Russian Orientalism: Russo-Japanese War and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Opera ‘The Golden Cockerel’

How did Russian policies in East Asia and events of the early-twentieth-century Russia influence Rimsky-Korsakov’s representation of the Orient? Adalyat Issiyeva is a Lecturer and Research Assistant at McGill University (Canada): her talk will address how Russian policies in East Asia and events of the early-twentieth-century Russia influenced Rimsky-Korsakov’s representation of the Orient. After its disastrous war with Japan that brought Russia to the 1905 Revolution, many Russian intellectuals questioned the legitimacy of this war and expressed their disagreement over the official policies in the East. Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel also problematizes Russia’s official vision of the East as the Yellow Peril and simultaneously warns that an oversimplification of an unknown, sophisticated, and luring Orient, impersonated in the Queen of Shemakha and the Astrologer, can bring the downfall of the empire.   

 Adalyat Issiyeva has contributed an article on Rimsky-Korsakov’s Orient for the Bard Music Festival Book Series planned to be published next year; and is currently working on her book Representing Russia’s Orient: From Ethnography to Art Song. Her studies were funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture (FRSC), and the Schulich School of Music Scholarship. Her work has been published in journals and books, such as Revue du Centre Européen d’Etudes Slaves and Sacre Celebration: Revisiting, Reflecting, Revisioning; she presented papers at leading national and international conferences, including the American Musicological Society, the Biennial 19th-Century Music Conference, the National Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and the Central and Inner Asia Studies Conference.  

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian, the Department of Music, the Program in Global Studies, and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 6:00pm

Schapiro Hall, 129

Event Type



Music, Global Studies, Russian, Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


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