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Elizabeth urged her ladies in waiting to attend every performance, and occasionally announced that the upper classes among the merchants might be present on certain nights " 1 provided they were properly dressed/' Russian opera made a decided step in advance Gorbounov. "A Sketch " (in Russian). Opera 1 for the History of Russian 36 THE RUSSIAN OPERA when in 1751 Araja composed music to a purely Russian text. The subject, La Clemenza di Tito, which Mozart subsequently treated in 1791, had nothing in common with the national life, but the libretto was the work of F.
Petersburg it gradually failed more and more to hold the a success. THE RUSSIAN OPERA 30 attention of the public. The theatre in the Red Square was demolished before 1707. Fiirst's continued to give performhowever, company, ances at Preobrajensky, the residence of the Tsarevna Natalia Alexseievna, youngest sister of Peter the Great, and later on at the palace of the Tsaritsa Prascovya Feodorovna at Ismailov. The private theatre of this palace was never closed during the life of the widowed Tsaritsa, died in 1723.
There were seats at four prices ten, six, five and three kopecks. m. " Russians of ranks, and foreigners, were bidden to attend as they pleased, quite freely, having nothing to fear/' On the days of performance the gates all " leading into the Kremlin, the Kitai-gorod and the Bieli-gorod were left open till a later hour in order to facilitate the passage of theatreFrom the outset Kunst demanded goers. facilities for the mounting of opera, and also an orchestra. " By this time a few Russian magnates had started private bands in imitation of those maintained by some in Berlin with oboes THE DAWN OF MUSIC IN RUSSIA 27 of the nobility in Germany.