Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) is generally considered Russiaís greatest poet. According to Andrew Kahn, his contemporaries held him ìabove all the master of the lyric poem, verse that is famous for its formal perfection and its reticent lyric persona, and infamous for its resistance to translation.î [Alexander Pushkin, The Queen of Spades and Other Stories, trans. Alan Myers, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997]
The Queen of Spades (Pique Dame), an opera in three acts.
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, composer. Modest Tchaikovsky and composer, librettists.
First performance: 19 December 1890 at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
Manon Lescaut, dramma lirico in quattro atti
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), composer. Luigi Illica and Domenico Oliva, librettists.
First performance: 1 February 1893 at Teatro Regio, Turin.
The Story of the Chevalier Des Grieux and Manon Lescaut by AbbÈ PrÈvost stands as one of the great works of French literature. It first appeared in 1731 as an appendix to the series, Memoirs and Adventures of a Man of Quality. It was later revised in 1753 for independent publication under the title Les Aventures du chevalier Des Grieux et Manon Lescaut with illustrations by Pasquier and Gravelot.
Sappho (also spelled Sapho, Saphon, Saffo and Psappha), is said to have been born on the island of Lesbos in the second half of the 7th Century (B.C.E.).
Das Rheingold is the first of the four works that constitute Der Ring des Nibelungen. On the title page of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Wagner refers to Das Rheingold as a Vorabend (a preliminary evening). Nevertheless, Das Rheingold sets the foundation on which the remainder of the Ring is built.