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A. Markova

Salome, Judit, Melisande as «three graces» of symbolic theatre (similarities and distinctions of the main women’s characters in operas by R. Strauss, B. Bartok, C. Debussy)

The article is devoted to the most important aspects of the conceptual interpretation with respect to an image of a woman in symbolic musical theatre. There are three women’s characters of German, French and Hungarian operas at the centre of researcher’s attention. The parallels between the mentioned images are of interest owing to theirs priority significance for symbolist art. Comprehending of the essence conformably to the marked characters assumes analytical study of the appropriate opera works and literary dramas which are the basis of the librettos. As the author of the article notes the type of «la femme fatale» predominates in symbolist theatrical works. The graphic example of this type is Salome by R. Strauss – one of the most remarkable images created by symbolist art. Besides that Judit by B. Bartok and Melisande by C. Debussy also represent this image of woman (each of them in her own way). The temperament of Judit is similar to Salome’s one, both characters are notable for persistence and passion. Melisande is an angel-like creature which personifies herself the opposite pole of the characterized woman image. to both of them. Moreover all the named women characters correspond to the type of «la femme fatale» as bearer of the ruinous feeling: they symbolize a love which can finish only in death.

Key words

image of a woman in symbolist art, musical theatre of symbolism, «Salome» by R. Strauss, «The Duke Blue-Beard’s Castle» by B. Bartok, «Pelleas et Melisande» by C. Debussy.