The book situates its inquiry at the intersection of three inter methods—interdisciplinary, intertextual, and intergeneric. Throughout history, Russian literati have engaged in intertextual and intergeneric exchange as an intellectual and political game, transmitting their ideas via references to each other, commenting on events, critiquing politics, creating a densely coherent body of works extending across artistic and disciplinary divides. Historical ethnomusicology provides a vehicle for questions that challenge established historical perspectives, in this case dealing with opera, gender, and empire. At the core of the study is the issue of gender, which, not originally conceived as the main agenda, took centre stage in the course of the research.
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