The Tale of Tsar Saltan
Co-produced with La Monnaie, Brussels and the Teatro Real, Madrid.
Сказка о царе Салтане
Opera in four acts with a prologue.
Libretto by Vladimir Bielski adapted from the poem of the same name by Aleksander Pushkin.
Premiered on 3 November 1900 at the Solodovnikov Theater, Moscow.
Part of the Arsmondo Slavic program.
Duration: 3hr including interval.
Musical Director Aziz Shokhakimov Stage Director and decor Dmitri Tcherniakov Costumes Elena Zaytseva Artistic Director (video and lighting) Gleb Filshtinsky Chœur de l'Opéra national du Rhin, Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg Responsable de la reprise Joël Lauwers
Tsar Saltane Ante Jerkunica Tsarista Militrissa Tatiana Pavlovskaya Tsarevich Gvidon Bogdan Volkov The Weaver Stine Marie Fischer The Cook Bernarda Bobro Babarikha Carole Wilson The Tsarevna Swan-Bird Julia Muzychenko Old man, Sailor 1 Evgeny Akimov Messenger, Sailor 2 Ivan Thirion Jester, Sailor 3 Alexander Vassiliev
Plotted against by her sisters and the devious Babarikha, the Tsarista Militrissa is rejected by the Tsar Saltan when he is wrongly informed that his wife gave birth to a monster instead of a son while he is away at war. The wretched girl and her child are placed in a barrel and thrown into the sea, but they miraculously survive and wash up safe and sound on the island of Bunyan, where she raises Tsarevich Gvidon alone. He grows into a valiant young man and saves a swan-princess from a magician. With her help, he is hailed as the prince of a powerful city before he heads off to discover his origin story and hopefully find the father who abandoned him.
Of all the great Russian composers of the nineteenth century, Rimski-Korsakov stands out for his attachment to the legends of his native land whose poetry he beautifully evoked through his sheer mastery of orchestration. A brilliant ambassador of Russian theater, stage director Dmitri Tcherniakov grasps with a remarkable sensibility and acute understanding the psychology at play in this musical tale inspired by a Pushkin poem. The result is a stirring production revolving around the unconditional bonds between mother and child, augmented by whimsical animated films in constant interaction with the singers. An ode to childhood and otherness presented as part of the Arsmondo Slavic Festival.
Overtitled in French, German