Glinkas opera A Life for the Tsar is a patriotic-heroic tragic opera in four acts with an epilogue. During the Soviet era, the opera was known as Ivan Susanin. The original Russian libretto, based on historical events, was written by Nestor Kukolnik, Egor Fyodorovich von Rozen, Vladimir Sollogub and Vasily Zhukovsky. The historical basis of the plot involves Ivan Susanin, a patriotic hero of the early 17th century who gave his life in the expulsion of the invading Polish army for the newly elected Tsar Mikhail, the first of the Romanov dynasty, elected in 1613. This production features opera stars Boris Christoff, Teresa Stich-Randall, Nicolai Gedda, and Mela Burgarinovitch along with the Belgrade Opera Chorus and Orchestre Lamoureux conducted by Igor Markevitch. Critics agree, this is the most representative recording of Glinkas masterpiece.