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Rimsky-Korsakov and His World$
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Marina Frolova-Walker

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182711

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182711.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2021

The Golden Cockerel, Censored and Uncensored

The Golden Cockerel, Censored and Uncensored

(p.177) The Golden Cockerel, Censored and Uncensored
Rimsky-Korsakov and His World

Simon Morrison

Princeton University Press

This chapter addresses two contrasting aspects of The Golden Cockerel: its political provocativeness, which leads to a censorship saga, but also the attraction of the music and the mystery of the story. Using the aesthetic notion of enchantment, it also places the opera in the context of Symbolist and “decadent” currents in the culture of the time and shows how these were still relevant in the 2012 production by the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Three spheres emerge in the opera as in the ballet versions of The Golden Cockerel: the human, represented by Dodon and his court; the fantastic, where the Astrologer dwells; and the erotic exotic, home to the Astrologer's forever beloved Queen. Ultimately, the opera inverts Russian convention: the real Russian characters lose; the fake ones, the non-Russian characters from who knows where, win.

Keywords:   The Golden Cockerel, censorship, enchantment, Symbolist, Alexei Ratmansky, opera, ballet, Russian convention, Russian characters, non-Russian characters

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