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However, in sharp contrast to the rest of his life, this was one chance where he lucked out and became an overnight success in many ways. The production was a resounding critical success. He put what little talent and supplies he had to work with towards the best production he could muster. What came out of his efforts was truly polished and professional. Making a decent return on investment, he announced his retirement from the legal profession four days later.

Though earlier in that century it was expected that each ballet production be of a new composition, revivals had become more and more desirable by the late nineteenth. Therefore, he put his knowledge of music to good use by resurrecting six of the most popular Slavonic ballets from that century. Each of these productions was a resounding success for his new career; they also had a powerful effect on St. Petersburg's Sergeyev Theatre.

 

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Having put on these seven ballets at the Sergeyev, he started to make his way around the city. Gambling large sums of money, which he still often did not have, the worst he ever did was break even. Despite his seemingly reckless investments, he was not unwise with his money. The barrister's office had taught him to live with frugal terms, and he did not bankrupt himself with luxury as so many other ballet impresarios had previously done.

However, despite his success, he was still working under an assumed name to mask his Jewish lineage. By 1891 that had changed, and he produced his first show under his actual name of Aleksonder Eisenstein. By this point, he was a well-respected member of the community, and nothing could change that. He had not meant to previously turn his back on Judaism though, and he was becoming known for his philanthropic contributions to the communities he had grown up in.

In 1893, the Sergeyev Theatre he once so frequently partnered himself with had called him back and asked him to organize an entire production from the ground up. Not only did they want him to provide the financial backing and arrange the proceedings, but they also wanted him to hire the composer and oversee the construction of a brand new ballet by himself. What was to come was his magnum opus.

He had long since discovered that enjoyed the part of the ballet impresario far more than that of performing himself, and therefore truly threw his entire heart and soul into overseeing the project. What came out of it was a ballet by the name of "The Wandering Horsemen," which in many ways was inspired by the Semitic folk dances that he knew so well. The resulting critical and financial achievement was something that he never could have dreamed of.

Eisenstein finally retired in comfort, and peacefully passed away in his sleep on March 19th, 1913. At his funeral, countless lovers of music from many different groups came to pay their respects. He had truly become a man who transcended prejudice to become an important fixture in the intellectual society of St. Petersburg.

Copyright Aaron Gold 2010