Mamontov's Private Opera

Mamontov's Private Opera

The Search for Modernism in Russian Theater
Olga Haldey
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/26/2010
ISBN: 978-0-253-00434-5
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Description

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 Bohème, 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 Drawing on a wealth of unpublished primary sources and evidence from art and theater history, Olga Haldey paints a fascinating portrait of a railway tycoon turned artiste and his pioneering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.

Author Bio

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

Reviews

"Interdisciplinary in the most thorough-going way." —David Haas, Univeristy of Georgia

"[Haldey's] research will be appreciated not only by historians of Russian music and theater, but also by readers interested in Russian culture of the Silver Age." —Malcolm Hamrick Brown, Indiana University

"Haldey, a musicologist at the University of Maryland, provides a close-up of what, remarkably, [Mamontov] accomplished and how and why. . . . [S]he manages to evoke successfully a larger than life man and his era." —
The Reporter-Times , August 22, 2010

"With extensive notes and 40 halftone photographs, this is an important work for Russian and turn-of-the-century cultural studies. Highly recommended." —
Choice , March 2011

"This fine, rigorously researched book should please anyone interested in the development of the arts in Russia. Opera News" —
Opera News , March 1, 2011

"Haldey has performed a crucial service to scholarship and to everyone interested in this fascinating period." —
The Russian Review , V.70.3 July 2011

"Haldey gives an evocative and detailed portrait of the era, drawing on letters, memoirs, contemporary criticism and reviews, and synthesizing important secondary literature in a variety of related fields . . . [This] should be required reading for all historians of Russian theatre." —
Slavonic and East European Review

"Hadley's research provides an effective reclaiming of the important . . . role played by Savva Mamontov and the MPO in the history of modernist theater in Russia. It should attract the interest of musicologists, visual art and theater historians, as well as social and cultural historians interested in the development of artistic modernism in late imperial Russia." —H-Russia

"This is a bracing account of a time when faith in dramatic art was contagious—and worked wonders." —Slavic Review

"Haldey's fresh account of Mamontov's vital role in the creation of the modern Russian theater is striking for its originality, the depth of its research and analysis, and the detail it provides." —Slavic and East European Journal

"Haldey deserves great credit for re-creating this lost world of art for its own sake and restoring it to its proper place in the pages of Russian history." —Revolutionary Russia

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Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration and Translation
Abbreviations

Introduction
1. The Silver Age and the Legacy of the 1860s
2. Serving the Beautiful
3. Echoes of Abramtsevo
4. Visual Impressions
5. Opera as Drama
6. From Meiningen to Meyerhold
7. Politics, Repertory, and the Market
8. Faces of the Enterprise

Appendix A. Brief Chronology of Savva Mamontov's Life and Career
Appendix B. Selected Premieres and Revivals at the Moscow Private Opera
Notes
Works Cited
Index
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