The Royal Opera's Christmas treat opens next week, and it is The Tsarina's Slippers by Tchaikovsky. Never heard of it? Nor had many others, at least not here. Tchaikovsky isn't usually thought of as a creator of comedy...Here is my article from today's Independent which explains that we often see only the tip of the Tchaikovskian iceberg.
The opera, by the way, doesn't 'shed light on his gay lifestyle' - it has nothing to do with it. There's a book out too, which explains that reference, and it is a big, serious biography by Roland John Wiley, which contains some revelations and some good old-fashioned common sense. Michael Church has reviewed it more fully, here. Fascinating stuff, all of it, and I hope there is still time to squeeze into the opera, which is nearly sold out.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
- Brexit Revolt – The first insider account of the EU referendum
- We need your help and support
- Standpoint Presenting Two Debates At HowTheLightGetsIn 2016
- The Compleat Corbyn — a round-up of Standpoint's Corbyn coverage this month
- We Told You So
- Sir Raymond Carr in Standpoint
- Conduct Unbecoming: The Classical Commentaries of Norman Lebrecht in Standpoint
- Chronicling The Crash: A Standpoint Ebook
- Is Islam a Peaceful Religion? Daniel Johnson at the Oxford Union
- Standpoint's Autumn Salons
- Win Tickets to the Inaugural Standpoint Salon
- Is Hunter's History Bunk?
- Lawson Collects on Climate Change Bet
- The Cabinet meeting that kept Salman Rushdie alive
- Friends of Russia or Friends of Putin?
- Russia's Win-Win Election
- The Kremlin Plays Old Tricks With Pussy Riot
- A Pyrrhic Victory for Georgian Democracy
- Abandoned in Moscow
- Standpoint's New Facebook Page
- No need to pander to the Bear, Mr Obama
- Standpoint Recommends: The Tacitus Lecture 2012
- Goodbye, Vienna
- Friends Indeed — Daniel Johnson on Gertrude Himmelfarb
- New Culture Forum Lecture: Jeremy Hunt
- Kangaroo Courts Arrive Down Under