Robert de Montesquiou
Marie Joseph Robert Anatole, Comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac, was a French aesthete, Symbolist poet, art collector and dandy. He is reputed to have been the inspiration both for Jean des Esseintes in Joris-Karl Huysmans' À rebours and, most famously, for the Baron de Charlus in Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. de Montesquiou was a scion of the French Montesquiou-Fézensac Family. His paternal grandfather was Count Anatole de Montesquiou-Fezensac, aide-de-camp to Napoleon and grand officer of the Légion d'honneur. With his wife's dowry, Thierry bought a Charnizay manor, built a mansion in Paris, was elected Vice-President of the Jockey Club, he was a successful stockbroker. Robert was the last of Count Thierry's children, brothers Gontran and Aymery, sister Élise, his cousin, Élisabeth, comtesse Greffulhe, was one of Marcel Proust's models for the duchesse de Guermantes.de Montesquiou had a strong influence on Émile Gallé, a glass artist he collaborated with and commissioned major works from, from whom he received hundreds of adulatory letters.
He wrote the verses found in the optional choral parts of Gabriel Fauré's Pavane. The portrait Arrangement in Black and Gold: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac was painted by de Montesquiou's close friend, model for many of his eccentric mannerisms, James Abbott McNeill Whistler in 1891-1892; the French artist Antonio de La Gandara produced several portraits of the Comte. One author provides the following verbal portrait of de Montesquiou: "Tall, black-haired, Kaiser-moustached, he cackled and screamed in weird attitudes, giggling in high soprano, hiding his black teeth behind an exquisitely gloved hand—the poseur absolute. Montesquiou's homosexual tendencies were patently obvious, but he may in fact have lived a chaste life, he had no affairs with women, although in 1876 he once slept with the great actress Sarah Bernhardt, after which he vomited for twenty-four hours." De Montesquiou had social relationships and collaborations with many celebrities of the Fin de siècle period, including Alphonse Daudet, Edmond de Goncourt, Eleonora Duse, Sarah Bernhardt, Gabriele d'Annunzio, Anna de Noailles, Marthe Bibesco, Luisa Casati, Maurice Barrès, Franca Florio.
While de Montesquiou had many aristocratic women friends, he much preferred the company of bright and attractive young men. In 1885, he began a close long-term relationship with Gabriel Yturri, a handsome South American immigrant, from Tucuman, Argentina who became his secretary and lover. After Yturri died of diabetes, Henri Pinard replaced him as secretary in 1908 and inherited Montesquiou's much reduced fortune. Montesquiou and Yturri are buried alongside each other at Cimetière des Gonards, Versailles, Île-de-France, France. A chronology of de Montesquiou's life can be found at the University of Napierville, Quebec's website. In his biography, Philippe Jullian proposes that Moberly and Jourdain's'Adventure' in 1901 in the grounds of the Petit Trianon is explained by their stumbling into a rehearsal of one of Montesquiou's Tableaux Vivants, with his friends dressed in period costume. Dr Joan Evans, who owned the copyright to'An Adventure,' accepted this solution and forbade any further editions.
