Mamontov's Private Opera: The Search for Modernism in Russian Theater

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Indiana University Press, Jun 16, 2010 - Music - 416 pages
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The Moscow Private Opera, founded, sponsored, and directed by Savva Mamontov (1841--1918), was one of Russia's most important theatrical institutions at the dawn of the age of modernism. It presented the Moscow premieres of Lohengrin, La Bohà ̈me, and Khovanshchina, among others; launched the career of Feodor Chaliapin; gave Sergei Rachmaninov his first conducting job; employed Vasily Polenov, Victor Vasnetsov, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, and Mikhail Vrubel as set designers; and served as a model for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Part commercial enterprise, part experimental studio, Mamontov's company revolutionized opera directing and design, and trained a generation of opera singers. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished primary sources and evidence from art and theater history, Olga Haldey paints a fascinating portrait of a railway tycoon turned artiste and his pioneering opera company.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Silver Age and the Legacy of the 1860s
15
2 Serving the Beautiful
35
3 Echoes of Abramtsevo
68
4 Visual Impressions
88
5 Opera as Drama
130
6 From Meiningen to Mey
171
7 Politics Repertory and the Market
208
8 Faces of the Enterprise
261
Appendix A Brief Chronology of Savva Mamontovs Life and Career
291
Appendix B Selected Premieres and Revivals at the Moscow Private Opera
295
Notes
297
Works Cited
339
Index
345
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About the author (2010)

Olga Haldey is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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