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Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin
10 Oct 2005

The Operatic Pushkin

Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) is generally considered Russia’s greatest poet. According to Andrew Kahn, his contemporaries held him “above all the master of the lyric poem, verse that is famous for its formal perfection and its reticent lyric persona, and infamous for its resistance to translation.” [Alexander Pushkin, The Queen of Spades and Other Stories, trans. Alan Myers, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997]

In or about 1820, he turned to writing fiction and history, which proved to be highly influential upon later writers such as Tolstoy and Turgenev. Of his later output, the best known works are Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse, Boris Godunov, an historical play, and The Queen of Spades (or Pique Dame), a gothic short story.

Outside of Russia, Pushkin is best known from operas based on his works. The following is a list of such operas prepared by Stephany Gould Plecker.

Operas Based on Works of Pushkin

Verse Works

The Triumph of Bacchus...............Aleksandr Dargomyzhskii (1848)
Ruslan and Liudmila.....................Mikhail Glinka (1842)
Eugene Onegin.............................Piotr Chaikovskii (1879)
Mazeppa [Based on Poltava]............Piotr Chaikovskii (1884)
Rusalka.......................................Aleksandr Dargomyzhkii (1856)
The Captive of the Caucasus............Cesar Cui (1883)
Aleko [Based on "The Gypsies"]........Sergei Rakhmaninov (1893)
Mavra [Based on "The Little House at Komna"].........Igor Stravinskii (1922)

Fairy Tales

The Tale of Tsar Saltan.......... Nikolai Rimskii-Korsakov (1900)
The Golden Cockerel............. Nikolai Rimskii-Korsakov (1909)

Little Tragedies

The Stone Guest.......................Aleksandr Dargomyzhskii (1872)
Mozart and Salieri....................Nikolai Rimskii-Korsakov (1898)
A Feast in the Time of Plaque......Cesar Cui (1901)
The Covetous Knight.................Sergei Rakhmaninov (1906)

The Big Tragedy

Boris Godunov...................Modest Musorgskii (1869)

Prose Works

La Dame du pique....................Fromental Halévy (1850)
Pique dame............................ Franz von Suppe (1865)
The Queen of Spades.................Piotr Chaikovskii (1890)
The Captain's Daughter.............Cesar Cui (1911)
Dubrovskii..............................Eduard Napravnik (1895)
Winter Night [Based on "The Snowstorm"]............Ivan Dzerzhinskii (1946)
Lizinka [Based on "Mistress into Maid"].................Ivan Zajc (1878)

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