De Montesquiou's poetry has been called untranslatable, was poorly received by critics at the time. Note that there is original text related to this article at: French Wikisource Les Chauves-Souris, Clairs obscurs. Le Chef des odeurs suaves, Floréal extrait Le Parcours du rêve au souvenir Les Hortensias bleus Les Perles rouges: 93 sonnets historiques Les Paons Prières de tous: Huit dizaines d'un chapelet rythmique Calendrier Robert de Montesquiou pour 1903 Calendrier Robert de Montesquiou 1904 Passiflora Les Paroles diaprées, cent dédicaces Les Paroles diaprées, nouvelle série de dédicaces Les Offrandes blessées: elégies guerrières Nouvelles Offrandes blessées Offrande coloniale Sabliers et lacrymatoires: elégies guerrières et humaines Un moment du pleur éternel: offrandes innommées Les Quarante bergères: Portraits satiriques... avec a frontispiece de Aubrey Beardsley Félicité: étude sur la poësie de Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, suivie d'un essai de classification de ses motifs d'inspiration Roseaux pensants Apollon aux lanternes Autels privilégiés Alice et Aline, une peinture de Chassériau Musée rétrospectif de la classe 90 Alfred Stevens Pays de aromates L'Inextricable graveur: Rodolphe Bresdin Professionnelles beautés Altesses sérénissimes Assemblée de notables Saints d'Israël Brelan
Leonid Fyodorovich Myasin, better known in the West by the French transliteration as Léonide Massine, was a Russian choreographer and ballet dancer. Massine created the world's first symphonic ballet, Les Présages, many others in the same vein. Besides his "symphonic ballets," Massine choreographed many other popular works during his long career, some of which were serious and dramatic, others lighthearted and romantic, he created some of his most famous roles in his own comic works, among them the Can-Can Dancer in La Boutique fantasque, the Hussar in Le Beau Danube, best known of all, the Peruvian in Gaîté Parisienne. Today his oeuvre is represented by his son Theodor Massine
Paul-Marie Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Decadent movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry. Born in Metz, Verlaine was educated at the Lycée Impérial Bonaparte in Paris and took up a post in the civil service, he began writing poetry at an early age, was influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Leconte de Lisle. Verlaine's first published poem was published in 1863 in La Revue du progrès, a publication founded by poet Louis-Xavier de Ricard. Verlaine was a frequenter of the salon of the Marquise de Ricard at 10 Boulevard des Batignolles and other social venues, where he rubbed shoulders with prominent artistic figures of the day: Anatole France, Emmanuel Chabrier, inventor-poet and humorist Charles Cros, the cynical anti-bourgeois idealist Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Théodore de Banville, François Coppée, Jose-Maria de Heredia, Leconte de Lisle, Catulle Mendes and others. Verlaine's first published collection, Poèmes saturniens, though adversely commented upon by Sainte-Beuve, established him as a poet of promise and originality.
Verlaine's private life spills over into his work, beginning with his love for Mathilde Mauté de Fleurville. Mathilde became Verlaine's wife in 1870. At the proclamation of the Third Republic in the same year, Verlaine joined the 160th battalion of the Garde nationale, turning Communard on 18 March 1871, he became head of the press bureau of the Central Committee of the Paris Commune. Verlaine escaped the deadly street fighting known as the Bloody Week, or Semaine Sanglante, went into hiding in the Pas-de-Calais. Verlaine returned to Paris in August 1871, and, in September, he received the first letter from Arthur Rimbaud, who admired his poetry, he urged Rimbaud to come to Paris, by 1872, he had lost interest in Mathilde, abandoned her and their son, preferring the company of his new lover. Rimbaud and Verlaine's stormy affair took them to London in 1872. In Brussels in July 1873 in a drunken, jealous rage, he fired two shots with a pistol at Rimbaud, wounding his left wrist, though not injuring the poet.
As an indirect result of this incident, Verlaine was arrested and imprisoned at Mons, where he underwent a re-conversion to Roman Catholicism, which again influenced his work and provoked Rimbaud's sharp criticism. The poems collected in Romances sans paroles were written between 1872 and 1873, inspired by Verlaine's nostalgically colored recollections of his life with Mathilde on the one hand and impressionistic sketches of his on-again off-again year-long escapade with Rimbaud on the other. Romances sans. Following his release from prison, Verlaine again traveled to England, where he worked for some years as a teacher, teaching French and Greek, drawing at a grammar school in Stickney in Lincolnshire. From there he went to teach in nearby Boston, before moving to Bournemouth. While in England he produced another successful collection, Sagesse, he returned to France in 1877 and, while teaching English at a school in Rethel, fell in love with one of his pupils, Lucien Létinois, who inspired Verlaine to write further poems.
Verlaine was devastated when Létinois died of typhus in 1883. Verlaine's last years saw his descent into drug addiction and poverty, he lived in slums and public hospitals, spent his days drinking absinthe in Paris cafes. However, the people's love for his art was able to resurrect support and bring in an income for Verlaine: his early poetry was rediscovered, his lifestyle and strange behaviour in front of crowds attracted admiration, in 1894 he was elected France's "Prince of Poets" by his peers, his poetry was admired and recognized as ground-breaking, served as a source of inspiration to composers. Gabriel Fauré composed many mélodies, such as the song cycles Cinq mélodies "de Venise" and La bonne chanson, which were settings of Verlaine's poems. Claude Debussy set to music Clair de lune and six of the Fêtes galantes poems, forming part of the mélodie collection known as the Recueil Vasnier. Reynaldo Hahn set several of Verlaine's poems, his drug dependence and alcoholism took a toll on his life.
