I am not sure if this is the proper place to make such a post, but I hope so. A new book called Pyotr Ilyich, written by Adin Dalton is available for free download this Friday mroning- Saturday, midnight on Amazon. It comes highly recommended by my friend and balletomane, and I quote, "fabulous, steamy, intriguing, intelligent story about characters that have been part of our artistic life for many years but now, through my friend’s book, these characters come to life in a most excitingly vivid manner. Though the book is fiction, 90% is based on well researched researched facts. I read the first edit as he was writing it and I could not put it down!!! It is truly fascinating and fun, but also very insightful." Here is the website for the book: http://www.pyotrilyich.com/
My lifelong love of Tchaikovsky’s music caused me trepidation as I embarked on this novel. I wondered how I would have the courage to write dialog for someone so esteemed in my mind. His death was an issue too, such a mystery to this day. How could I correlate all the recorded events about it while still considering the years and years of constant, unchanged rumor? Indeed, the most compelling clues about the composer’s untimely end came from the death bed confession of a supposed eyewitness to the illegal hearing. It was this, more than anything else, which led me to a conclusion that has never before been considered.
My initial research into Tchaikovsky’s life turned up a multitude of convoluted and often contradictory “facts.” As I sifted through large amounts of information, I found odd items everywhere. One statement claimed Pyotr Ilyich was mentally disturbed and could only speak to others through his brother Modeste who was seemingly always by his side. I also read a notation about how Modeste Ilyich was a nurse at a hospital and it was there he became lovers with a handicapped boy. Bizarre.
What was clear was that something emotionally devastating befell the composer just before he began composing his Eugene Onegin. He began to seriously consider marriage as his only option for gaining respectability in regard to his homosexual tendencies. Furthermore, it was equally clear that something extraordinarily profound had occurred during his visit to Florence in the fall of 1878, especially as it regards his belief system. He arrived there believing in fate alone, but then journeyed on to France inspired to write a Christian opera about Joan d’Arc. It was for these reasons that I invented characters Stefan Koslov and Matteo Bracci. To me they represent unknown persons who contributed to the composer’s particular state of mind during these specific periods.
As my research continued I eventually uncovered what I was looking for: comprehensive information translated after the fall of the Soviet Union. Much of Tchaikovsky’s life was hidden from view by that government, especially anything shedding light on the nature of his homosexuality. And when I finally came upon his own diary entries and personal correspondences I was ecstatic. These private, intimate writings truly brought Tchaikovsky to life in my mind.
Including some ballet history in my story was important to me. Though deliciously romantic and highly intriguing, it is completely unknown to most of today's public. I hope that my work will enable some of it to enter the mainstream consciousness where it truly deserves to be. As for Tchaikovsky’s role in this, all of the ballet compositions mentioned herein are accurate as to the time of their creation, with the Julian calendar being used specifically when the work was being done in Russia.
Adin Dalton holds a degree in Ballet History and Criticism from the University of California, Irvine and had the great fortune to be tutored there by renowned choreographer Antony Tudor and historian Olga Maynard. Adin now resides in New York City.
My eternal thanks for the endless support and wisdom of Dean Dalton and Alán Duke. I must also acknowledge the generous assistance of Maria Montas, Pamela Kilstein, Laurie Nattboy, Eduard Samardin, and Susan Skrocki.