Delving into the relationship between the arts and the culture of Russia you need to understand the heritage of this massive country. From the glorious big cities to the wastes of Siberia, Russia has to be one of the most diverse countries in the world both geologically and culturally.
However, there is no doubting the love of everything classical by the majority of Russians. Russians take great pride at being the very best in the world at things, and when they enter any competition is it not merely to compete but to win at all costs.
That is why the great names of music, dance, and the written word are celebrated as heroes by the Russian populace. And the greatest of all these were the composers, poets and writers of the classical period.
Russian literature and its writers have affected the whole world. This is because the themes and stories often depict epic tales that are based on Russian folklore. The writing can be haunting, tragic, bleak but always very passionate.
If you delve into the history of Russian authors then you can begin to understand many of the monuments, museums and other cultural facets of the country. Many Russians are extremely well-read and know their history in depth and are immensely proud of it.
Although the great writers did not blossom until the 19th Century, the Russian writers offered more in their texts than the more established European writers of the time. Their writing is often very philosophical and fatalistic about life in Russia, whether it be about the peasants or the middle classes. In effect they were recording Russian history in novel form.
Russian opera may not be as humorous or subtle as say Italian, but it reflects the country’s culture. It is on a grand scale with fantastic visual effects. The much loved operas by Puccini or Verdi are like comic books to the stern content of something like Boris Godunov, which is crammed full of references to Russia, its people, and its culture.
In effect like many of the arts in Russia, the opera of Russia is serious stuff. Its purpose is not to titillate but to instruct on serious issues so that they are never forgotten. Culture is not something to be flippant about, it is something that should be seen on a high pedestal and respected by all.
The grand opera houses and flamboyant theaters in Russia are in a way temples to the art that is performed in them. So walking around historical St Petersburg or Moscow the buildings actually relay their story, and impress on the visitor how rich culturally Russia actually is.
Without doubt Russia interlinks art and culture so closely you cannot really separate them. And one goes hand in hand with the other, if you can understand this relationship then you are close to understanding the Russian people, how they tick, and what makes them so passionately proud to be Russian.