Lydia Yavorskaya, Theater Star
Lydia Yavorskaya was a Russian drama actress.
Lydia (nee Gubbenet) was born in 1871 in Kiev. Her father, B. Gubbenet Frenchman by birth, was a chief of police.
Since childhood she participated in home plays. Yavorskaya’s first performance took place in February 1880. It is said that Lydia married someone called Yavorski while in Kiev, that he was a drunk and/or womanizer, and Lydia quickly divorced him.
After graduating from the school, Lydia played in charity performances.
In 1889 Yavorskaya entered the Theatre School in Petersburg, and then studied at the Comedie Francaise in Paris.
She made her debut in 1893 in Revel. In 1893 she was invited to the Moscow theater, where she played such roles as Marguerite Gautier (The Lady of the Camellias by A. Dumas), Alice (The Struggle for Happiness by Kovalevskaya), Olga Knapsack (Chad Life by Markevich).
On July 26, 1894 Lydia married the naval officer and writer Prince Vladimir Baryatinsky. The Prince divorced Lydia in 1916 it is said that Rasputin was involved to push through the divorce.
In 1901 Yavorskaya opened New Theatre in St. Petersburg. In her New Theatre Lydia played Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare), Ariel (The Tempest by William Shakespeare), Nora by H. Ibsen, Antigone by Sophocles, Irene (When We Dead Awaken by H. Ibsen), Sappho by A. Daudet, Betsy (Fruits of Enlightenment by L. Tolstoy), Nina (The Seagull by Anton Chekhov), Masha (Three Sisters by A. Chekhov), Lydia (Easy Money by Alexander Ostrovsky), Olga Kruchinina (Roll over by Baryatinsky).
In 1907-1918 Lydia went on tour – cities of Russia, London, Paris.
Lydia she had been painted by Ilya Repin (who painted many of the Imperial family) and Pavel Troubetzkoy (he did a statue of Alexander III, had an exhibition of his work in the USA in 1911 and in Rome in 1913) made her sculpture.
In 1915 Yavorskaya attempted to create a theater in St. Petersburg, but such plays as School for Scandal by R. Sheridan and Fanny’s first play (Her first play) by B. Shaw were not successful and she had to close the theater.
In 1916 she divorced her husband and two years later went to London, where in 1920 she married John Frederick Pollock.
Yavorskaya died in London on November 18, 1921.