"Crucified on the cross of mass culture": Late Soviet genre politics in Alexander Zhurbin's rock opera Orpheus and Eurydice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Alexander Zhurbin's Orpheus and Eurydice (Orfei i Evredika) (1975), the first Soviet rock opera, recasts Orpheus as a popular singer corrupted by the excesses of contemporary youth culture: sex, drugs, and rock and roll. The history of the creation of Zhurbin's important work - together with its reception by Soviet critics, officials, and listeners - has been little discussed. Interviews with Zhurbin, contemporary Soviet primary and secondary sources, as well as more recent appraisals of late Soviet culture, reveal the changing estimations by Soviet critics of "high" and "low" and "popular" and "art" that Zhurbin's genre-blurring composition helped instigate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-87
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Musicological Research
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music

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