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Verstovsky, Alexey Nikolayevich
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Verstovsky, Alexey Nikolayevich

(Born; Seliverstovo, 1 March 1799; Died; Moscow, 17 Nov 1862). Russian composer. In St Petersburg his teachers included Field. From 1825 he was inspector (from 1842 director) of all the Moscow theatres, playing a leading part in their management until 1860. He composed solo songs (sentimental romances, pseudo-folksongs and narrative ballads) and operas with spoken dialogue, notably Pan Twardowski (1828; the first Russian romantic Singspiel, strongly influenced by Weber's Der Freischütz) and Askold's Grave (1835), his only real success and the first Russian opera performed in the USA (New York, 1869). With their elements of evil magic, scenes from everyday life and stock vocal types his operas are glorified Russian vaudevilles.(c)Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK

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