Vsevolod Meyerhold, Zinaida Reich, Sergei Yesenin

6 June 2022
Time: 7PM
SPbU Representative Office in Barcelona

The SPbU representative office in Barcelona will host a lecture "Vsevolod Meyerhold, Zinaida Reich, Sergei Yesenin" as a continuation of the "Story of a Love" cycle. The lecture will be delivered by Anna Silyunas, theater critic, art critic and director of the Russian House in Barcelona.

A rare beauty with an extraordinary mind, a bow-legged actress and a mediocre director's wife, a talented typist fluent in several languages, a muse for two, a brunette with sensual lips... All this and much more was said about Zinaida Reich, the beloved of the poet Sergei Yesenin and theater director Vsevolod Meyerhold. The girl graduated from the Faculty of History and Literature of the Higher Women's Courses in Petrograd. Zinaida was always interested in the revolutionary movement, so she easily got the position of assistant editorial secretary in the first legal Socialist-Revolutionary newspaper Delo Naroda, where she met the poet Sergei Yesenin.

The first meeting between Yesenin and Reich took place in the spring of 1917. The poet realized that he was in love with Zinaida only after a month and a half and immediately made an offer. Reich did not expect such a turn of events, but without thinking twice, she agreed. After the wedding, the young people settled in Petrograd on Liteiny and at first lived a quiet family life. But happiness was short-lived. The poet, rapidly gaining fame, became addicted to alcohol, began to arrange scenes of jealousy and, in a fit of passion, allowed himself to raise his hand to his wife. In 1920 the couple separated, Reich was then pregnant with her second child. In 1921, their marriage was officially annulled.

After a divorce from Yesenin, Reich entered the Higher Theater Workshop, where Vsevolod Meyerhold taught. Despite the fact that the director was 20 years older than Reich, he fell desperately in love with his student, leaving his family and three children for her. They got married in 1922. For the sake of his beloved, Meyerhold not only changed his modest lifestyle, turning their house into a fashionable salon, and Zinaida into a real “prom queen”, but also made Reich the first actress of his theater, although she was not loved in the troupe, and critics called mediocre.

The second marriage of Zinaida Reich was certainly more successful than the first. But was she happy? Shortly before Yesenin's death, Meyerhold found out about the poet's secret meetings with his wife, and asked his friend Reich not to facilitate these meetings, because "if they meet again, then Zinaida will be unhappy ..." The dates were interrupted by the tragic death of the poet. At Yesenin's funeral, Reich - loudly and in the presence of her husband - exclaimed: "Farewell, my fairy tale!"

The meeting will be held in Russian with simultaneous translation into Spanish.

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