In Search of a Libretto. Anton Rubinstein’s Two Operas That Were Never Composed


This article is devoted to two opera projects conceived by Anton Rubinstein in late 1850s —  early 1860s: “Ein Steinwurf oder Opfer um Opfer” and “Roswitha”, the librettos for which were commissioned to F. Hebbel and M. Hartmann, respectively. Our research is based on unpublished letters by Rubinstein and draft manuscripts of the libretto for “Roswitha” from Vienna Rathaus library (Wienbibliothek im Rathaus) and Manuscript Cabinet of Russian Art History Institute (Saint-Petersburg). In the article, we show how Rubinstein worked on operas’ texts and why both operas were never actually composed, as well as what role the two unrealized projects played in the artist’s evolution as an opera composer.