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Konstantin Stepanovich Shilovsky

Librettist

Biography

Russian poet and actor Konstantin Stepanovich Shilovsky (1849–93) is best known today for the part he played in helping his close friend Tchaikovsky adapt Pushkin’s verse poem Eugene Onegin for the libretto of his opera of the same name.

Shilovsky was an accomplished amateur poet, sculptor and composer, and for a brief period found work as an actor in minor roles at the Maly Theatre. He wrote the grand opera libretto Ephraim, intended for Tchaikovsky but never set. In Eugene Onegin he provided the couplets by Monsieur Triquet, among other things.

Shilovsky’s younger brother Vladimir was also a close friend of Tchaikovsky and studied with the composer.