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REPLACE A PERFORMER IN PREMIERE OF "THE TSAR'S BRIDE"? RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, NIKOLAI. Autograph Letter Signed, "N. Rimsky-Korsakov," to Maria Nikolaevna, in Russian, explaining that he can have no opinion concerning whether the role of Lyubasha [the guard's mistress in The Tsar's Bride] ought to be given to her pupil because he has not auditioned her, adding that the responsibility of such assignments belongs to the administration of the Private Opera [Society], suggesting that she look to tenor N[ikolay] N[ikolayevich] Figner for help, and noting that [conductor Mikhail] Ippolitov-Ivanov would be a more appropriate authority than critic M.M. Ivanov. 2 pages, 8vo, ruled paper, written on the recto and verso of a single sheet; horizontal folds. Np, "25 October 1899" [6 November 1899]
". . . It will not affect another person's competence if the part of Lyubasha is given to your pupil. I think that in this case the responsibility is in the hands of the Director of the Private Opera and their musical representatives. I recommend seeking the advice of the very talented and outstanding artist N.N Figner for assistance in this matter, that is, if the Opera administration wishes to do so. "You mention in your letter the name M.M. Ivanov (critic at Newtime?!). Because his name is not Ippolitov-Ivanov, I think M.M. Ivanov, the critic, has nothing to do with these matters. I am very satisfied with the cast chosen for my opera. It is the responsibility of the Private Opera administration to seek out replacement performers for the Opera." On November 3, 1899, the world premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov's Tsar's Bride opened at the Private Opera Society theater in Moscow, with Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov conducting. Aleksandra Rostovtseva performed in the role of Lyubasha for at least part of this production's run.
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