in the apartment of the parents of Cui's wife. It was a very original apartment, consisting of two or three very small rooms and a huge salle, which made it inexpensive as well as convenient for arranging performances. The opera was studied a long time. Cui and I made the sets ourselves out of some wallpaper that looked Chinese; we obtained costumes and wigs, and in February , 1859, the performance took place. The female role was sung by Cui's wife; the mandarin by Musorgsky, he had a good voice;31 the innkeeper by Gumbin, the talented baritone of the Russian opera; the tenor lover by Dr. Chernyavsky and the villain Zai-Sang by Colonel Velyaminov. Instead of an orchestra, the composer Cui played the piano, and he and Balakirev played the overture. There was a large audience, among whom were Dargomizhsky, Vladimir Stasov, and others.-- VICTOR KRYLOV
[Glebovo] 12 May [Postmarked: 18 June, 1859 St. Petersburg]
The letter has started, so you only need time to read it.--You're familiar with this railway journey; I shall describe for you my trip from the station of Kriukovo, on my way to the Shilovskys.32 At first the country was nothing special, but closer to the New Jerusalem [monastery] it is quite interesting. New Jerusalem occupies a splendid site, from five versts away its oriental, golden bulbs can be seen; it stands on a little hill, vis-à-vis is also a hill (however, a little to the side) where the old town of Voskresensk is; there's a river below, the cathedral is enclosed by a little wood, all around is a wall with little towers looking like those little machines in which you stick pastel crayons (I've forgotten what they're called) topped by weather vanes, the main cupola amazingly resembles un gâteau Mathilde--very amusing inside, they say it's lovely--I'll see.--What a man Patriarch____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Musorgsky Reader:A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents. Contributors: Jay Leyda - Translator, Sergei Bertensson - Translator, Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky - Author. Publisher: W.W. Norton. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1947. Page number: 15.
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