A Life for the Tsar is a "patriotic-heroic tragic opera" in four acts with an epilogue by Mikhail Glinka. 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.

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