The rousing finale of Mikhail Glinka's patriotic A Life for the Tsar (1836) guaranteed it a place as the traditional season opener in Russian opera houses. A Life was a powerful and attractive presentation of the Romanov dynasty's foundation myth, but it is also considered the first true Russian opera, since its predecessors relied heavily on foreign models. A century later, with a modified libretto and a new title, it was given a new lease on life as an equally patriotic Soviet opera, Ivan Susanin (1939).
Marina Frolova-Walker is Visiting Professor of Russian Music at Gresham College. She is a Russian-born British musicologist and music historian. She is Professor of Music History and Director of Studies in Music at Clare College, Cambridge. She specialises in Russian and Soviet music and has authored several books and a number of academic articles on the subject.