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27 February 2020Russian Opera, Music and Ballet
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Russian Opera, Music and Ballet Rosamund Bartlett Thursday 27 February 2020

This Special Interest Day provides an introduction to the rich repertoire of Russian opera, including Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, Borodin’s Prince Igor, Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. We will look both at how opera evolved in Russia as an art form initially imported from Italy by the imperial Court, and the role played by Russian rulers such as Catherine the Great and Nicholas I. We also explore  the symphonic music of Russia and the wonderful  Russian ballet.  The day includes plenty of video clips so sit back and enjoy!

Rosamund Bartlett

Rosamund Bartlett was born in London. She holds a doctorate from Oxford, and spent fifteen years pursuing an academic career, latterly as Reader in Russian at the University of Durham, before becoming a full-time writer, translator and lecturer.  She continues to maintain an active scholarly profile in Russian literature, music and cultural history, and has held fellowships at St. Antony's College, Oxford, and the European University Institute in Florence.  She is currently Honorary Research Associate at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney.  In 2015 she was awarded the Mary Zirin prize by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies.

She is the author and editor of several books, including Wagner and RussiaShostakovich in ContextChekhov: Scenes from a Life, and Tolstoy: A Russian Life, which was longlisted for the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize.  She has also received recognition as a translator, having edited the first unexpurgated collection of Chekhov’s letters for Penguin Classics, and produced the first new translation of Anna Karenina for Oxford World’s Classics in 96 years. Her Chekhov anthology About Love and Other Stories was shortlisted for the Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

She has written programme notes for opera and theatre productions, including for the Royal Opera House, La Monnaie, Opera Australia, English National Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Almeida Theatre, and has given talks at venues such as the National Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall and the British Library.  She has worked as a consultant to London orchestras, collaborated with the Salzburg Festival, and contributed to programmes on BBC Radio such as Opera on 3 and In Our Time. Her work has appeared in the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal and the international art magazine Apollo. 

She has been travelling regularly to Russia since 1978, and spent a year attached to Moscow State University as a British Council Postgraduate Scholar while doing her doctoral research.  In 2007 she began a campaign to restore Chekhov’s house in Yalta, and remains a Trustee of the Anton Chekhov Foundation, a UK charity set up to preserve and honour the writer’s literary and humanitarian legacy. In 2010 she was awarded the Chekhov 150th Anniversary Medal by the Russian Ministry of Culture in recognition of her educational and charitable work.