The first performance of the opera «May Night» by Rimsky-Korsakov

21 January, Wednesday
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The premiere of «May Night» by Rimsky-Korsakov took place on 21 January, 1880 at the Mariinsky Theatre

The «May Night» is an opera in three acts by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It is the second of the fifteen operas written by this famous Russian composer, based on a literature masterpiece by Nikolai Gogol. According to the composer, the book «Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka» had been his favourite since childhood and he liked the story «May Night» the most. The idea to turn it into an opera came from his future wife in the summer of 1872, and therefore the work was dedicated to her. After the premiere the opera was staged in different theaters in Russia and other countries (Germany, Czech Republic). Many distinguished artists took part in the performance.

January 21, 1880
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