Paul Verlaine died in Paris at the age of 51 on 8 January 1896. Much of the French poetry produced during the fin de siècle was characterized as "decadent" for its lurid content or moral vision. In a similar vein, Verlaine used the expression poète maudit in 1884 to refer to a number of poets like Stéphane Mallarmé, Arthur Rimbaud, Aloysius Bertrand, Comte de Lautréamont or Alice de Chambrier, who had fought against poetic conventions and suffered social rebuke or were ignored by the critics, but with the publication of Jean Moréas' Symbolist Manifesto in 1886, it was the term symbolism, most applied to the new literary environment. Along with Verlaine, Mallarmé, Paul Valéry, Albert Samain and many others began to be referred to as "Symbolists." These poets would share themes that parallel Schopenhauer's aesthetics and notions of will and unconscious forces, used themes of sex, the city, irrational phenomena, sometimes a vaguely medieval setting. I
S Club 7
S Club 7 were an English pop group from London created by former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller consisting of members Bradley McIntosh, Hannah Spearritt, Jo O'Meara, Jon Lee, Paul Cattermole, Rachel Stevens and Tina Barrett. The group was formed in 1998 and rose to fame by starring in their own BBC television series, Miami 7. In their five years together, S Club 7 had four UK number-one singles, one UK number-one album, a string of hits throughout Europe as well as a Top 10 hit on the US Hot 100, with their 2000 single "Never Had a Dream Come True", they recorded four studio albums, released 11 singles and went on to sell over 10 million albums worldwide. The concept and brand of the group was created by Simon Fuller, their manager through 19 Entertainment, they were signed to Polydor Records. Their show lasted four series and saw the group travel across the US ending up in Barcelona, it became popular in 100 different countries. The show, a children's sitcom mirrored real-life events which had occurred in S Club, like the relationship of Spearritt and Cattermole, Cattermole's departure from the group.
S Club 7 won two BRIT Awards—in 2000 for British breakthrough act and in 2002, for best British single. In 2001 the group earned the Record of the Year award. Cattermole departed in 2002, citing "creative differences", the group name dropped the "7", their penultimate single reached number five in the UK charts and their final album failed to make the top ten. Following Cattermole's departure, the group fought many rumours presuming that they were about to split. However, on 21 April 2003, during a live onstage performance, S Club announced that they were to disband. In October 2014, it was confirmed that the original lineup would reunite for the first time in over a decade for BBC Children in Need announcing a UK reunion tour for 2015. Simon Fuller has commented that he came upon the concept of S Club 7 the day after he was fired by the Spice Girls in November 1997, with the new group meant as a "continuation" of the latter, he selected the members for the group after auditioning from over 10,000 hopefuls.
Instead, two producers from 19 Management approached her and asked her to go into the studio to record a demo tape for Fuller. Both O'Meara and Cattermole were asked to audition. After the auditions had been advertised in The Stage, Spearritt, Barrett and McIntosh auditioned. After some final adjustments, including the removal of three original members, S Club 7 was formed. Once the final line-up was decided, they flew to Italy to become acquainted with each other. Speaking about this first meeting, Stevens remarked that the group "felt comfortable with each other from the beginning". Several members of the group have since stated that the "S" in S Club 7 stands for Simon, after the group's creator, although the official line has always been ambiguous; the group's entry on the Popjustice website states that at one point they were nearly called "Sugar Club" instead of the name that stuck. Another theory is that the group is so-named because "S" is the first letter of the word "seven". McIntosh, in a December 2012 interview, said a lot of Simon Fuller's success has been based on the number 19.
S Club 7 first came to public attention in 1999, when they starred in their own television series, Miami 7. The show first aired on CBBC on BBC One and was a children's sitcom based on the lives of the group who had moved to Miami, Florida in search of fame in America; the show was launched in the United States, airing on Fox Family, on ABC Family. The show celebrated worldwide success and was watched by 90 million viewers in over 100 different countries; the group filmed two specials between the first two series of their show. The first, Back to the'50s—which aired on CITV, instead of CBBC—told the story of how the group found themselves back in 1959. In the second TV special, Boyfriends & Birthdays, Stevens' boyfriend gave her an ultimatum of staying with him or remaining with S Club. Within the television series, the parallel branding, each member of S Club 7 had their own character, which contained exaggerated forms of their real life counterparts as well as their own identifiable "S Club colour".
