Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
The Tale of Tsar Saltan

Musical production in one act based on the eponymous opera    

Saturday | 1 June 2024|11:00

Age 6+

В 10:30 в фойе бельэтажа состоится открытие выставки детского рисунка "Учитель и ученики".

Дирижер – Виталий Грищенко


Musical production in one act based on the eponymous opera, as part of the cycle of family musical productions Pushkin’s Fairy Tales

Musical director and conductor: Vitali Hryshchanka
Director: Natalia Baranovskaya
Set designer: Lyubov Sidelnikova
Costume designer: Ekaterina Bulgakova
Choreography: Anastasiya Holeshava
Lighting designer: Liudmila Kunash
Premiere: 1 June 2024


Милитриса – Марта Данусевич
Средняя сестра, Ткачиха – Екатерина Михновец
Старшая сестра, Повариха – Елена Таболич
Бабариха, Няня – Оксана Якушевич
Салтан – Владислав Зозулько
Гвидон – Тарас Присяжнюк
Царевна-Лебедь – Анастасия Храпицкая
Гонец – Святослав Сахаров
Актрисы – Марина Лихошерст, Ольга Малиновская
Актеры – Андрей Матюшонок, Виктор Моисеев, Илья Певзнер 




Tick-tock-tick-tock. The pendulum of time begins to move. The poet Alexander Pushkin comes to meet us from the depths of centuries. Surrounded by his household, he begins to compose a fairy tale. If it turns out to be very interesting and instructive, why not play it here and now? What if, many years later, a famous composer writes a real opera based on this plot?


Tick-tock-tick-tock. The pendulum of time picks up speed, and the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov appears onstage. A few decades later, he will present his magical opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan to the world. With the first sounds of music, a theatrical miracle happens in front of the audience: the kind old nanny Arina turns into the instigator of a fabulous intrigue, Babarikha, while Ekaterina and Aleksandra, the sisters of Pushkin’s wife Natalia Goncharova, transform into envious villains, a Weaver and a Cook. A real performance of the home theatre begins, where even servants and maids play their roles.



Scene 1


In a parlour, young girls brag to each other and dream about what each of them would do if they suddenly became a tsarina.


The Tsar passes by and stops at the door of the parlour to hear what the sisters are talking about. The eldest sister promises to arrange a feast for the whole world, the middle one promises to weave beautiful cloth, and the youngest sister, Militrisa, promises to bear a bogatyr for the father Tsar. The Tsar enters the room. The stunned sisters and Babarikha kneel down. All three are told to go to the palace: Militrisa is to become the Tsar’s wife, and her sisters are to become a Cook and a Weaver. The sisters are annoyed and ask Babarikha to help them take revenge on Militrisa. Babarikha comes up with a plan: when the Tsar leaves for war, and the Tsarina gives birth to a son, they will send the Tsar a letter stating instead of joyful news that ‘last night the Tsarina gave birth to neither a son nor a daughter, neither a mouse nor a frog, but to a creature unknown to man.’ At the right moment, the sisters lure the messenger into the house, ply him with drink and replace the letter.



Scene 2 


The courtyard in Tmutarakan. Happy Militrisa, boyars, and nurses lavish care on the little heir Guidon. Suddenly, the drunken messenger with a letter from the Tsar barges into the royal chambers. He complains to the Tsarina about how poorly he has been received by Tsar Saltan, and tells about a hospitable old woman who has wined and dined him. The scribes read the royal letter: ‘The Tsar orders his boyars, without further ado, to seal both the Tsarina and her offspring in a barrel and throw it into the watery depths.’ Everyone is at a loss. Militrisa is desperate. The sisters and Babarikha have not expected such a terrible decision by Saltan; nevertheless, they do not hurry to repent and help Militrisa. The nurses hand over the little Tsarevich to his mother.


A huge barrel is rolled out. The boyars, shyly hiding their eyes, carry out the Tsar’s order. The lamentation of the Tsarina merges with the noise of the incoming waves.



Scene 3 


The shore of Buyan Island. The orchestra paints a majestic picture of the waters. Gradually, the sea calms down and throws the barrel ashore. Militrisa and the matured Tsarevich come out of it. They rejoice in their salvation. Suddenly a noise of a struggle and a moan are heard: ‘A swan is beating among the swells, a kite is flying over it.’ Guidon kills the terrible predator with a bow and arrow. The enchantress, Swan the bird, appears before the amazed Tsarina and Tsarevich, and gratefully addresses her savior Guidon, promising to return his favour, and reveals her secret: ‘It is not a swan that you have saved, but a young maiden whose life you have spared. It is not a kite that you have killed, but a sorcerer that you have shot down.’ The swan advises them not to grieve, but to go to sleep. Militrisa and Guidon decide to follow the advice.        


At dawn, the magical city of Ledenets emerges from the morning mist, where from now on, in return for getting rid of the evil sorcerer, Guidon will reign.



Scene 4 


The shore of Buyan Island. Guidon sees off sailors departing for Tmutarakan. The young Tsarevich’s sad gaze follow their ship. He complains to the Swan that he is bored with all the wonders of the island, and he wants to see his father, but to remain invisible. The Swan agrees to fulfill his request and turns Guidon into a bumblebee. Guidon flies off to catch up with the ship.



Scene 5 


The courtyard in Tmutarakan. Tsar Saltan is drinking tea, he is sad. The Cook, the Weaver, and Babarikha are sitting next to him. The guests bring the Tsar news about foreign lands and pass Prince Guidon’s regards, and enthusiastically talk about the wonders they have seen in the world: the transformation of a deserted island into the beautiful city of Ledenets, where a squirrel cracking golden nuts and singing songs and thirty-three bogatyrs live. The Cook and the Weaver try to distract the Tsar’s attention with other stories, and the Bumblebee is angry with them for this and stings each in an eyebrow. Tsar Saltan’s desire to visit the miraculous island gets stronger, but Babarikha does not want to let it happen, so she starts a story about the most amazing miracle: about a beautiful Princess who is ‘brighter than the sun at noon and outshines the midnight moon.’ Irritated, the Bumblebee stings Babarikha right in the eye. She screams, and complete uproar begins: everyone tries to catch the Bumblebee, but all in vain. 



Scene 6 


The shore of Buyan Island. Guidon dreams of the beautiful Princess. He calls the Swan and asks her to find the magical maiden so that she becomes his wife. It takes a while for the Swan to fulfill his request, because ‘a wife is not a mitten which you can remove from your white hand or put under your belt.’ Guidon remains adamant; he wants to marry the Princess. Then the Swan turns into a girl of dazzling beauty. The young people are happy. Guidon and the Princess ask Tsarina Militrisa to bless their union.


Saltan’s ship lands. Guidon asks his mother and wife to wait for them in the chamber. The young man needs to talk to his father and understand why the Tsar has treated them so cruelly. Tsar Saltan tells the young Prince the story of his unhappy love. Militrisa returns, and Saltan does not believe his eyes: his beloved wife is in front of him! The Tsar kneels before her. Militrisa forgives her husband. Guidon hugs his father. The family has reunited. The Cook and the Weaver fall at the feet of Tsar Saltan, begging for forgiveness. Militrisa asks her husband not to punish the villains. In jubilation, the Tsar forgives the plotters.


Bells ring marking the happy event – our fairy tale ends with a final merry chorus.