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Victory over the Sun

El Lissitzky's poster for a post-revolutionary production of the opera. The caption reads: All is well that begins well and has no end.

Victory over the Sun (Russian: Победа над Cолнцем, Pobeda nad Solntsem) is a Russian Futurist opera premiered in 1913 at the Luna Park in Saint Petersburg.

The Soyuz Molodyozhi. The opera has become famous as the event where Malevich made his first "Black Square" painting (in 1915).

The opera was intended to underline parallels between literary text, musical score, and the art of painting, and featured a cast of such extravagant characters as Nero and Caligula in the Same Person, Traveller through All the Ages, Telephone Talker, The New Ones, etc.

The audience reacted negatively and even violently to the performance, as have some subsequent critics and historians.[1]

A documentary film about the opera was made in 1980.[2]


  • Translation 1
  • Further reading 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Victory Over the Sun // Ed. Patricia Railing, translator Evgeny Steiner. London: Artists.Bookworks, 2009. 2 vols. ISBN 978-0-946311-19-4

Further reading

Victory Over the Sun: The World's First Futurist Opera (original Russian libretto, musical score, translation, critical and historical essays) // Ed. Rosamund Bartlett and Sarah Dadswell. University of Exeter Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-85989-839-3

"Anfang Gut, Alles Gut - Actualizations of the Futurist Opera Victory Over the Sun 1913", ed. by Eva Birkenstock, Kerstin Stakemier, Nina Köller. Contributors: Roger Behrens, Devin Fore, Anke Hennig, Oliver Jelinski, Christiane Ketteler, Avigail Moss, Nikolai Punin, Marina Vishmidt. Kunsthaus Bregenz; Bilingual edition (March 31, 2013). ISBN 978-3863351441

The 1980 translation of the opera by poet Larissa Shmailo was performed for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as the Brooklyn Academy of Music.[3] It was performed in full staging with digital sets and synthesized music at Boston University April 23, 2015.[4]


  1. ^ Isobel Hunter (1999-07-12). "Zaum and Sun: The 'first Futurist opera' revisited". Central Europe Review 3 (1). Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  2. ^ "Victory Over the Sun: A Futuristic Opera".  
  3. ^ "Victory over the Sun translation". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Join us for Revolutionary Voices: Victory over the Sun". Boston University. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 

External links

  • Costume Design by Malevich
  • A modern reconstruction of the opera
  • Zaum and Sun: The 'first Futurist opera' revisited Article by Isobel Hunter
  • 'VICTORY OVER THE SUN' The New York Times article
  • Vienna 1993 staging including pictures of performance
  • Rober Benedetti - Reconstructing 'Victory over the Sun' at JSTOR (requires subscription)
  • Victory over the sun The Guardian article on the 1999 London recreation
  • Valeri Shishanov. VITEBSK’ BUDETLANE
  • The libretto [2]
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