Buletinul ”Ioan Neculce” al Muzeului de Istorie a Moldovei – XXIV / 2018


In December 1916, due to successive defeats, the Romanian army and administration left the capital Bucharest, retreating to the east of the country in Iasi. The year 1916 was a jubiliar year for the Moldavian Theater: it was 100 years since the first theatrical performance in Romanian language (1816). But who would organize such anniversaries in the middle of the war turmoil? Finally, the Iași Theater, despite the human drama, had an unsteady centenary: theatre companies from Bucharest, Craiova and Iasi, reunited in the old capital of Moldavia, in a two-year season, in which they mounted together dozens of shows.

This paper highlights the figures of the actors and lyrical artists present in Iasi and the repertoire of those years. A special place is the presence of George Enescu and the establishment of the Orchestra of Refugee Artists (1917). Several pages are dedicated to other activities within the Theater building, which have brought prestige, visibility, but also a particularly high physical wear. Last but not least, the memorable sessions of the Parliament in December 1916 are mentioned, when the political class managed to find the confidence and the strength required for the resistance of the Romanian state to the very end. Several memorable visits in the summer of 1917 helped to strengthen faith in the need for resistance and faith in the final victory: Albert Thomas (France), Em. Vandervelde (Belgium), gen. Hugh Lenox Scott (USA), Tomas Masaryk (Czech Republic). It is also remembered that under the dome of this National Theater general H.M. Berthelot, commander of the French Mission in Romania, was declared citizen of Romania.