Along with Russian theatre troupes there existed French, German and Italian drama and opera companies.
Italian non-repertory theatre turned to be the most popular with the public.
The other title of the opera is , after the name of the legendary peasant who saved the little tzar of Russia from Polish invaders at the cost of his own life.
For the first time a common peasant becomes the hero of a serious work of art and the authentic Russian song sounds in a serious opera.
In spite of the music before Glinka the phenomenon of his genius still seems a miracle.
The basic features of his gift combine deep intellectualism and subtle artistry.
Glinka was one of the first Russian authors to solve the issue of scenic musical speech.
Slavic epos, colorful oriental scenes and Finnish tunes make up the world of the enchanting fairy opera (1842).Among the most popular operas on the world stage of the late 20th - early 21st cc are by Shostakovitch.It goes without saying that the treasures of the national opera are not limited to the mentioned compositions.Besides there was already formed a certain opera tradition of the 18th c. In the early 19th century court and private theatres gave place to the monopoly of the state theatres, centred in Moscow and St.-Petersburg.Both the capitals of Russia enjoyed rich cultural life, with Russian ballet blossoming.In Life for the Tzar Glinka overcame the mixture of styles characteristic of the Russian opera before him, when genre scenes were 'Russian styled', lyric arias were in the 'Italian way' and drama parts were 'French' or 'German'. The opera recreates the old Russian spirit, as well as authentic Orient in its various aspects, both 'sweet' and 'redoubtable' and original fantasy, putting Glinka in a row with his most outstanding contemporaries - Berlioz and Wagner.