Glinka’s 1836 Opera, a Life for the Tsar
According to Susanin, an official nationalism is defined by being able to preserve the rituals of a race by marrying a partner of the same ethnicity. The scenario is observed when he objects the marriage between Sobinin and Antonin, his daughter, until a Russian was chosen to marry her as the Tsar’s thrown required. The Council present in Moscow was responsible for the selection of Tsar that was pleasing and accepted by everyone (Taruskin and Gibbs 358). An official nationalism is when the people of a particular nationality are able to ensure that they recognize any efforts of dominance by another country just like when they did in the sumptuous hall when Polish tried to dominate Russians through dances and singing.
An appointed Tsar must be willing and able to serve the interest of the thrown as the official nationalism dictates. When the messenger arrives at the hall and reports that Mikhail Romanov who was the appointed Tsar is hiding, Poles pledges his coup citing that the action is not accordance to the expectations of an official nationalist. Official nationalism is when soldiers are true and loyal to the course of defending their nationality. Vanya and Susanin are accompanied by loyal soldiers into the woods, for a mission to defend Tsar.
Official nationalism is described by the willingness to sacrifice one’s life to defend one’s nationality (Taruskin and Gibbs 412). Susanin is killed by the Poles for deception and in the long run he brings triumph for defending Tsar. An official nationalism goes beyond telling the truth, for a true purpose of defending a nationality. Just before the Russian soldiers came to rescue of Susanin in the woods, he had led the Polish soldiers to the woods for a mission whose purpose was a lie. By doing that, he already placed his life at risk for the reason of defending Tsar. An official nationalist is he who can be willing and able to risk his/her life for the purpose of serving a nationality.
Taruskin, Richard, and Gibbs, Christopher H. The Oxford History of Written Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Musical score.