A Musical Theatrical Trilogy About St. Petersburg

Yulia G. Filippova


Petrov: the opera “Peter I,” the ballet “Pushkin” and the opera
“Mayakovsky is Beginning,” united by the cultural phenomenon
of St. Petersburg. The author presents her interpretation of the
inner unity of the compositions turned to turning points in the
history of the Russian state.
In the opera “Peter I,” based on vocal-orchestral frescoes
written prior by the composer, Andrei Petrov reveals the process
of formation of the character of the first Russian emperor in his
confrontation with the enemies of reforms in the government. The
image of the tsar is presented in the contradictory combination of
grandiosity of character and the harshness and cruelty of some
of his actions. In its dynamicity, multitude of events and poster
style, the composition can be classified as pertaining to the genre
of opera-oratorio.
The ballet “Pushkin” presents a bright example of synthesis
of the arts typical of Petrov. Described by the composer as a
vocal-choreographic symphony, the work combines recitation,
choreography with vocal, choral and orchestral music. The
historical era is reflected in the image of the great Russian poet
during the last years of his life with an extreme tapering of the
antagonism of the poet’s personality and the surrounding milieu.
The composition demonstrates a principally new stage genre.
In the opera-extravaganza “Mayakovsky is Beginning” the
main character presents himself as a double of Peter I and Pushkin
in dialogues with both protagonists of world literature and with
real characters from different historical dimensions. The “poet of
the revolution” is shown engaged in friendly communication or,
on the other hand, in intense confrontation. Relying on numerous
musical associations, Andrei Petrov covers broad stylistic
amplitude in this work.
The compositions possess inherently bright spectacular
qualities in their various metamorphoses, which presents an
important element of the composer’s style of accessibility to
wide audiences. Synthesis of genres and forms of art became a
determinant innovative trait in Russian musical theater in the 20th

Keywords: composer Andrei Petrov, musical theater, the
opera “Peter I,” the balet “Pushkin,” the opera extravaganza
“Mayakovsky is Beginning”

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