The Demon

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The Demon (Демон) is an 1871 opera in three acts (six scenes) by Rubinstein on a libretto by Pavel Viskovatov, based on the poem of the same name by Mikhail Lermontov. The same had been banned as sacrilegious until 1860, and its popularity and lurid story made it excellent material for a libretto. The opera premiered in St. Petersburg in 1875, under Eduard Nápravník, withstage design was by Mikhayil Bocharov, Matvey Shishkov, and Lagorio. It was published the following year. Rubinstein invited several musicians of the group known as The Five, including Cui, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as the critic Vladimir Stasov to a private hearing of the opera in September 1871, where the guests did not regard the work favourably. However, melodic motifs from The Demon inspired comparable motifs in Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

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