Published on February 4th, 2012 02:19 AM
Number of Views: 305
An interesting fact surrounding this opera is that it came a long way after a very slow start: it premiered as a student production (at the Malïy Theater in Moscow, on March 29, 1879, with student singers from the Moscow Conservatory), and only got a professional performance at the Bolshoi one year and ten months later, on January 23, 1881.
Reception wasn't that great, especially as compared to the wild success of Maid of Orleans. Many critics complained that Tchaikovsky shouldn't have messed with one of Russia's most beloved works of literature.
Outside Russia the initial reception was lukewarm as well, and it was slow to conquer other European cities, being seen as a Russian curiosity.