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An Evening with the Art Historians

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  • A Russian Welcome in Paris: Sonia and Robert Delaunay’s Artistic Exchange with Russian Artists in the International Avant-Garde, 1909-1914

Abstract TBC

  • Italianising Russian Opera: Glinka’s ‘A Life for the Tsar’ at Covent Garden (1887)

Glinka’s ‘A Life for the Tsar’, widely proclaimed at the time to be the figurehead of Russian national opera, may seem a strange choice to conclude a season celebrating Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Yet, with the opera sung in Italian, given by internationally renowned singers, granted spectacular new scenery, and attended by royalty, the opera projected a nostalgia for the Italian opera seasons of the 1840s and 50s – the decades in which Queen Victoria had most frequented the opera. This paper explores how the British premiere of ‘A Life for the Tsar’ was sold to the public and made suitable for such an occasion at a time when Anglo-Russian relations were at a low, when little was known in Britain of Russian opera, and when the desire for an English national opera tradition was growing in urgency.

This talk is part of the Russian Graduate Seminar Group (RUSSGRADS) series.

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