Hannah Spearritt, for example, had an "S Club colour" of yellow which, as Spearritt describes, mirrors her own interesting personality: "bright and happy". US media characterized S Club 7 as "The Monkees for the next generation". However, Joel Andryc—the vice president of the Fox Family Channel—stated that Miami 7 is "far more relationship driven" than The Monkees, that "kids today are more sophisticated". Following on from Miami 7, S Club 7 released the theme music to the show as their debut single on 9 June 1999; the up-tempo "Bring It All Back" reached number-one in the United Kingdom singles charts, after selling more than 600,000 copies, was made BPI certified Platinum. Commenting on the chart position of "Bring It All Back", the group felt "nervous and on-edge" before they discovered they had reached number one. Once they had received the phone call from the record company, the group celebrated the news with "cheers and crying"; the group's success escalated and much like Fuller's marketing campaign for the Spice Girls, they were set to become a "marketable commodity".
As evidence for this, global toy manufacturer Hasbro agreed upon an exclusive licensing agreement with 19 Management which included worldwide rights in the fashion doll category
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev referred to outside Russia as Serge Diaghilev, was a Russian art critic, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers would arise. Sergei Diaghilev was born to a cultured family in Selishchi, Russia. After the death of Sergei's mother, his father married Elena Valerianovna Panaeva, an artistic young woman, on affectionate terms with her stepson and was a strong influence on him; the family had an apartment in Saint Petersburg and a country estate in Bikbarda. In 1890, Sergei's parents went bankrupt, having for a long time lived beyond their means, from that time Sergei had to support the family. After graduating from Perm gymnasium in 1890, he went to the capital to study law at St. Petersburg University, but ended up taking classes at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, where he studied singing and music. After graduating in 1892 he abandoned his dreams of composition. During his years at University, Diaghilev's cousin Dmitry Filosofov introduced him to a circle of art-loving friends who called themselves The Nevsky Pickwickians.
They included Alexandre Benois, Walter Nouvel, Konstantin Somov, Léon Bakst. Although not received into the group, Diaghilev was aided by Benois in developing his knowledge of Russian and Western art. In two years, he had voraciously absorbed this new obsession and came to be respected as one of the most learned of the group. With financial backing from Savva Mamontov and Princess Maria Tenisheva, the group founded the journal Mir iskusstva. In 1899, Diaghilev became special assistant to Prince Sergei Mikhaylovich Volkonsky, who had taken over directorship of all Imperial theaters. Diaghilev was soon responsible for the production of the Annual of the Imperial Theaters in 1900, promptly offered assignments to his close friends: Léon Bakst would design costumes for the French play Le Coeur de la Marquise, while Benois was given the opportunity to produce Alexander Taneyev's opera Cupid's Revenge. In 1900–1901 Volkonsky entrusted Diaghilev with the staging of Léo Delibes' ballet Sylvia, a favorite of Benois.
The two collaborators concocted an elaborate production plan that startled the established personnel of the Imperial Theatres. After several antagonistic differences of opinion, Diaghilev in his demonstrative manner refused to go on editing the Annual of the Imperial Theatres and was discharged by Volkonsky in 1901 and left disgraced in the eyes of the nobility. At the same time, some of Diaghilev's researchers hinted at his homosexuality as the main cause for this conflict. However, his homosexuality had been well known long before he was invited into the Imperial Theatres. In 1905 he organized a huge exhibition of Russian portrait painting at the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg, having travelled through Russia for a year discovering many unknown masterpieces of Russian portrait art. In the following year he took a major exhibition of Russian art to the Petit Palais in Paris, it was the beginning of a long involvement with France. In 1907 he presented five concerts of Russian music in Paris, in 1908 mounted a production of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, starring Feodor Chaliapin, at the Paris Opéra.
