- The Demon (opera)
The Demon (Russian: Демон) is an opera in three acts (six scenes) by Russian composer Anton Rubinstein. The work was composed in 1871. The libretto was by Pavel Viskovatov, based on the poem of the same name by Mikhail Lermontov.
Lermontov's poem was banned as sacrilegious until 1860. Its popularity and its lurid story made it an excellent candidate for an opera libretto, and Rubinstein himself worked out the scenario from which Viskovatov produced the final text.The opera was premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, on 25 January [O.S. 13 January] 1875, conducted by Eduard Nápravník. The stage design was by Mikhayil Bocharov, Matvey Shishkov, and Lagorio. The Moscow premiere was in 1879 at the Bolshoi Theatre, conducted by Enrico Bevignani
Rubinstein invited several musicians of the group known as The Five, including César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as the critic Vladimir Stasov to a private hearing of the opera in September 1871, where the guests did not regard the work favourably. However, melodic motifs from The Demon inspired comparable motifs in Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.
The opera received 100 performances in the first decade following its premiere. Its first performance in Paris was in May 1911, where the critics considered the opera to be old-fashioned.
Whilst it is still quite frequently performed in Russia, the opera has become a rarity in the West.
Role Voice St. Petersburg 1875 Moscow 1879 Prince Gudal bass Osip Petrov Anton Bartsal Tamara,his daughter soprano Wilhelmina Raab Yelena Verni Tamara's Nurse contralto Prince Sinodal, Tamara's betrothed tenor Fyodor Komissarzhevsky Sinodal's servant bass Courier tenor Demon bass-baritone Ivan Melnikov Bogomir Korsov Angel contralto Aleksandra Krutikova Chorus: Evil and good spirits, Georgians, guests, Tatars, servants, nuns
- Time: Unspecified
- Place: Georgia
Scene 1 Prologue
During a storm in the Caucasian mountains a chorus of evil spirits call upon the Demon to destroy the beauty of God's creation. The Demon sings of his hatred for the universe and rejects an Angel's plea for him to reconcile with heaven.
Tamara, awaiting her wedding with Prince Sinodal, is by a river with her attendants. The Demon sees her and falls in love with her. He promises her that "all the world will kneel before her" if she returns his love. Tamara is fascinated but frightened by him and returns to the castle.
Prince Sinodal's caravan is making its way to Prince Gudal's court for his marriage to Tamara but is delayed by a landslide. The Demon appears and vows that Prince Sinodal will never see Tamara again. The carvan is attacked by Tatars, and Prince Sinodal is mortally wounded. Before he dies he tells his servant to bring his body to Tamara.
The festivities for the wedding have already begun. A messenger announces that Prince Sinodal's caravan has been delayed. Tamara senses the presence of the Demon and is fearful. When Prince Sinodal's body is brought into the castle, Tamara is overcome by grief, but to her horror, keeps hearing the supernatural voice of the Demon and his promises. She begs her father to let her enter a convent.
The Demon intends to enter the convent where Tamara is now living, believing that his love for her has opened his spirit to goodness. An Angel tries in vain to stop him.
Tamara prays in her convent cell but is constantantly troubled by thoughts of the Demon, who appears to her in her dreams. The Demon now appears in reality, declares his love for her and begs her to love him in return. Tamara tries to resist her attraction to him but fails. The Demon kisses her in triumph. The Angel suddenly appears and shows her the ghost of Prince Sinodal. In horror, Tamara struggles out of the Demon's arms and falls dead.
Epilogue and Apotheosis
The Angel proclaims that Tamara has been redeemed by her suffering, while the Demon is damned to eternal solitude. The Demon curses his fate. In the final Apotheosis Tamara's soul is carried to Heaven accompanied by angels.
- ^ Taruskin, Demon, The
- ^ Source: Театральная Энциклопедия (Theatrical Encyclopedia published by Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya)
- ^ British Library online catalogue
- ^ Abraham (1945)
- ^ Garden (1998).
- ^ This fragment — aria of Sinodal and Chorus of Men sung at the caravan's camp — in a Soviet (1960) movie version of Demon — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOkz4PzimIU
- Abraham, Gerald, "Anton Rubinstein: Russian Composer" (December 1945). The Musical Times, 86 (1234): pp. 361-365.
- Garden, Edward, "Reviews of Books: Anton Rubinstein and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Selected Operas. Proceedings of the International Musicological Convention in Vorzel (Ukraine), May 4th-6th, 1994 (November 1998). Music & Letters, 79 (4): pp. 622-624.
- Taruskin, Richard. Demon, The, in Oxford Music Onlne, accessed 21 April 2010
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street — For other uses, see Sweeney Todd (disambiguation). Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Artwork from the original Broadway production Music Stephen Sondh … Wikipedia
Demon (poem) — Lermontov s Demon as interpreted by Mikhail Vrubel, 1890 Demon (Russian: Демон) is a poem by Mikhail Lermontov, written in several versions in the years 1829 to 1839. It is considered a masterpiece of European Romantic poetry. Lermontov began… … Wikipedia
Demon (disambiguation) — A demon is a malevolent being in mythology or occultism. Demon may also refer to: Daemon (classical mythology), a spirit in classical Greek mythology Unclean spirit, the agent of a demonic possession Demon (thought experiment), an entity in a… … Wikipedia
Demon Days Live — Demon Days: Live at the Manchester Opera House Video by Gorillaz Released 27 March 2006 … Wikipedia
The opera corpus — is a list of nearly 2,500 works by more than 775 individual opera composers. Some of the works listed below are still being performed today but many are not. The principal works of the major composers are given as well as those of historical… … Wikipedia
Demon Strings — is an all female British string quartet. They have played backup for live performances of The Good, the Bad the Queen, as well as the musical production of Monkey: Journey to the West. The also play at Gorillaz s live shows. They also often … Wikipedia
Demon Days — Studio album by Gorillaz Released 11 May 2005 (Japan)6 December 2005 … Wikipedia
Demon Princes — The Demon Princes is a five book series of science fiction novels by Jack Vance, which cumulatively relate the story of one Kirth Gersen as he exacts his revenge on five notorious criminals, collectively known as the Demon Princes, who carried… … Wikipedia
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen timeline — The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is an ongoing graphic novel series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O Neill. The primary commentator on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series (hereto after in this article referred to as… … Wikipedia
The Master and Margarita — … Wikipedia