Marina Frolova-Walker, Visiting Professor of Russian Music at Gresham College, will tell the extraordinary story of Mikhail Glinka’s patriotic opera, A Life For the Tsar (1836).

The rousing finale of Mikhail Glinka’s patriotic A Life for the Tsar (1836) guaranteed it a place as the traditional season opener in Russian opera houses. A Life was a powerful and attractive presentation of the Romanov dynasty’s foundation myth, but it is also considered the first true Russian opera, since its predecessors relied heavily on foreign models. A century later, with a modified libretto and a new title, it was given a new lease on life as an equally patriotic Soviet opera, Ivan Susanin (1939).  Read more at