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Opera Prelude: The Golden Age of the Imperial Theatres

Opera at the Mariinsky, 1890-1917

Venue: Caversham Room at Cadogan Hall

Performers

  • with Dr Rosamund Bartlett
  • and Sophie Pullen (soprano) & Maria Levandovskaya (piano)

In this morning’s lecture, Dr Rosamund Bartlett and pianist Maria Levandovskaya take us back to the glory days of imperial St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, highlighting the composers, directors, singers and conductors who helped to build its international reputation. The wonderful music of Russia’s golden period is brought to life in a fascinating morning, illustrated with rare period photographs, set designs and historic recordings and set off with music from Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Glinka amongst others. This exploration of the most glittering period of Russian musical innovation promises to sparkle and delight the audience, enticing us back to the glamour of the imperial era and the creative brilliance that emerged from it.

Rosamund Bartlett is a cultural historian of Russia with expertise in music, art, and literature. Her publications include ‘Wagner and Russia’ and ‘Victory Over the Sun: The World’s First Futurist Opera’, as well as biographies of Chekhov and Tolstoy, whose works she has translated for Oxford World’s Classics. She is regularly invited to contribute to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, and to the programmes of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and in 2017 was commissioned by the Salzburg Festival to complete a new translation of the libretto to Shostakovich’s ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’.

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