At the beginning of the year, the actress Melania Ursu left this world abruptly.
A graduate of the "I. L. Caragiale" Theatre and Film Institute in Bucharest, class of 1961, professor Moni Ghelerter, Melania Ursu belonged to a golden generation, a colleague of such great artists as Marin Moraru and Gheorghe Dinică.
Her career and life after graduation were juxtaposed, for almost half a decade, with the stage and the life of Cluj-Napoca National Theatre, a place which she honored with no less than eighty roles. Her talent was noticed very early on.
It is difficult to evoke the characteristics of great actor like Melania Ursu. I do believe, however, that what defined her were her talent and personality. A live, ardent, theatre personality, with multiple facets. She was gifted for tragedy, drama and comedy. She had the opportunity of great encounters. She played in productions directed by such important names as Ion Olteanu, Alexa Visarion, Mihai Măniuțiu, Victor Ioan Frunză, but first and foremost, she was early on guided by the director Vlad Mugur, the manager of the National Theatre at the time. Her role as the Coryphaeus in Iphigenia in Aulis, directed by the Master, remains memorable. During their last meeting on stage, during the rehearsals for Hamlet, the testament-production of the director, Vlad Mugur would ask of her that genius look, that unique grandeur held only by great actors and which he knew Melania Ursu possessed.
The vigor of her appearance, her great capacity for emotion, the easiness to impress, in a word, her artistic freedom, would create in every performance a magic which would easily be transferred in the souls of the bewildered spectators. She was the beneficiary of repeated curtain calls, rapid success, of substantiated characters, if we are just to name the five characters she interpreted in the production The Public Opinion. This was Melania Ursu: shattering as Lady Macbeth, the Coryphaeus in Iphigenia in Aulis, The Mother in The Holly Week or interpreting ballads; heartbreaking as Sonia in Uncle Vanya, reserved and funny as Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, Filumena in Italian Divorce, Zoia in Gaiţele, or in her last role, as Béraldine in The Imaginary Invalid. She was a complete actress. She was equally powerful in her film roles: Lady Chiajna in The Return of Vodă Lăpușneanu, director Malvina Urșianu, Pelaghia Roșu in Mountains in Flames, director Mircea Moldovan, Vica in Pădureanca and Flames on Treasures, both directed by Nicolae Mărgineanu, Ana in The Green Grass from Home, director Stere Gulea, Irina in Red Apples director Alexandru Tatos et. al. Another trait of her talent was manifested in her teaching career, and as a result she briefly left Cluj for the Theatre Institute in Târgu Mureș. She returned to Cluj in the 90s, and was among the first professors of the newly-founded Faculty of Theatre.
She was a demanding and attentive professor for the generations of actors which she guided in Cluj or Târgu Mureş and which she followed and encouraged after they had completed their studies.
Through the years, Melania Ursu benefited not only from the appreciation of the public, but also that of theatre critics and she received numerous awards: The award of the Theatre magazine for her roles in Public Opinion by Aurel Baranga and A Midsummer Night's Dream by W. Shakespeare (1970); The Award for Best Actress for The Shakespeare Bird by D. R. Popescu at the Iași Theatre Festival (1975); The Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Lady Chiajna in the film The Return of Vodă Lăpușneanu (1979); First prize for the role She in The starry sky above us by Ecaterina Oproiu at the "Cântarea României" National Theatre Festival (1985).
At the UNITER Gala in 2012, she received the highest honor from her peers: The Lifetime Achievement Award.
She received the Medal Cultural Merit class I (1967); the Order Cultural Merit class IV (1969), The National Order for Merits, in the rank of Knight (2002).
I would say that she was an inconvenient actress because of her tumultuous attitude, of her demands for great theatre, because of her resemblance to a Stradivarius violin that only responded to those who could truly handle her and listen to her.
May she rest in peace!
Her colleagues and all those who loved her can pay their respects on Thursday, 14 January, from 10:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m., in the foyer of Cluj-Napoca National Theatre.
The funeral will take place on Thursday, 14 January, at 14:00, at the Central Cemetery, Cluj-Napoca.
Cluj-Napoca National Theatre announces the following change in the schedule for January 2016: the performance ELLING by Axel Hellstenius and Petter Naess, from 14 January, is rescheduled for 2 February.
Tickets purchased for the performance from 14 January are valid for the one on February 2, or can be reimbursed at the theatre's ticket agency, no later than February 2.
Tickets purchased on-line can be reimbursed by contacting the biletmaster.ro representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than February 2, 2016.
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.
At the invitation of the University of Arizona, USA, Cluj-Napoca National Theatre will present the production Amalia takes a deep breath by Alina Nelega, director Tudor Lucanu, one-woman show with Anca Hanu, in Tempe, Arizona.
The two performances will take place on the 12 and 13 of January, at 07:00 p.m., at the The Empty Space Theater in Tempe, Arizona, and admission is free.
For this role, the actress Anca Hanu received the award for Best Actress at the Short Theatre Festival in Oradea (2014) and the Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role offered by the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre, within the event International Meetings in Cluj (2014).
Cluj-Napoca National Theatre invites you to the 4th edition of its annual GATES OPEN NIGHT which will take place on December 17, from 6.00 p.m. to 01.00 a.m. Entrance is free.
The program contains a series of dance, pantomime and clowning, clipping and drawing workshops, as well as the projection of a film starring our audiences, filmed on the occasion of Gates Open Day. Once again, our audiences will have the opportunity to discuss with actors of the theatre in a Q&A session. The main stage will then host a concert of the "Iza" Group and the release of the album "Winter Song", followed by a concert with songs from the album by Ada Milea, Bobo Burlăcianu, Anca Hanu and Cristian Rigman. The event will end with a stand-up comedy performance by Dragoş Pop, entitled "I promise you that...".
The event will also include a Theatre Trivia and a Christmas fair with Christmas objects designed by disabled children, Christmas decorations and hand-made jewelry and on-demand caricatures made by "Caricatures to go". As always, Doamna T Café will be present throughout the event.
The activities will take place on the main stage and the foyer of the theatre. Details about the program of the event are available here.
To insure the safety of the spectators attending the event, access will be permitted only according to seat availability. Thus, Cluj-Napoca National Theatre reserves the right to deny access to spectators as soon as all the available seats have been filled.