Optimisticheskaya tragediya (‘An Optimistic Tragedy’)
- Laurel Fay
(‘An Optimistic Tragedy’)
Opera in three acts by Alexander Nikolayevich Kholminov to a libretto by A. Mashistov and the composer after Vsyevolod Vishnevsky’s play; Frunze (now Bishkek), Kirghiz Theatre of Opera and Ballet, 20 November 1965.
Kholminov worked on his first opera from 1959 to 1964, composing three versions as the dramatic conception crystallized. Romanticizing the revolutionary struggle of the Bolsheviks, the composer emphasized mass choral scenes and monumental images over individual characterization in a tuneful idiom infused with motifs from folksongs and the popular revolutionary legacy. After its successful première An Optimistic Tragedy was staged in Moscow, Leningrad and many other cities of the Eastern bloc. For a production at the Bol’shoy Theatre to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution, Kholminov made a special edition of the opera, reinforcing the choral parts and rewriting several episodes. In 1969 he was awarded the State Prize of the RSFSR for An Optimistic Tragedy...