This led to an invitation to return the following year with ballet as well as opera, thus to the launching of his famous Ballets Russes. The company included the best young Russian dancers, among them Anna Pavlova, Adolph Bolm, Vaslav Nijinsky, Tamara Karsavina and Vera Karalli, their first night on 19 May 1909 was a sensation. During these years Diaghilev's stagings included several compositions by the late Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, such as the operas The Maid of Pskov, May Night, The Golden Cockerel, his balletic adaptation of the orchestral suite Sheherazade, staged in 1910, drew the ire of the composer's widow, Nadezhda Rimskaya-Korsakova, who protested in open letters to Diaghilev published in the periodical Rech. Diaghilev commissioned ballet music from composers such as Nikolai Tcherepnin, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, Manuel de Falla, Richard Strauss, Sergei Prokofiev, his choreographer Michel Fokine adapted the music for ballet. Diaghilev worked with dancer and ballet master Léonide Massine.
The artistic director for the Ballets Russes was Léon Bakst. Together they developed a more complicated form of ballet with show-elements intended to appeal to the general public, rather than the aristocracy; the exotic appeal of the Ballets Russes had an effect on Fauvist painters and the nascent Art Deco style. Coco Chanel is said to have stated that "Diaghilev invented Russia for foreigners.". Diaghilev's most notable composer-collaborator, was Igor Stravinsky. Diaghilev heard Stravinsky's early orchestral works Fireworks
Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer and conductor. He is associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer. Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire. After leaving the conservatoire, Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity, incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his works, jazz, he liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro, in which repetition takes the place of development. He made some orchestral arrangements of other composers' music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known; as a slow and painstaking worker, Ravel composed fewer pieces than many of his contemporaries. Among his works to enter the repertoire are pieces for piano, chamber music, two piano concertos, ballet music, two operas and eight song cycles.
Many of his works exist in two versions: first, a piano score and an orchestration. Some of his piano music, such as Gaspard de la nuit, is exceptionally difficult to play, his complex orchestral works such as Daphnis et Chloé require skilful balance in performance. Ravel was among the first composers to recognise the potential of recording to bring their music to a wider public. From the 1920s, despite limited technique as a pianist or conductor, he took part in recordings of several of his works. Ravel was born in the Basque town of Ciboure, near Biarritz, 18 kilometres from the Spanish border, his father, Pierre-Joseph Ravel, was an educated and successful engineer and manufacturer, born in Versoix near the Franco-Swiss border. His mother, Marie, née Delouart, had grown up in Madrid. In 19th-century terms, Joseph had married beneath his status – Marie was illegitimate and literate – but the marriage was a happy one; some of Joseph's inventions were successful, including an early internal combustion engine and a notorious circus machine, the "Whirlwind of Death", an automotive loop-the-loop, a major attraction until a fatal accident at Barnum and Bailey's Circus in 1903.
Both Ravel's parents were Roman Catholics. He was baptised in the Ciboure parish church six days; the family moved to Paris three months and there a younger son, Édouard, was born. Maurice was devoted to their mother. Among his earliest memories were folk songs; the household was not rich, but the family was comfortable, the two boys had happy childhoods. Ravel senior delighted in taking his sons to factories to see the latest mechanical devices, but he had a keen interest in music and culture in general. In life, Ravel recalled, "Throughout my childhood I was sensitive to music. My father, much better educated in this art than most amateurs are, knew how to develop my taste and to stimulate my enthusiasm at an early age." There is no record. When he was seven, Ravel started piano lessons with a friend of Emmanuel Chabrier. Without being anything of a child prodigy, he was a musical boy. Charles-René found that Ravel's conception of music was natural to him "and not, as in the case of so many others, the result of effort".
Ravel's earliest known compositions date from this period: variations on a chorale by Schumann, variations on a theme by Grieg and a single movement of a piano sonata. They survive only in fragmentary form. In 1888 Ravel met the young pianist Ricardo Viñes, who became not only a lifelong friend, but one of the foremost interpreters of his works, an important link between Ravel and Spanish music; the two shared an appreciation of Wagner, Russian music, the writings of Poe and Mallarmé. At the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889, Ravel was much struck by the new Russian works conducted by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; this music had a lasting effect on both Ravel and his older contemporary Claude Debussy, as did the exotic sound of the Javanese gamelan heard during the Exposition.Émile Decombes took over as Ravel's piano teacher in 1889. Aged fourteen, he took part in a concert at the Salle Érard along with other pupils of Decombes, including Reynaldo Hahn and Alfred Cortot. With the encouragement of his parents, Ravel applied for entry to France's most important musical college, the Conservatoire de Paris.
