Stung by criticism from the Paris critics who claimed he produced well-danced ballets with exotic décors and costumes but with no comparable innovative music component, Diaghilev turned to the young composer Igor Stravinsky. The Firebird was Stravinsky’s first commission from the Ballets Russes and proved to be the catalyst that began Stravinsky’s ascent to international acclaim. Considered to be one of Michel Fokine’s best choreographies and one of Diaghilev’s most successful collaborative efforts, The Firebird was a triumph with Paris audiences. (The Firebird: music by Igor Stravinsky; libretto by Michel Fokine; sets and costumes by Aleksandr Golovin, with additional costumes by Léon Bakst; choreography by Michel Fokine; premiere on June 25, 1910, Théâtre National de l’Opéra, Paris.)
Tag Archives: Sergei Diaghilev
After completing his secondary school studies in Perm, Russia, Serge Diaghilev traveled throughout Europe and developed his interest in visual arts. With artists Léon Bakst (1866–1924) and Alexandre Benois (1870–1960), he cofounded the journal Mir iskusstva (The World of Art) in 1898. In 1906, Diaghilev arranged an exhibition of Russian art in Paris and organized a festival of Russian music at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra the next year. In 1908, Diaghilev returned to Paris to present six performances of Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov—the opera’s first performance outside Russia.