Russian dramatic writer and actor (b. 1841; d. 1895 in Moscow), born Aleksandr Filippovich Fedotov (Александр Филиппович Федотов).
After studying at the medical department of Moscow University, he was forced to leave as a result of his participation in student unrest. He made his stage debut at the Maly Theatre in Moscow in 1862, and was adopted as a member of the theatre company, where he met his future wife, Glikeriya. He was subsequently involved in various theatrical enterprises, and founded lessons in stage craft in Moscow. Among his students were the famous actor and theatre director Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938). In 1893 Fedotov moved to Saint Petersburg to join the Aleksandrynsky Theatre's troupe, with which he performed until his death two years later .
Fedotov was the author of a number of stage works which were performed with some success at the Moscow Maly Theatre. His drama In the Castle of Chillon, inspired by Byron's famous poem The Prisoner of Chillon, was on that theatre's repertoire during the 1888/89 season and featured Mariya Yermolova in one of the principal roles. Fedotov wrote to Tchaikovsky in early/mid February 1892 to propose In the Castle of Chillon as the basis for an opera, but Tchaikovsky declined, arguing that the play's medieval, foreign characters could not awaken his full sympathy (see letter 4626).
Correspondence with Tchaikovsky
One letter from Tchaikovsky to Aleksandr Fedotov has survived, dating from 1892, and has been translated into English on this website:
One letter from Aleksandr Fedotov to the composer, dating from 1892, is preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.
Notes and References
- See the commentary by Vasily Kiselev in (1940), p. 477-478.