William Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy of two star-crossed lovers has been one of the most frequently adapted stories for musical purposes. Composers, such Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Gounod, Berlioz, and even Duke Ellington, have been touched by its heart-wrenching tale since its creation, and this episode gives you a look into the many musical reincarnations of Shakespeare’s young lovers, Romeo and Juliet.
Convinced that his opera Vakula the Smith was going to prove that he wasn’t a flop, Tchaikovsky did everything he could to ensure that a production of his “precious child” would follow through and be a success, even if he had to make major changes and rename it to Cherevichki.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s early relationship with his wife, Antonina Milyukova, and the first stages of creating Eugene Onegin share a spot in the composers life. The two events influenced each other, and it would leave Tchaikovsky wondering where he had gone wrong.