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Tchaikovsky, Peter

Mazeppa (Original edition) (1881-83)

Duration: 165 minutes
Opera in three acts (six scenes)

Libretto by the composer and Viktor Burenin after Alexander Pushkin's epic poem 'Poltava'; German version by Alfred Simon (R,G)

S,M,3T,Bar,2B; chorus; 3.2(II=corA).2.0-4.2(II=crt).3.1-timp.perc(2)-harp-strings; On-stage: banda
Cyrillic vocal material with German phonetic notation available upon request.
Abbreviations (PDF).

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Company: Bolshoi Opera


MAZEPPA, Captain of the Ukrainian Cossacks Baritone
KOTCHUBEI, a rich landowner Bass
LYUBOV, Kotchubei's wifeMezzo Soprano
MARIYA, Kotchubei's daughter Soprano
ANDREI, an old friend of Mariya Tenor
ORLIK, Mazeppa's confidante and secret agentBass
ISKRA, senior of Poltava and Kotchubei's friend Tenor
A drunken Cossack Tenor
Young girls, Cossacks, guests, Kotchubei's servants, Mazeppa's bodyguards, monks, executioners

Time and Place
Early 18th century, Little Russia

Mazeppa pays Kotchubei a visit and asks him for the hand of his daughter Mariya. The old lord refuses indignantly and does not let himself be intimidated by threats. Mariya, who is in love with Mazeppa, sadly follows the Cossack leader, giving up her family and leaving Andrei, an admirer whom she just refused. Kotchubei gets his revenge by telling the tsar that Mazeppa is planning an uprising against him in order to liberate the Ukraine, with the help of the Swedes. The tsar does not believe him and hands him over to the Cossack leader. When Kotchubei, after a good deal of torturing, is about to be executed, Mariya and her mother arrive to save the convict. The first thing they see, though, is the axe falling. Eventually, the rebellion is crushed by the tsar. Mazeppa escapes, Andrei is killed by the Cossack leader and Mariya goes insane...

Dramatic, Tragic


Recommended Recording
Nikolai Putilin/Irina Loskutova/Sergei Alexashkin/Larissa Dyadkova/Viktor Lutsiuk/Viacheslav Luhanin/Vladimir Zhivopistsev/Nikolai Gassiev/Kirov Opera/Valery Gergiev
Philips 462 206-2

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