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Theatre / Ruslan And Ludmila

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Ruslan and Ludmila is a 1842 opera by Mikhail Glinka, based on Alexander Pushkin's epic poem of the same name. Like in the poem, the plot focuses on young Prince Ruslan trying to rescue his bride Ludmila who has been kidnapped by the wizard Chernomor.

The opera contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The twelve sirens are neutral characters in Pushkin's poem (admittedly, they delay Ratmir's quest, but they seem to have no malicious intent and later he gives it up on his own accord anyway). Here, they are Naina's minions explicitly sent to lure Ludmila's potential rescuers into a trap.
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    • In the poem, Naina plots to get Ruslan killed but ignores Ratmir. Here, she wants to kill them both.
  • Adapted Out: Rogday, one of Ludmila's suitors in the poem who does nothing plot-relevant before getting killed practically in the beginning, isn't included in the opera.
  • Alto Villainess: Naina the wicked witch is a mezzo-soprano.
  • Badass Baritone: Ruslan, a brave and daring warrior, is sung by baritones or basses.
  • Canon Foreigner: Gorislava, one of Ratmir's slaves who desperately tries to win his heart back.
  • Crosscast Role: Ratmir is sung by a contralto.
  • Setting Update: Unlike in the opera, the plot takes place at least several decades before the Baptism of Rus.
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