey and basketball. He is a great patriot of St. Petersburg. Mr. Rakhlin dreams of staging many more plays at the Music Hall in the time to come. The theatre has toured the U.S., Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Japan and Australia. It was invariably well received everywhere.
Ilya Rakhlin has organized and staged first mass theatre performances in the city. He has staged more than 150 show programs, dedicated to various anniversary dates, on the country's stadiums and summer stages in Moscow, Leningrad, Minsk, Odessa and Sevastopol. He has carried out the famous fairy show in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Borodino battle. I.Ya. Rakhlin has headed the "Leningrad - Pacific Ocean" arts marathon.
He has acted as organizer and stage director of the First International Cinema Festival in Moscow and of the first Cinema Day. He has staged celebration programs in Leningrad dedicated to World War II victory's 30th, 35th and 40th anniversaries. For its 50th anniversary he has created an original play at the Music Hall titled "Spring of Victory". Mr. Rakhlin has been the Chief Director of the fairy celebration in honour of St. Petersburg's 290th anniversary.
As Music Hall's artistic director, Rakhlin has staged over 20 original plays, revues, shows and musicals. Mr. Rakhlin is the author of all of the theatre's scripts. The plays involve choreography, vocals, magnificient costumes, scenery and lighting, all at the highest professional levels. Every staging is a colourful show, asserting the the theatre's youth and love of life.
One of Music Hall's plays has opened up the 1969 season in the famous Olympia Hall in Paris. Music Hall was the first theatre troupe to perform in the Rossiya Hall in Moscow and the Oktyabrsky Hall in Leningrad.
I.Ya. Rakhlin directed the popular play titled "Together", produced in co-operation with Berlin's Friedrichstadtpalas Music Hall to mark the city's 750th anniversary.
Rakhlin's accomplishments in staging mass celebrations of city anniversaries have been marked by titles of honorary citizen of Bryansk and Sevastopol, titles of Accomplished Artist of Kazakhstan and Northern Osetia.
He has been awarded the Golden Sophite theatre prize after St. Petersburg's 1995-96 theatre season.
People's Artist of the Russian Federation, February 8, 1984.
Accomplished Artist of Kazakhstan, July 15, 1961.
Accomplished Artist of Northern Osetia, August 15, 1965.
1. Great Patriotic War order of the 1st degree, March 11, 1985.
2. Red Star order, October 1, 1945.
3. Badge of Honour, June 10, 1950.
4. Friendship among Nations order, October 10, 1985.
5. Order of Honour, February 7, 1995.
6. Medal "For Military Accomplishments", October 1, 1944.
7. Medal "For Victory over Germany", March 4, 1946.
8. Medal "For Victory over Japan", June 16, 1947.
9. Medal "For Courageous Labour", October 1, 1970.
10. "20th Anniversary of the Victory" medal.
11. "25th Anniversary of the Victory" medal.
12. "30th Anniversary of the Victory" medal, January 20, 1975.
13. "40th Anniversary of the Victory" medal, March 27, 1985.
14. Medal "For the Defense of Leningrad".
15. "Veteran of Labour" medal, March 31, 1980.
16. "50th Anniversary of the Armed Forces" medal.
17. "60th Anniversary of the Armed Forces" medal.
18. "250th Anniversary of Leningrad" medal.
19. Honorary badge "For Cultural Leadership".
August, 15, 2002, Ilya Rakhlin died 85 years old.