Faculty member Irina Brown has shared with us the sad news that former Faculty member Oleg Tabakov passed away in Moscow yesterday. Oleg had a long history with BADA, first teaching on Midsummer in Oxford at Balliol College in 1988. Oleg was a guest of honour at the 1988 Open Day Dinner, along with BADA Patron Peggy Ashcroft, where he gave a moving and memorable speech about Russia and Glasnost. During that summer, Oleg met Brian Cox and invited him to direct “The Crucible” at the Moscow Arts Theatre School, where he was the (much-loved) Director.

After Midsummer in Oxford, BADA brought Oleg to New York for the Midsummer with Moscow Program, where students studied Chekhov with Oleg and Shakespeare with Rosemary Harris. In September of 1988, students from Moscow Arts came to London to work with Brian Cox and Deborah Warner. A fundraising gala was held at the Barbican with leading British and Russian actors, and the Moscow Arts students performed. Oleg himself gave a wonderful performance as Malvolio.

In the Fall of 1989, Moscow Arts Theatre School and BADA brought the production of “The Crucible” to the Assembly Rooms as part of the Edinburgh Festival; the production then transferred to Riverside Studios in London, where Prince Edward was the guest of honour on opening night.

Among his many accomplishments, Oleg was named a “People’s Artist of the USSR” in 1988 and served as the Artistic Director of the Moscow Art Theater for almost 20 years.

Oleg Tabakov was an inspiring, charismatic and unforgettable person. He was a wonderful Director and Teacher and will be greatly missed‎.

Read the New York Times obituary of Oleg: Oleg Tabakov, Revered Russian Actor and Teacher, Is Dead at 82

Photo: Alec Guinness and Oleg Tabakov at Balliol College during Midsummer in Oxford 1988