William Shakespeare

Tchaikovsky Research
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
in an unverified portrait

English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language (baptised 26 April 1564 [O.S.] at Stratford-upon-Avon; d. 23 April 1616 [O.S.] at Stratford-upon-Avon).

Tchaikovsky's Settings of Works by Shakespeare

A number of Tchaikovsky's works were inspired by Shakespeare:

  • The overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet (Ромео и Джульетта) (1869, revised 1870 and 1880) and the composer's later projected opera on the same subject — after Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet (ca. 1594).
  • The fantasia The Tempest (Буря), Op. 18 (1873) — after Shakespeare's drama The Tempest (c. 1611).
  • The overture-fantasia Hamlet (Гамлет), Op. 67 (1888) and the incidental music to the play, Op. 67b (1891) — after Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, written between 1599 and 1601.

During the winter of 1876/77, Tchaikovsky also considered writing an opera Othello to a libretto by Vladimir Stasov based on Shakespeare's play (1605), but nothing came of this project.


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