December 26 Program of the Ciniselli Circus


This one-page document is the very first program of the well-known Ciniselli Circus (now the Bolshoi Saint Petersburg State Circus) for a performance that took place on Monday, December 26, 1877. Four acts were by members of Ciniselli family. Nearly all other acts were by famous performers from abroad, for example, German equestrienne Oceana Renz and the Italian clown Tanti. Following a musical opening, the circus featured a total of 15 acts, with a ten-minute intermission. The acts included horses, clowns, gymnastics, and music. The Ciniselli Circus was founded in 1877 by Gaetano Ciniselli (1815−81), a native of Milan who first came to Saint Petersburg in 1845 as a trick rider with the troupe of Alessandro Guerra. The circus was housed in an elegant building, designed by the architect Vasily Kenel (1834–93), which featured ornate interiors and a luxurious, velvet-lined auditorium. The circus became the preferred entertainment of Saint Petersburg high society, and programs were often printed on silk in Russian and French.

Last updated: February 26, 2014