4) Naroditskaya even looks at early 19th-century romantic ballet by itself in a subsection of her Rusalka chapter (204), in which she offers an explanation for romantic ballet's key narrative trope--and an opera trope too--playing out differently in Russia than in Europe.
In the book's second half, she studies the effects of that pathology (which she links with the Russian narrative style inoskazanie--YitcmWy "other telling" ) first on authors like Pushkin, who was fascinated by the recently suppressed world of Catherines court, then on the five operas she chooses as case studies, by composers from Glinka to Chaikovskii: Ruslan and Liudmila, Rusalka, Mlada, Sadko, and The Queen of Spades.
The production of Rusalka
at the Bastille Opera in Paris in 2002 definitely made one think twice about the Czech staging tradition that regards Rusalka
as a family afternoon fairytale.
Milan Kuna, in one of the book's most interesting essays, explores (in English) an aspect of Dvorak's personality not well known, showing how his financial demands (perhaps justified, but probably unrealistic under the circumstances) were evidently responsible for thwarting his only chance to see Rusalka
performed outside the Czech lands.