Fantasy or Political Reality
What do you do when you're a pompous monarch and your advisors advocate war? You set off to battle posthaste —but when you encounter a beautiful foe, military plotting turns to lovesick sighing. In this exotic and tuneful tale, the exquisite Queen of Shemakha entices bumbling Tsar Dodon, who proves that there's no fool like an infatuated man. Enter a world where kisses are weapons and deceit is delightful, all buoyed up by the fantastic song of the Golden Cockerel. The music brims with Rimsky-Korsakov's signature sensual melodies, incandescent orchestrations, and razor-sharp wit.
Performed at The Crosby Theatre
Vladimir Nikolayevich Belsky
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We hear Rimsky-Korsakov’s musical affinities — foreign color, brilliant orchestration, scintillating harmonies, virtuosic writing — expressed with a melodic freedom.
Queen of Shemakha
Scenic & Costume Design
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All That Glitters…
In the shadow of a presidential election, is fantasy any stranger than political reality? A similar question might well have prompted Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov to create his dazzling 1908 opera The Golden Cockerel, which combines elements of fairy tale and political satire. He had enjoyed a critical and popular triumph in 1907 with his opera The Invisible City of Kitezh, and expected it to be his last. But like many of his compatriots, he was angered by politics in Russia, where the disastrous Russo-Japanese war (1904 – 1905) — a conflict that seemed very distant from most citizens’ concerns — had made their privations even worse.