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  • The French Opera Libretto and it's Russian Literary Sources: Claparede "Tatiana ou la Jeune Paysanne de Montagnes de Worabieff" (1806)

Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Evgeniia Belskaia
The French Opera Libretto and it's Russian Literary Sources: Claparede "Tatiana ou la Jeune Paysanne de Montagnes de Worabieff" (1806)
(Bachelor’s programme)
The research considers a unique manuscript of the beginning of the XIX century. It is a libretto "Tatiana ou la Jeune Paysanne des Montagnes de Worabieff" (presumably 1806), written by an actor of the French court opera troop, Claparède, on the music of A.N. Titov and presented to Alexandre I.

The opera adapts the plot of the V. Izmailov’s novel "Beautiful Tatiana, that Lives at the Bottom of the Worobieff’s Mountains" (1804). Claparède’s libretto is a unique case of adaptation of the Russian sentimental novel to the French opera-vaudeville genre. Therefore follow the main directions of research. Firstly, the mechanisms of the genre change are to be found out - a sentimental story became a material for the libretto of a comic opera. Secondly, the historical context is to be clarified - what cultural circumstances could cause the apparition of such a text.

The author of the libretto puts the plot of Izmailov’s story into the frame of a French comic opera that proves the flexibility of the both genres. In the case of the libretto "Tatiana ..." there is a change of genre and language systems that makes the Russian sentimental novel’s plot sound differently in the French comic opera. In fact, there is no transition from a low to a higher genre because the comic opera was not considered a higher genre at the time, it was just more popular staging format. Nevertheless, by transforming the Izmailov’s plot Claparède made an opera worthy to be staged by the best French opera actors on the Russian court theater.

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