The Taming of the Shrew (Shebalin)
The Taming of the Shrew (Russian Ukroshchenye stroptivoy, Cyrillic Укрощение строптивой) is a 1957 opera in four acts, five scenes by Vissarion Shebalin to a libretto by the Soviet musicologist Abram Akimovich Gozenpud, based on the comedy by William Shakespeare. The opera was premiered in Kuibyshev on May 25, 1957, under the baton of conductor S. S. Bergolts, followed the same year by performances at the Bolshoi in Moscow, in Leningrad, Kiev and other cities.
The success of the opera enabled Shebalin to be partly rehabilitated and is considered by some Russian musicologists the "most successful Russian opera based on Shakespeare." The music is in a traditional high-spirited opera buffa idiom.
- Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona (baritone)
- Manola Baptista, a rich merchant (bass)
- His daughter, Catherine (soprano), Bianca (soprano)
- Lovers of Bianca: Lyuchentsio (tenor), Hortensio (bass)
- Servants of Petruchio: groom (bass), Curtis (tenor)
- Biondello, a servant of the Baptista family (tenor)
- A tailor (tenor)
- Guests, servants, cooks and kitchen maids.
The 1957 Bolshoi performance under Zdeněk Chalabala with Galina Vishnevskaya as Caterina, Yevgeny Kibkalo as Petruchio, Glafira Deomidova as Bianca and Arthur Eisen as Baptista, was recorded for radio and issued in 1961 on LP by Melodiya.
- Belcanto.ru article by M. Druskin Опера Виссариона Шебалина «Укрощение строптивой» М. Друскин
- Опера Виссариона Шебалина «Укрощение строптивой» Soviet Music Lexicon entry, coincidentally written by the librettist himself, Abram Gozenpud.
- Music and Musical Life in Soviet Russia, 1917–1970: Volume 1972, Part 2. Boris Schwarz – 1972 "Another work by an older master – Shebalin – achieved a notable success: The Taming of the Shrew. It was not only a matter of recognizing its musical excellence but also of rehabilitating a composer who had suffered grave injustice."
- Yuri Abdokov – essay Vissarion Shebalin and his cappella choral cycles, Toccata Classics 2011
- Shakespeare Survey – p. 87, Allardyce Nicoll – 2002 "A more successful opera, based on an adaptation rather than a translation, is The Taming of the Shrew by the Russian Shebalin. Though produced as recently as 1957, this uses a thoroughly old-fashioned traditional idiom; but at least it hitches on to an appropriate tradition, that of opera buffa, and it translates into music a good deal of the high spirits of the play."
- Зденек Халабала (Zdeněk Chalabala) "...а также сделанная в СССР запись оперы В. Шебалина «Укрощение строптивой»."
- Recordings of three works based on The Taming of the Shrew: Shebalin; Hermann Goetz: Der Widerspänstigen Zähmung; Vicente Martín y Soler: La capricciosa corretta
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