Dargomyzhsky, Alexander

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Dargomyzhsky, Alexander (b Troitskoye, Tula, 1813; d St Petersburg, 1869). Russ. composer and pianist. His first opera Esmeralda (based on Hugo) was completed 1840 but not prod. until 1847, when it failed. Rusalka (based on Pushkin) was prod. with success in 1856. He wrote several orch. works, incl. Baba Yaga, and in 1864–5 visited Fr., Eng., and Belgium. Inspired by the nationalist ideals of ‘the Five’, he began another Pushkin opera, The Stone Guest, on the Don Juan legend, making use of declamatory ‘mezzo-recitative’. This was left unscored and unfinished. Cui completed 2 scenes and the opera was scored by Rimsky-Korsakov and prod. St Petersburg 1872. Also wrote nearly 100 songs.