The daredevil wives of the Russian Decembrist revolutionaries, who followed their husbands into exile in the winter of 1825, have inspired the author of the Notre-Dame de Paris musical to create a new music score set in Imperial Russia.
The epithet 'Decembrist wife' has become a symbol of the devotion of a wife to her husband.
“I liked the fact that women sacrificed themselves for their husbands. This story will be the central theme of the musical,” Riccardo Cocciante told the RIA news agency. The composer added that unlike his worldwide hit Notre-Dame de Paris, based on Victor Hugo's novel, the new musical won't be built around any concrete work of literature.
In late December 1825, a secret society of young officers known as the Decembrists staged an unsuccessful uprising in the Senate Square in Saint Petersburg.
They refused to swear allegiance to the new Russian Tsar, protesting against Nicholas I's assumption of the throne after his elder brother Constantine removed himself from the line of succession. The Decembrists were arrested, tried, and convicted. Over 120 of them were sentenced to exile working in Siberian mines, members of the aristocracy among them.
The Decembrists were arrested, tried, and convicted. Over 120 of them were sentenced to exile working in Siberian mines, members of the aristocracy among them.
Although the Tsar decreed wives of the Decembrists were regarded as widows and were allowed to remarry, the majority of the women chose to follow their husbands into exile. The revolutionaries received an amnesty 30 years later, but in the mean time a lot of them had died.
"Before going to Siberia I was on my knees by my baby's crib; I prayed for a while. He spent the whole evening with me, playing with the stamp of the letter which allowed me to go away and leave him for good,” Maria Volkonskaya wrote in her memoirs.
By posting your comment, you agree to abide by our Posting rules