Борис Мессерер


Born in 1933 in Moscow. Member of the famous Messerer-Plisetsky-Azarin theatre dynasty. Graduate of the Moscow Institute of Architecture. From 1960, he did designs for the theatres of Moscow (The Sovremennik, The Satire Theatre, The Mayakovsky Theatre and others), Saint-Petersburg, and of other cities in Russia and Europe. From 1990-97, he was chief scenographer at the Chekhov Moscow Arts Theatre where he designed the following, among other, productions: Sweet Bird of Youth (1975), Woe from Wit (1992), The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (1993), Boris Godunov (1994), Ghosts (1997). He has worked with leading theatre directors: Oleg Efremov, Anatoly Efros, Andrei Goncharov, Valentin Plyuchek, Mark Zakharov, Galina Volchek, Boris Lvov-Anokhin. In 1963, he made his Bolshoi Theatre debut, with the scenography for the ballet Lieutenant Kijé (choreographers Alexander Lapauri and Olga Tarasova). He also did the designs for the ballets Carmen-suite (1967 and 2005, choreographer Alberto Alonzo) and The Humpbacked Horse (1999, choreographer Nikolai Androsov); for the Kirov Theatre he did The Bedbug (1962, choreographer Leonid Yakobson) and Levsha (1976, choreographer Konstantin Sergeyev). He has worked for the Georgian Z. Paliashvili Theatre of Opera and Ballet (Cinderella, 1966, choreographer Vakhtang Chabukiani), for the Kiev T. Shevchenko Theatre of Opera and Ballet (Class-concert, 1973, choreographer Asaf Messerer), the Novosibirsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet (Three Musketeers, 1973, choreographer Pyotr Gusev), for the Azerbaijan M. Akhundov Theatre of Opera and Ballet (By the Path of Thunder, 1975, choreographers Rafiga Akhundova and Maksud Mamedov), for the Armenian A. Spendiarov Theatre of Opera and Ballet (Spartacus, 1978, choreographer Vilen Galstyan).
Since 1957, he has participated on a regular basis in all-union and foreign exhibitions. He has had one-man shows in different years in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Tbilisi.

In 2001, he designed the Artists of the Bolshoi Theatre exhibition, to mark the 225th anniversary of the foundation of the Bolshoi Theatre. This exhibition, held at the Central Manezh Exhibition Hall, set a new standard for exhibition design in Russia. He has also designed exhibitions for the Pushkin Museum of the Fine Arts and History Museum. Book illustration occupies a special place in his creative output. He has worked for over thirty years in this genre.

He is Academician of the Russian Academy of the Arts (in 2001, he was awarded a gold medal by the Academy), president of the Moscow Association of Theatre, Film and Television Designers. Нe was awarded the Russian State Prizes.