By Olga Haldey

The Moscow inner most Opera, based, subsidized, and directed by way of Savva Mamontov (1841--1918), used to be certainly one of Russia's most vital theatrical associations at the sunrise of the age of modernism. It awarded the Moscow premieres of Lohengrin, l. a. Boh?me, and Khovanshchina, between others; introduced the occupation of Feodor Chaliapin; gave Sergei Rachmaninov his first carrying out activity; hired Vasily Polenov, Victor Vasnetsov, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, and Mikhail Vrubel as set designers; and served as a version for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. half business, half experimental studio, Mamontov's corporation revolutionized opera directing and layout, and informed a iteration of opera singers. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished fundamental resources and facts from paintings and theater background, Olga Haldey paints a desirable portrait of a railway magnate became artiste and his pioneering opera corporation.

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Extra resources for Mamontov's Private Opera: The Search for Modernism in Russian Theater (Russian Music Studies)

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Others—prominent literary critic Vissarion Belinsky (1811–48) and renowned writer and publicist Nikolai Chernyshevsky (1828–89), among others—inspired posthumous reverence. ”32 As the passionate arguments sampled above make clear, it is impossible to appreciate the magnitude of the aesthetic shift that inauguratÂ�ed the Silver Age without first addressing the foundations of an entrenched ideology against which the decadents were fighting. Let us therefore turn our attention to the history of the realist doctrine whose confrontation with and eventual triumph over aestheticism defined the ideological landscape in Russia of the 1860s—the time when our story begins.

10 Tolstoy’s rejection of the aesthetic independence of art and his denigration of the cult of beauty as moral depravity had a mixed reception in Russia’s intellectual circles, from unbridled enthusiasm to silent embarrassment to outrage. As we shall see, the outrage was expressed primarily by younger intellectuals, who exalted instead the transcendent philosophy of their own idol, Vladimir Solovyov (1853–1900). While similarly concerned with the questions of the nature of goodness and the promotion of righteousness, Solovyov equated the search for beauty with the search for the salvation of the world.

38 Dostoevsky who, as we have seen, aligned himself philosophically with the aesthetes, declared: 28â•… · â•… m a m o n t ov ’s p r i vat e op e r a Art is its own purpose and must be justified by its very existence. There should be no question of “usefulness” in art. . Writers, poets, painters, and actors must not be concerned by anything quotidian or current—be it politics, the internal life of the society to which they belong, or even some burning national issue—but only with high art. 39 The debate between the realists and the aesthetes reached the peak of intensity between the late 1850s and mid-1860s.

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