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Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910)  Princess Volkhova. N.I.Zabela-Vrubel as Volkhova in Sadko (opera)  Paper, watercolors, 1898  The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
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Title: Princess Volkhova
Description:
Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910)
Princess Volkhova. N.I.Zabela-Vrubel as Volkhova
Paper, watercolors, 1898
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Nadezhda Ivanovna Zabela-Vrubel (Russian: - 1 April [OS 20 March] 1868, Kovno – 4 July [OS 21 June] 1913, St. Petersburg) was a Russian opera singer. Vocally, she is best described as a lyrical (coloratura) soprano, with a particularly high tessitura.

In 1891 she graduated the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, having been in the class of Natalia Iretskaya. She also studied in Paris with Mathilde Marchesi. She sang her debut in 1893 at the I. Setov operatic troupe in Kiev. In the season 1894-1895 she sang in Tiflis, in 1895-96 in the St. Petersburg Private opera, and in 1896-1897 in Kharkov. During 1897-1904 she was a leading soprano in Savva Mamontov's Private Russian Opera. In 1904-1911 she became the soloist of the Mariinski Theatre in St. Petersburg.
In 1896 she married the famous Russian artist Mikhail Vrubel, who created a series of her portraits.

Princess Volkhova was heroine Russian Bylina Sadko, the youngest daughter of the beloved King of the Sea 
Sadko (Russian: , the name of the main character) is an opera in seven scenes by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The libretto was written by the composer, with assistance Vladimir Belsky, Vladimir Stasov, and others. Rimsky-Korsakov was first inspired by the bīlina of Sadko in 1867, when he completed a tone poem on the subject, his Op. 5. After finishing his second revision of this work in 1892, he decided to turn it into a dramatic work. The opera was completed in 1896.

The music is highly evocative, and Rimsky-Korsakov's famed powers of orchestration are abundantly in evidence throughout the score.
Sadko (Russian: ) was a legendary hero of a Onega-Novgorodian bylina (epic tale) of the same name, a merchant and gusli musician Novgorod.
" Sadko played the gusli on the shores of a lake. The Sea Tzar appeared to express her affection for his music, and offered to help him. Sadko made a bet with the local merchants about a certain fish in the lake; then he caught it, and the merchants had to pay the bet, making Sadko a rich merchant.
 
Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom by Ilya Repin.

Sadko traded on the seas with his new wealth, but one day, his ships stopped in the sea and would not move. He and his sailors tried to appease the Sea Tsar with gold, but finally Sadko had to jump into the sea. He played the gusli for the Sea Tsar, who offered him a new bride. On advice, he took the last maiden in a long line, and lay down beside her.

He woke up on the shore and rejoined his wife."




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Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910)  Six winged Seraphim  Paper, watercolor, graphite pencil, Italian pencil, 1905  The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, RussiaMikhail Vrubel (1856-1910)  Princess Volkhova. N.I.Zabela-Vrubel as Volkhova in Sadko (opera)  Paper, watercolors, 1898  The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, RussiaMikhail Vrubel (1856-1910)  Pearl  Cardboard, pastel, charcoal, gouache, 1904  35x43,7 cm  The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia
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