Text topic: Studies
Text author: Александра Ђорђевић
Cultural life of Belgrade in the period between the two Worlds Wars was also defined by establishment and development of numerous artistic associations, organizations and societies. Around 40,000 Russian refugees stationed in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in the first decade after the First World War, seeking refuge after the October revolution and the civil war. They have influenced development of the cultural life in the newly formed Balkan state. Establishment of two independent departments – The Opera (1919) and The Ballet (1922) – within the Belgrade National Theater, lead to popularization of theatrical arts (drama, opera and ballet). Russian artists and stagehands employed in the National Theater significantly contributed in the fields of performance -interpretation, scenery and costume, as well on the artistic and directorial level. The problem of language barrier and poor pronunciation of the Serbian language of Russian singers became an element of discrimination and segregation in a rivalry between the Russian and the Serbian opera soloists. In that context, the first working decade showed noticeable slowing of development i.e. stagnation of the Belgrade’s Opera scene, and offered poor conditions for creating the national opera style.