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Prokofiev considered himself to be primarily a composer of opera, and his return to Russia in the mid-1930s was partially motivated by the goal to renew his activity in this genre. His Soviet career coincided with the height of the Stalin era, when official interest and involvement in opera increased, leading to demands for nationalism and heroism to be represented on the stage to promote the Soviet Union and the Stalinist regime. Drawing on a wealth of primary source materials and engaging with recent scholarship in Slavonic studies, this book investigates encounters between Prokofiev's late operas and the aesthetics of socialist realism, contemporary culture (including literature, film, and theatre), political ideology, and the obstacles of bureaucratic interventions and historical events. This contextual approach is interwoven with critical interpretations of the operas in their original versions, providing a new account of their stylistic and formal features and connections to operatic traditions.Read more
- Blends critical interpretations of Prokofiev's last four operas in their unpublished original versions with examination of the contexts of their composition and reception
- Presents many new insights, incorporates a wealth of archival evidence, and draws on recent scholarship in Slavonic studies
- Will appeal to readers interested in opera, music's interactions with politics, and the history of Russia and the Soviet Union
Reviews & endorsements
‘As the first sustained study of Prokofiev’s late operas, Prokofiev’s Soviet Operas is an impressive contribution to our understanding of music in Stalinist Russia.’ Kevin Bartig, The Russian ReviewSee more reviews
‘… Nathan Seinen sheds new light on Sergei Prokof´ev’s long career as an opera composer, focusing on the four works composed in the Soviet Union … the analysis abounds in felicitous and often original insights.’ P. R. Bullock, The Slavonic and East European Review
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- Date Published: September 2019
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107088788
- length: 270 pages
- dimensions: 253 x 180 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.71kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Semyon Kotko and the melodrama of high Stalinism
2. Buffered by Buffa: Betrothal in a Monastery
3. Kutuzov's victory, Prokofiev's defeat: the revisions of War and Peace
4. The Story of a Real Man and late Stalinist subjectivity
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