In November 1889, playing music by Chopin, he passed the examination for admission to the preparatory piano class run by Eugène Anthiome. Ravel won the first prize in the Conservatoire's piano competition in 1891, but otherwise he did not stand out as a student; these years were a time of considerable advance in his development as a composer. The musicologist Arbie Orenstein writes tha
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company based in Paris that performed between 1909 and 1929 throughout Europe and on tours to North and South America. The company never performed in Russia. After its initial Paris season, the company had no formal ties there. Conceived by impresario Sergei Diaghilev, the Ballets Russes is regarded as the most influential ballet company of the 20th century, in part because it promoted ground-breaking artistic collaborations among young choreographers, composers and dancers, all at the forefront of their several fields. Diaghilev commissioned works from composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Sergei Prokofiev, artists such as Vasily Kandinsky, Alexandre Benois, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, costume designers Léon Bakst and Coco Chanel; the company's productions created a huge sensation reinvigorating the art of performing dance, bringing many visual artists to public attention, affecting the course of musical composition. It introduced European and American audiences to tales and design motifs drawn from Russian folklore.
The influence of the Ballets Russes lasts to the present day. The French plural form of the name, “Ballets Russes,” refers to the company founded by Sergei Diaghilev and active during his lifetime. In English, the company is now referred to as "the Ballets Russes", although in the early part of the 20th century, it was sometimes referred to as “The Russian Ballet” or “Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet.” To add to the confusion, some publicity material spelled the name in the singular. The names “Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo” and “The Original Ballet Russe” refer to companies that formed after Diaghilev's death in 1929. Sergei Diaghilev, the company's impresario, was chiefly responsible for its success, he was uniquely prepared for the role. In 1890, he enrolled at the Faculty of Law, St. Petersburg, to prepare for a career in the civil service like many Russian young men of his class. There he was introduced to a student clique of artists and intellectuals calling themselves The Nevsky Pickwickians whose most influential member was Alexandre Benois.
From childhood, Diaghilev had been passionately interested in music. However, his ambition to become a composer was dashed in 1894 when Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov told him he had no talent. In 1898, several members of The Pickwickians founded the journal Mir iskusstva under the editorship of Diaghilev; as early as 1902, Mir iskusstva included reviews of concerts and ballets in Russia. The latter were chiefly written by Benois, who exerted considerable influence on Diaghilev's thinking. Mir iskusstva sponsored exhibitions of Russian art in St. Petersburg, culminating in Diaghilev's important 1905 show of Russian portraiture at the Tauride Palace. Frustrated by the extreme conservatism of the Russian art world, Diaghilev organized the groundbreaking Exhibition of Russian Art at the Petit Palais in Paris in 1906, the first major showing of Russian art in the West, its enormous success created a Parisian fascination with all things Russian. Diaghilev organized a 1907 season of Russian music at the Paris Opéra.
In 1908, Diaghilev returned to the Paris Opéra with six performances of Modest Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov, starring basso Fyodor Chaliapin. This was Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's 1908 version; the performances were a sensation. In 1909, Diaghilev presented his first Paris "Saison Russe" devoted to ballet. Most of this original company were resident performers at the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg, hired by Diaghilev to perform in Paris during the Imperial Ballet's summer holidays; the first season's repertory featured a variety of works chiefly choreographed by Michel Fokine, including Le Pavillon d'Armide, the Polovtsian Dances, Les Sylphides, Cléopâtre. The season included Le Festin, a pastiche set by several choreographers to music by several Russian composers; the principal productions are shown in the table below. When Sergei Diaghilev died of diabetes in Venice on 19 August 1929, the Ballets Russes was left with substantial debts; as the Great Depression began, its property was claimed by its creditors and the company of dancers dispersed.
In 1931, Colonel Wassily de Basil and René Blum founded the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, giving its first performances there in 1932. Diaghilev alumni Léonide Massine and George Balanchine worked as choreographers with the company and Tamara Toumanova was a principal dancer. Artistic differences led to a split between Blum and de Basil, after which de Basil renamed his company "Ballets Russes de Colonel W. de Basil". Blum retained the name "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo". In 1938, he called it "The Covent Garden Russian Ballet" and renamed it the "Original Ballet Russe" in 1939. After World War II began, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo left Europe and toured extensivel