Upcoming shows

Opera in 2 acts
Beginning: 26.10.2019 - 12:00
Completion: 14:20
Sung in Russian
The Tale of Tsar Saltan
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
The Tale of Tsar Saltan

Libretto by V. Belsky based on A. Pushkin’s fairytale.

Premiered on the stage of the Kyiv Opera on November 16, 2013.

 
SUMMARY
 
PROLOGUE
 
In a room in the evening three sisters are spinning yarn. The older sisters completely slave drive the younger Militrisa - bring the water, and put out the furnace, and tend to the cow. Knowing their own beauty, they talk boastfully of it.
 
"Were our tsar to marry me,"
Said the eldest of the three,
"I would cook and I would bake–
Oh, what royal feasts I'd make."
Said the second of the three:
"Were our tsar to marry me,
I would weave a cloth of gold
Fair and wondrous to behold."
But the youngest of the three
Murmured: "If he married me–
I would give our tsar an heir
Handsome, brave, beyond compare."
 
Just as she said this - Tsar Saltan enters the room and orders them not to delay, but to go right to the palace. She is to be the tsaritsa, and her sisters - the cook and weaver. The envious women urge the old woman matchmaker Babarikha to whisper misfortunes onto Militrisa.
 
 
Act 1
 
Scene 1
 
At the royal palace in Tmutarakan, Tsaritsa Militrisa is waiting for Saltan to return from the war. Already a long while ago she had sent her husband a messenger with joyful news of the birth of Tsarevich Gvidon, but from Saltan there continues to be no answer. The tsaritsa does not even suspect that the evil sisters along with Babarikha replaced her letter and sent aspersions with the messenger that
 
"Your tsaritsa, sire, last night
Was delivered of a fright–
Neither son nor daughter, nor
Have we seen its like before."
 
Finally a messenger arrives from Saltan and brings a decree in which,
 
"Have the queen and have her spawn
Drowned in secret ere the dawn."
Grieving for their monarch's heir,
For the mother young and fair
 
With tears and lamentations, the people fulfill the imperial will, putting the queen and her son in a barrel.
 
Scene 2
 
The barrel floats for a long time on the blue sea. Not as with everyone, but by the hour, Tsarevich Gvidon grows in it. Then the waves throw the barrel on to the deserted coast of Buyan Island. Tsaritsa Militrisa and the young Tsarevich Gvidon are lonely on the island. Suddenly the prince sees, high in the sky, a white Swan is trying to escape from the claws of a bird of prey. Gvidon shoots and kills the evil kite. The Swan promises to repay the prince well for saving her.
 
It is getting dark. The mother and son fall asleep, but when they wake up, they do not believe their eyes: the domes of an amazing city sparkle in the sun. From the gates to the jingling of bells, people come out and ask Gvidon to become their prince.
 
 
Act 2
 
Scene 1
 
Gvidon and his mother live well. But he sees ships sailing the sea to Tmutarakan, and longing embraces his heart. Gvidon would like to visit his homeland, to see his father. He comes to the Swan with the gloomy thoughts. She tells Gvidon to thrice plunge into the sea - and the prince turns into a bumblebee.
 
Scene 2
 
In the royal chambers, Saltan receives shipbuilders. They tell the king of a wonderful city ruled by Prince Gvidon, about miracles: about a magic squirrel, that gnaws gold nuts and sings songs; about thirty-three heroes emerging from the waves of the sea. Saltan was already about to go see Gvidon, but the evil sisters of Militrisa and Babarikha do not let him go, distracting him with a story about a miracle that does not even exist in the mysterious city - this is the princess, who in her beauty is
 
Brighter than the sun at noon,
She outshines the midnight moon,
In her braids a crescent beams,
On her brow, a bright star gleams.
She herself is sweet of face.
Full of majesty and grace.
When she speaks, her voice doth seem
Like the music of a stream.
That's a wonder, now, for you–
Marvelously strange, but true."
 
The bumblebee painfully stings the evil sisters and Babarikha and flies away.
 
Scene 3
 
The tsarevich cannot forget the story of the beautiful tsarevna. He calls the Swan and asks her to help him find the tsarevna, because:
 
That 'twas high time he was married,
Too long single had he tarried;
That for this princess so fair
He would any perils dare,
Sacrifice his very soul,
Barefoot, walk right to the pole.
Sighing thoughtfully, the swan
Murmured: "Why so far, Gvidon?
Know, your future bride is here–
I am that princess, my dear."
 
- answers the Swan and turns into the beautiful tsarevna.
 
Scene 4
 
Tsar Saltan arrives on the island. The tsar marvels for a long time at the wonders. But the most remarkable thing is that his beloved wife and son are alive and happy. To celebrate, Saltan forgives even the villainous sisters. A noisy celebration begins.
 
*Translation by Louis Zellikoff