Margarita Savina – actress and last love of Turgenev
Actress Margarita Savina was the last love of famous Russian writer Ivan Turgenev. The last four years of his life were full of high feeling and touching dreams about Savina, and a sober understanding of the hopelessness of their common future. Turgenev told about his feelings in his letters to the actress. The book Turgenev and Savina was published in 1918.
Margarita was born on March 30, 1854. At the age of 7 she began to take part in the performances. 15-year-old Maria had played in all stages of provincial theaters in Bobruisk, Gomel and Nezhin. She played a variety of roles – from the small roles to the heroines of Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Goethe, Dumas, Gogol, Ostrovsky and many others.
The scene was the life for her. Savina entered the history of Russian theater as one of the brightest stars.
Savina came to St. Petersburg in the spring of 1874. Her debut on the scene of Alexandrinsky Theater took place on April 9, 1874. By that time she was already a famous actress. She gave 40 years of her life to Alexandrinsky Theater.
On January 17, 1879, Maria brilliantly played the role of Vera in the play A Month in the Country, based on the play by Turgenev. Ivan Sergeyevich saw her once in the theater, and then could not forget. The original plan was to be directed by the actress to perform a major role. Turgenev appeared in her dressing room with a huge bouquet of roses, he exclaimed: “Is this Vera I’ve written?” Savina rushed to Turgenev and kissed him on the cheek.
In the spring of 1880 the actress met Turgenev on her way to Odessa. He was in love. The rare meetings with Turgenev were supplemented by frequent correspondence, which lasted for four years.
In 1881 the actress met Turgenev in the Spassky-Lutovinovo village. But a few weeks later she sent a letter from Perm to Ivan Sergeyevich, which reported on her upcoming marriage…
Maria became a wife of a rich man, passionate lover of theater, chairman of the Society of Russian shipping company and Vice President of Theatrical Company, Anatoly Molchanov.
Upset Turgenev sent her wishes of happiness and joy, and assures the immutability of friendship.
In 1908, 25 years after Turgenev’s death, one of the halls of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg opened a museum of the writer. After some time, the ministers noted that every day under his portrait one middle-aged lady left a bouquet of fresh roses. It was – Maria Savina …
On February 24, 1914 an anniversary celebration was held in honor of Savina in Alexandrinsky.
Savina died unexpectedly for many. On the night of September 8, 1915, Maria became unconscious, and in the morning she was gone. Savina was buried by all St. Petersburg.
There is another portrait of M. Savina – portrait by Leon Bakst, which is recognized as one of the best. In a thin and delicate profile, sealed genuine charm a young woman and looking at this portrait, very clearly understand why she became so loved by Turgenev…