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  • Author or Editor: Vincenzina Ottomano x
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A Life for the Tsar by Michail Glinka was staged on 20 May 1874 at the Teatro dal Verme in Milan. The paper discusses the impact this opera had on the Italian public, including some of the echoes in the foreign press. The style and dramaturgical content of Glinka’s masterpiece sparked off an authentic querelle which was similar to — indeed perhaps even more violent than — the one caused by Wagner’s operas, which were also receiving their first hearings in Italy. The increasingly frequent staging of operas from the Slavic repertoire brought to the fore a fundamental problem in this transition period. The insinuation of an extraneous element — which in the case of Italy immediately found a casus belli in Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar — necessarily meant acknowledging the inescapable crisis of everything which had heretofore been confined within national borders or had relied on a substantially Euro-centric viewpoint.

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