Island City Opera presents two one-act operas by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: “Mozart and Salieri” and “Kashchey, the Immortal”.
With his own 15 operas, his preparation of performing versions of other works, and his instruction of a whole generation of successors, no other single person has had such a profound influence on a major national operatic style. Yet because his own works are so strongly associated with the supposed “Russian” style (a category he himself heartily rejected), Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas are seldom performed in the West. By presenting this program of two shorter works, we will showcase some of the remarkably varied and highly original work of this great composer.
Mozart & Salieri
In 1830, only five years after the death of composer Antonio Salieri, the famed Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, taking as foundation a widespread rumor that Salieri had poisoned Mozart, wrote a short verse drama on the imagined poisoning. Rimsky-Korsakov in 1897 set it to music as an opera, scarcely altering a word of Pushkin’s drama.
The identifications with the protagonists that may have been felt by both Pushkin, the acknowledged genius working beyond the bounds of literary convention, and Rimsky-Korsakov, the highly self-critical craftsman devoted to the art and technique of music, make this a particularly engaging drama.
As befits the subject matter, Rimsky-Korsakov let the words of the long-dead librettist guide the musical structure to an extent unsurpassed in his other works.
This opera will be sung in English.
Kashchey the Immortal
Written just a few years later, “Kashchey the Immortal” exhibits an entirely different, and more typical facet of Rimsky-Korsakov’s art. The libretto, written by the composer himself, weds a Russian folk superstition with themes derived from Wagner’s “Parsifal” in a symbolic story of nature and seasons.
With mythic characters rather than psychological portraits, the composer let his music structure the drama, contrasting an adventurous harmonic style inspired by Wagner but prefiguring Debussy, with a simple diatonic folk idiom, in a musically and visually colorful fairy-tale world.
This performance of Kashchey will be the North American premiere of this operatic gem!
The opera will be sung in Russian, with English super-titles.
Tickets are on sale online and through the Box Office at (510) 263-8060.
Special Preview Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 at 7:30PM
Opening Night Friday, January 19th, 2018 at 7:30PM
Sunday Matinee, Sunday January 21st, 2018 at 2:00PM
Friday Date Night, Friday, January 26th, 2018 at 7:30PM
Closing Matinee, Sunday January 28th, 2018 at 2:00PM
Opera run time is approximately 2 hours
Anchor Society Lectures
Island City Opera’s Anchor Society invites you to join them for the Anchor Society Lectures held one hour prior to the curtain.
Single Performance Tickets: Reserved Sofa seats are $45. Front Row Cafe Table Seats (4 seats per table) are $60. Large Table Seats (10 seats per table) are $60.
Discount Season Passes: (Save up to $12. 1 ticket any Performance of each show). General Admission seats $72, Reserved Sofa Seats $81, Large Tables $108 and Front Row Cafe Tables $108.General Admission seats for Adults $40, Seniors $36, Students (13 to 21 with Student ID) $10, and, Child $0.
Drinks will be on sale at the Bar at the rear of the Ballroom before the performance and during intermission and immediately afterwards. Wine will be on sale from the rolling bar near the stage before the curtain and during intermission.
Concessions will be on sale before the performance and during intermission from a variety of concessionaires who will be announce via email prior to the performance.