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.
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.