Le Bolchoï - Ivan Soussanine

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PRESENTATION

Ivan SousSanine is a different kind of opera. Traditional and popular opera at the same time, it is the first true Russian opera. The history of Ivan Soussanine is simple. It illustrates the heroic sacrifice of a Mujik to save the Tsar Mikhaïl Romanov, threatened by the Poles. It should be noted that before the revolution, the title of this opera was “A Life for the Tsar. But, Glinka, before, had entitled his work “Death for the Tsar.” This opera is a veritable patriotic anthem. Its essential interest is not the intrigue but in the partition.

Very composite, it is a kind of musical patchwork, which mixes the typically Russian airs with traditional Italian. Moreover, Glinka conceived the plan and started to write the music without a booklet. It is a simple story - beautiful, close to the people, their life, their love and their hopes. A story, in the end, universal.

Biography:

May 20, 1804, in Novospasskoïe, Mikhaïl Ivanovitch Glinka was born. While a student in Saint-Pétersbourg, he falls sick. In 1830, hit by a slew of diseases, he is sent abroad to take care of himself. He takes advantage to broaden his musical culture and studies music in Italy and Germany. Until 1835, he primarily composes songs. But the dream of an opera haunts him.

November 27, 1836 at the Great Theatre of Saint-Pétersbourg holds the Premier of Ivan Soussanine. The theme and the music come from Russian songs and popular tales. Nicolas 1st likes the work so much that he entrusts to him the direction of the Imperial Chappel. In 1842, he creates his second opera, “Russlan and Lioudmila, after Pouchkine. An opera inspired by Russian traditional music. The work of Glinka associates classic sensitivity and the Russian soul... He is the first Russian composer to have impregnated his language of popular melody turnings and to give the opera a dramatic range. The dramatic dimension of his work announces composers like Moussorgski or Rimski-Korsakov.

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