Andreas Roller

Born: 1805, Regensburg (Germany)
Died: 1891, St Petersburg

German theatrical designer, painter, architect, teacher. Born in Regensburg in Bavaria to scene-shifter Adam Roller and opera singer Marianne Rothmeier (1805). Moved with his family to Vienna (1810), where he studied under his father and at the Akademie der bildenden Künste and Polytechnisches Institut (1810s). Assisted his father at the theatre in Vienna (1821–22) and worked independently at the Theater in der Josefstadt (1822–26), Hoftheater in Kassel (1827–30) and the Königliche Hofoper in Berlin (1830–33). Married Luise Schweitzer (1828, divorced before 1834). Invited to Russia (1833). Worked for the Imperial Theatres in St Petersburg (1834–79), designing the sets for sixty-three ballets and seventy-eight operas, including the world premieres of Mikhail Glinka’s operas A Life for the Tsar (1836) and Ruslan and Lyudmila (1842), Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La forza del destino (1862) and Maurius Petipa’s ballet La Bayadère (1877). Married Karolina Dorothea von Klemm (1836, died in 1852). Contributed to the reconstruction of the Bolshoi (Stone) Theatre (1836) and the Winter Palace after the fire (1837–38). Academician (1839), professor of perspective painting (1856). Designed curtains for the Circus Theatre (1855) and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1855). Constructed stage machinery for the Hermitage Theatre (1856) and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1856). Founded and headed the perspective painting class at the Imperial Academy of Arts (from 1857). Married Natalia Yefimova (1866) and adopted Russian citizenship (1873). Died in St Petersburg and buried at the Volkovo Lutheran Cemetery (1891).

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