Book

Bewitching Russian Opera

Inna Naroditskaya

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195340587
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918218 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340587.001.0001
Bewitching Russian Opera

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Musicology and Music History

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Woven into history and opera, the story of Russia’s “women’s kingdom” and a nationalist male narrative dialogued across two centuries. Russian eighteenth century female tsars endorsed opera; Catherine II penned half a dozen libretti and oversaw their production. Sharing an arena of performativity with imperial genres—coronations, princely weddings, parades, masquerades—eighteenth-century Russian opera reveals striking reciprocity between state and stage. Operatic choruses praised the empresses as Olympic gods, heroes, or idyllic heroines; Eastern armies on the stage submitted to Russia’s rule, weddings signified the blessed union between the folk and a tsarina. Folk songs, weddings, heroic ventures, and monumental choral “Slavas” became major elements of Russian nationalist opera. Appropriating and significantly expanding existing conventions, yet discrediting the preceding “female” age, the Russian nineteenth century engaged in the rapid, zealous, militant restoration of patriarchy in the name of nationalism. As real female monarchs disappeared from Russia’s political stage, a number of magical tsarinas materialized in Russian operatic tales. In their enchanting gardens (Pushkin and Glinka’s Ruslan and Liudmila), in their aquatic kingdoms (Pushkin and Dargomyzhsky’s Rusalka, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadko and Mlada), in splendorous imperial balls (Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, The Slippers, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve), entrancing female monarchs or princesses tried to allure or trap Russian heroes. Champions’ victories over magical female forces were celebrated as a triumph of the nation; their defeats led to the destruction of the folk or at least their disappearance from the operatic stage.

Keywords: tsarina; patriarchy; nationalism; Slava; performativity; Russian opera

Book.  416 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

Introduction in Bewitching Russian Opera

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Overture in Bewitching Russian Opera

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Russian Minervas Staging Empire in Bewitching Russian Opera

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Interlude in Bewitching Russian Opera

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

See all items in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.