The City in the 1770s
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The City in the 1770s book
The adjustment of country folk to the big city and the superficial imitation of the external signs of western life have remained objects of laughter in Russian urban culture. Russian comedy, especially in the 1770s, against the background of agitation, naturally reacted vividly. Opening the 1778 season with a production of Achille in Sciro, Paisiello then switched to buffa. The composer was free to depart on vacation with an obligation to compose and send the scores of scenic productions and to recommend singers and comic actors suitable for the needs of the Russian court. Between 1772 and 1776 the Muse of the newly-born Russian comic opera remained silent. This opera has been traditionally considered as an opera na golosa – based on familiar tunes, or song-opera. The successful The Miller was followed by Neschastie ot karety, a piece by Ya. Knyazhnin, music by V. Pashkevich, which was a satire on the Francophilia and self-hatred of the Russian gentry.