ROMANOV, KONSTANTIN. 1858-1915.
Tsar Іudeiskіi; drama v chetyrekh deistvіjakh i piati kartinakh. [King of the Jews; Drama in Four Acts and Five Scenes.] St. Petersburg: [privately printed by the author], 1914.
Folio. Music by A. K. Glazunov. Illustrated with numerous tipped-in color plates and photographs of the production. Original half green morocco over tan cloth, stamp in gilt and red. Light foxing, spine sunned, head and tail of spine rubbed, corners rubbed.
FIRST PRIVATELY PRINTED EDITION of this mystery play by the grandson of Nicholas I and uncle of Nicholas II. This liberal retelling of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ through the eyes of a common man challenged the divine right of kings and capitalism. Because the Russian Orthodox Church forbade any figures from the Bible being depicted on the public stage, Grand Duke Konstantin staged his own play in the Hermitage Hall of the Winter Palace for an invited audience only in a series of "rehearsals" in January 1914; approximately 3,000 attended the ten performances. The Grand Duke himself played Joseph of Arimathea and Michel Fokine supplied the choreography.