Russian Literary Classics on the Opera Stage - cycle of lectures

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Borderlines Open School for Advanced Cross-Cultural Studies, an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural teaching and research organization, presents a new course on Music / Russian studies:


Russian Literary Classics on the Opera Stage

Instructor: Philip Bullock – an Oxford don, researcher of Russian literature and music

Why have Russian composers been so drawn to works taken from their national literature? Can opera be conceived as a translation of literature? What balance of fidelity and creativity will this adaptation demand? And why do some operatic adaptations overshadow the original work of literature on which they are based? During four meetings designed for lovers of both Russian literature and music, Philip Bullock will address four composers – Tchaikovsky, Musorgsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev – and the works of literature that they adapted for the operatic stage. In doing so, he will explore authors such as Pushkin, Leskov and Tolstoy, observe what is lost and gained in such acts of ‘translation’ from one artistic medium to another, and trace a story of affinity, affection and occasional disagreement between the two sister arts.

The first introductory webinar was held on April 7. You can watch the recording here:

The meetings will be held on Wednesdays, April 27, May 4, 11, 18 (5:00-6:30pm EDT). To enroll in the full course, please visit Use the promo code FRIEND to receive a 40% discount.
If you have any questions, please contact