Moscow State P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Russia
The research of Andre Ernest Modest Gretry’s and other French composers’ operas on Moscow stage in the 18th century shows original features of the transformation of works of French art in Russia. First of all, the performances on various stages of Sheremeteff’s theatre are discussed: André Grétry’s operas with dialogues “l’amitié à l’épreuve”, “Les marriages samnites”, “Lucile” and “Le tableau parlant”, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Le Sorcier de village” , “Les trois fermiers” of Nicolas-Alexandre Dezède, “Alina, la Reine de Golkonde” and “Rose et Colas” of Pierre-Alexandre Monsigni and Nicolas-Marie d’Alayrac “Azémia ou les sauvages”. The object of the study were also André Grétry’s operas with dialogues on the stage of Meaddox’s theatre: “Les deux avares” and “Zémire et Azor” and on stages of Moscow nobility home theatres: “Sylvain”. The performances of the French repertoire in Moscow acquired original features. They were translated into Russian and underwent some changes. Not only a new music edition was created, but also works of Russification were carried out. It concerned the names, circumstances, place of action, as well as scenography. The opera performance was conceived as a jewel in the program of festivities or “festivals”, which included a walk through a garden with entertainment, refreshments, dramatic and musical performances, dinner, dancing and fireworks alternating and affecting vision, hearing and imagination of a viewer. The perception of the performance by Moscow audience was sometimes very different from the perception of the original work in France. One of the best examples is staging of André Grétry’s “Les marriages samnites” (opera did not have success in Paris) at Sheremeteff’s receptions in honor of the royalty — first, of Catherine II in Kuskovo, when a new theater building was opened, and later of Paul I and Stanislas August Poniatowski in Ostankino, where a special palace-theatre was constructed, like in Paris, specially for opera-performances.