Mr. Peabody Says:
This is where the famous “Flight of the Bumblebee” came from. The magic Swan-Bird changes the Tsar’s son into an insect so that he can fly away to visit his father (who does not know that he is alive). It was all part of an opera. Later the composer made it part of his orchestral suite. From an opera to one of the world’s most famous pieces of music.
The Tale of Tsar Saltan is an opera in four acts with a prologue (a total of seven scenes) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The opera was composed in 1899–1900 to coincide with Pushkin’s centenary, and was first performed in 1900 in Moscow, Russia.
The première was held in Moscow on 3 November (O.S. 21 October) 1900 at the Solodovnikov Theatre conducted by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov with scenic design by Mikhail Vrubel.