A Life for the Tsar

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Opera in 4 acts and epilogue by Glinka to lib. by Baron Yegor Rosen and others on subject suggested by poet Zhukovsky. Comp. 1834–6. Prod. St Petersburg 1836; London 1887; S. Francisco 1936. Prague prod. of 1866 was first perf. of Russ. opera abroad. Orig. title was Ivan Susanin, the peasant who, by misleading Polish troops in 1613, saved life of Tsar Mikhail, founder of Romanov dynasty, at sacrifice of his own. During rehearsals Tsar Nicholas I visited Bolshoy Th., with result that the opera was ded. to him and he suggested new title. After 1917 revolution, subject was embarrassing to régime and various attempts to adapt mus. to new subjects were made. In 1938 S. M. Gorodetsky re‐wrote lib., re‐focusing interest on leaders of uprising against Poles and restoring orig. title. Prod. Moscow 1939.

Subjects: Opera.

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