Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
The Tsar’s Bride

оpera in two acts

Tuesday | 28 May 2024|19:00

Age 12+

Дирижер – Николай Колядко


Libretto: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Ilya Tyumenev based on the eponymous play by Lev Mey
Musical director: Honoured Art Worker of the Republic of Belarus Nikolai Koliadko
Director, author of lighting design concept: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Mikhail Pandzhavidze
Set designer: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Kostiuchenko
Chorus master: People's Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Nina Lomanovich
Costume designer: Nina Gurlo
Conductors: Vladimir Ovodok, Yuri Karavaev
Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes with one interval
Sung in Russian with Russian and English surtitles
Premiere: 25 March 2015


Марфа – Татьяна Гаврилова

Грязной – Владимир Громов

Любаша – Дарья Горожанко

Собакин – Александр Кеда

Скуратов – Андрей Селютин (1-е исп.)

Лыков – Виктор Менделев

Бомелий – Янош Нелепа

Сабурова – Ольга Малиновская

Дуняша – Екатерина Михновец

Петровна – Марина Лихошерст

Царский истопник – Владислав Зозулько

Сенная девушка – Анастасия Лурикова (1-е исп.)

The action takes place at the Alexandrovskaya Sloboda in autumn 1572
Act 1
The Carousal
Oprichnik Grigory Gryaznoy is desperate. For the first time in his life he has passionately fallen in love with the beautiful Marfa. He sent matchmakers to her father in vain: the merchant Sobakin refused cold, as Marfa is already betrothed to the boyar Ivan Lykov. All the thoughts of Grigory are about his love and the lucky rival. To take his mind off the matter, Grigory called some guests. One of them is the Tsar’s physician Yelisey Bomelius, for whom he waits the most.

The guests arrive. Among them is Malyuta Skuratov with oprichniks, Lykov, who has just returned to Russia, and Bomelius. After Lykov tells them of German lands Malyuta calls Lyubasha, his ‘god-daughter’ and Gryaznoy ‘s concubine, whom he had stolen from her own home, and asks her to sing a song, ‘a plangent one that touches to the heart’. Lyubasha gratifies his request; oprichniks thank for the song and depart.
Only Bomelius stays, and Gryaznoy asks him to get a love potion and promises to reward him justly. Lyubasha hears their conversation. After Bomelius has gone, Lyubasha declares her passionate love to Grigory. She has sacrificed her family, honour and shame for him. But in vain: Grigory says he has fallen out of love with her. Lyubasha seethes with hatred towards her rival. She won’t give in and vows cruel vengeance against the villainess.

The Love Potion
The parishioners are coming out of the church after the evening service. They discuss the upcoming Tsar’s wedding: soon ‘the viewing of the bride’ will take place, where the Tsar will choose his future wife-to-be. Marfa stands talking with her friend Dunyasha about her betrothed, Ivan Lykov, who she knows from a boy. Their conversation is interrupted by the appearance of Ivan the Terrible. Marfa is seized with dismay.
Sobakin and Lykov appear, Lykov greets his bride with a bow. Sobakin invites everybody into the house and the girls follow them in. Dusk is falling. Lyubasha is circling round the Sobakin house. She has found the rival’s house and wants to have a look at her. Lyubasha mistakes Dunyasha for Marfa and calms down: this girl stands no competition for her. But when Lyubasha notices Marfa, she understands: Grigory won’t fall out of love with such a beauty.
Lyubasha decides to ruin her rival, while she will replace the love potion ordered by Gryaznoy with poison. Bomelius agrees, but under threats and promises demands Lyubasha’s love in return. Poor Lyubasha goes for the shameful deal.

Act 2
The Best Man
Wedding preparations at the Sobakin house are under way. The merchant tells Gryaznoy and Lykov that the wedding was supposed to have been celebrated long before, but it was interrupted by the Tsar’s ‘viewing of the bride’ that has gathered the most beautiful girls at the palace. From the two thousand only twelve are left, among them are Marfa and Dunyasha. This alarms both Lykov and Gryaznoy: what should be undertaken, if the Tsar likes Marfa after all?

Girls return together with Domna Saburova, Dunyasha’s mother. She tells the guests that the Tsar liked her daughter. Everybody sighs with relief and congratulates Marfa and Lykov. Sobakin blesses the young couple. Gryaznoy surreptitiously pours the potion into Marfa’s goblet and, as the Best Man, serves the guests.

Suddenly appears Malyuta with the boyars and proclaims the Tsar’s will: Marfa is to be his wife.

The Bride
Sobakin is deeply grieved by Marfa’s illness that nobody can cure. Gryaznoy appears and announces the Tsar’s sentence: Bomelius attempts to cure Marfa, and the evil-doer Lykov had confessed to giving Marfa poison and was executed by Grigory himself. Marfa is broken down with grief. Mistaking Gryaznoy for her Vania, she tells him of her wonderful dream. Gryaznoy is horrified by Marfa’s madness: his darling is still in love with Ivan, instead of bewitching he killed her. Unable to endure the anguish of mind, Gryaznoy admits that he had slandered Lykov and that he was the one who gave Marfa the love potion.
Lyubasha follows him and confesses that it was she, who had substituted the love potion for poison. In anger Grigory kills her. He is ready to suffer any torment. Gryaznoy casts the final glance at Marfa. ‘Come tomorrow, Vania!’ are her last words.

Cпектакль-лауреат IV Национальной театральной премии Республики Беларусь в номинации «Лучший оперный спектакль».