The circus, as a phenomenon, appeared in Voronezh long before the first stationary building of the circus was built. In the 19th century, itinerant artists regularly gave performances in this provincial town, sometimes using a big top, sometimes performances were held right in the open air.
The wooden winter building was built with the money and efforts of the famous Italian entrepreneur Maximiliano Truzzi in 1882. He came to Voronezh as an actor already well-known all over Russia, before moving to the outback in order to open his own circus, he worked for two years in the Moscow circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, which is worth noting slightly older than Voronezh. His performances – Ikarian games, pantomime, horse riding – amazed the Moscow audience, and rightfully deserved a thunderous ovation.
Truzzi’s circus enjoyed great success among the population; there was often no free space in the hall. It was one of the largest circuses in the country at that time, so circus artists from other cities often toured here, performing, in modern words, was prestigious here. In the circus he owned, the famous circus artist Anatoly Leonidovich Durov began his clown career. In Voronezh, he tries to train animals, the first among which were a ram, a pig and a rooster.
But the wooden building does not last forever, and already in 1905 a new circus was built. Its owner, I. Popov, had little to do with circus art, he was the owner of the baths, but in addition he was a good businessman, with tremendous profit at different times Popov rented the building to such famous circus figures as A. Ciniselli, E. Truzzi , A. Lapiado, N. Malyugin, Miles, S. Danshin.
The civil war did not pass without a trace for Popov, in 1920 his circus was destroyed, for many years the circus performers lost their permanent home. Performances took place in the Pervomaisky garden, where the buildings of the summer circus were built more than once. There was another stationary circus, however, its history is short – in 1929 it was erected, and during the Great Patriotic War it was destroyed.
The foundation of the modern circus in Voronezh was laid in 1972, the building was built with the expectation of 2,400 seats.
The Voronezh Circus is not only a beautiful and comfortable building, it is also a huge number of outstanding artists who began their careers in this city. Among them are such names as Ivan Zolototrubov – balancing act on the transitional staircase, Zuev and Tertychny – power acrobats, Leonid Shaposhnikov – solo gymnast, Pavel Drygin and Alexey Kozyavin – turnists and others.
In July 2008, a monument to Anatoly Leonidovich Durov was unveiled on the second floor of the Voronezh Circus. The author of the sculpture is the Georgian sculptor Vano Arsenadze. The appearance of this monument was the result of a joint project of the national communities of Voronezh: Georgian, Greek, Armenian, Ukrainian, German and Kurdish.
The Voronezh State Circus today is a branch of the Russian State Circus Company; various circus troupes from all over Russia regularly come to the city on tour.
Ulitsa 20-Letiya Oktyabrya, 121
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