From Russia with Love -- and Laughs: Glinka's 'Ruslan and Lyudmila'


THE HIT SINGLE: "Ruslan's Aria"

In Act Two, while searching for Lyudmila, Ruslan (bass Mikhail Petrenko) encounters a remote battlefield, strewn with rotting bones and discarded weapons. He comes close to despair, then remembers Lyudmila and appeals to Lel, the god of love, in a verse set to the lyrical main theme from the opera's famous overture.

THE B SIDE: "Lyudmila's Cavatina"

As the drama opens, Lyudmila (soprano Albina Shagimuratova) regrets having to leave home after her marriage, and begins her cavatina singing, "I am sad, dear father." Yet she's devoted to Ruslan and deeply in love, and the chorus urges her to enjoy the happiness of her new life.