Premiere of Sadko at the Bolshoi Theatre took place on 24 October 1906. Since then, it almost permanently remained in the repertoire (with an exception in the period from 1938 to 1949) right up until the last decades of XX Century.
Sadko is an absolute Rimsky-Korsakov’s masterpiece. Balance between melodious folk recitative, which opera heroes use to communicate with each other, and expressive solo numbers indicate master’s maturity. Perhaps, Rimsky-Korsakov has no other operas like this one that would contain that many ‘hits’: divertissement of arias of foreign guests, Varangian, Indian, Venetian; famous aria of Lyubava, Volkhova’s lullaby...Elegant and concise his orchestration is. Discreetly and gracefully, Rimsky-Korsakov reminds of Wagner’s findings (he admitted so numerous times), which is a special joy for a tempted viewer to guess the motifs of Rein Gold and Siegfried from Sadko.