Dmitry Shostakovich was just 20 when he began writing The Nose, his operatic debut. It took him about a year to turn to a tiny short story by Gogol into a masterpiece. Gogol's story is an absurdist satire, in which a civil servant wakes up one day to find that his nose has left his face and launched its owner on a ludicrous battle against both nose and the authorities, as bureaucratic processes break down in the face of so unusual a problem.
Shostakovich’s opera is a work of exuberant energy, full of musical jokes and grotesque parody. This video shows the tap-dancing noses of The Royal Opera's 2016 production. Enjoy! Heaven nose, it's not every day you can see nostrils with such flare...
The Genius of Shostakovich
The Poet of Laughter
Nabokov on Gogol
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