Dec 19, 2005 12:20 pm
There were operas written by Russians and even operas written in the Russian language before Glinka. But most of them were constructed on Italian models and most likely performed in Italian or French. A Life for the Tsar was the first attempt to write an opera in the Russian language, with Russian themes, using a Russian musical idiom and attempting to develop a Russian operatic form.
Ruslan and Lyudmila is wonderful opera. It is the earliest operatic occurrence of the Oriental Fairy Tale theme that became very popular in Russian music and opera. While Lyudmila is not a great acting vehicle for Anna Netrebko she does play the part with great charm and humor.