Slavic Opera in the 19th- and 20th-Century Music

Sonja Marinković

Typology: Lecture, Seminar

This course addresses students of MA and doctoral degree, with preferably previous knowledge of the history of opera.

Aims of the course and seminar:

In learning and discussing the history of Slavic opera (Russian, Czech, Slovak, Serbian, Bulgarian, Croats, Slovenian traditions) the course should interconnect studies in music/musicology  and cultural history of Europe. Students would achieve the skills in interpreting and analyzing the various ideas of national opera as specific cultural phenomenon. The different issues concerning the subject shall be discussed in scope of following topics:

– The first opera as a sign of birth of national music tradition (nationalism as “a new element in art” /Odoyevsky/)
– Opera as Invented Tradition: Nation, History, Identity
– Opera as an interpretation of national history
– Romanticism and fairy tales
– Slavic music drama
– Slavic comic opera
– Wagner and Slavic opera
– Twenty century Slavic opera: new states, old stories
– Late operas of Rimsky-Korsakov
– Czechs opera (Jenufa)
– Prokofieff
– Stravinsky
– Shostakovich

 BiblIography (selected):

  • Асафьев, Б.: О Музыке Чайковского. Ленинград: Музыка, 1972.
  • Born, Georgina, Western Music and Its Others. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
  • Gandi, Leela: Postcolonial theory: a critical introduction. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1998.
  • Kotnik, Vlado: Opera, Power and ideology: Anthropological Study of a National Art in Slovenia. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2010.
  • Krims, Adam: Music and Urban Geography. New York: Routledge, 2007.
  • Левашева, О., Михаил Иванович Глинка, 1–2, Москва: Музыка, 1987.
  • Morrison, Simon, The People’s Artist (Prokofiev’s Soviet Years), New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Нестьев, И.: Жизнь Сергея Прокофьева. Москва: Советский композитор, 1973.
  • Said, Edward W.: Orientalism. London: Penguin books, 2003.
  • Samson, Jim (Ed.): The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-century Music. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Samson, Jim (2013): Music in the Balkans. E-book, acc.. at
  • Taruskin, Richard: On Russian Music. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.
  • Žižek, Slavoj and Mladen Dolar: Opera’s Second Death. New York: Routledge, 2002.
  • Ярустовский, Б.: Игорь Стравинский. Ленинград: Музыка, 1982.


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the key dimension of the emerging power of cultural and artistic European integration;
  • identify and describe the major issues on musical identities in Slavic opera.
  1st acad. year: 2nd acad. year: 3rd acad. year: Total over 3 years:
N° of hours 15 15 15 45
N° of students 40 40 40 120
Discipline of


Musicology, Music performance
Year/type of study 2nd cycle (Masters) Doctoral studies
Nature Compulsory Existing