RUSSIAN OPERA: Musicologist challenges traditional views of Russian music, opera, culture

EVANSTON, Ill. --- In an acclaimed book that has been called a “welcome intervention” in gender studies and music, a Northwestern University musicologist explores how Catherine the Great and three other female monarchs who ruled Russia for most of the 18th century used opera to champion their political power.

Written by Bienen School of Music Associate Professor Inna Naroditskaya, “Bewitching Russian Opera: The Tsarina from State to Stage” (Oxford University Press, 2012) traces the deep interest of Catherine the Great and the three other tsarinas in musical drama. It also describes how the rulers built theaters, established theatrical schools, commissioned operas and ballets and even themselves wrote and produced musical spectacles.

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