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*Deutsch

Shchedrin, Rodion

Dead Souls (1966-76)

Duration: 120 minutes
Operatic scenes in three acts (nine scenes)

Libretto by Rodion Shchedrin after the novel by Nikolai Gogol (R)

Scoring
2colS,3M,A,7T,2Bar,6B; ballerina; chorus in the pit (including M,A soloists) 4.2.3.3-4.3.3.1-timp.perc(4):3gongs/3bongos/flex/vib/sleigh bells/tpl.bl/SD/whistle/glass chimes/crot/bird whistle; tam-t/sleigh bells/jingles/guiro/xyl(or marimba)/whip/tamb/choclo/SD; BD/choclo/hi-hat cym/maracas/2tam-t/cym/susp.cym/2cowbells; Russian bells/tam-t(opt)-cel-hpd-harp-balalaika-elec.gtr-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).


Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the UK, countries of the Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and the Republic of Ireland.



World Premiere
6/7/1977
Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Boris Pokrovsky, director
Conductor: Yuri Temirkanov
Company: Bolshoi Opera

Roles

PAVEL IVANOVITCH CHICHIKOV, Collegiate CouncillorBaritone
MANILOV, landownerTenor
LISANKA, his wifeColoratura Soprano
KOROBOTCHKINA, landownerMezzo Soprano
NOZDREV, landownerTenor
MIZHUEV, Nozdrev's brother-in-lawBass
PORFIRY and PAVLUSHKA, Nozdrev's servantsBass, Tenor
MIKHAIL SEMENOVITCH SOBAKEVITCH, landownerBASS
PLIUSHKIN, landownerMezzo Soprano (or High Tenor)
SELIFAN, Chichikov's coachmanTenor
PETRUSHKA, Chichikov's servantsilent role
GOVERNORBass
THE GOVERNOR'S WIFEContralto
THE GOVERNOR'S DAUGHTERBallerina (silent role)
PROCURATORBaritone
PRESIDENT OF THE COURTTenor
CHIEF OF POLICEBass
POSTMASTERTenor
CAPTAIN ISPRAVNIKBass
POPETenor
ANNA GRIGORIEVNA, a woman pleasant in all respectsColoratura Soprano
SOFIA IVANOVNA, a merely pleasant womanMezzo Soprano
Portraits in the homes of Manilov and Sobakevitch, family, guests at the ball, peasants, mouners, soldiers


Time and Place
Russia, 1814


Synopsis
Chichikov, a minor nobleman, travels across Russia with the intention of strengthening his reputation and credibility through the pretend ownership of as many servants as possible. He seeks out landowners and pesuades them to sell him their dead serfs that are still registered as living. After attending a great dinner party at the house of the procurator, Chichikov visits the landowner Manilov in order to buy some 'dead souls'. After initial doubts, Manilov allows himself to be convinced of the legality of the deal. Chichikov subsequently visits the female landowner Korobotchkina, but she is suspicious and so fearful of being disadvantaged that she asks that she can first make some enquiries about the usual price. He visits the landowners Nozdrev and Sobakevitch, the latter offering him his ancestors at a very high price and haggling over the money. His last visit is to the stingy landowner Pliushkin, who only wants to sell him dead souls under the condition that they produce a sales contract.

Word has got round about Chichikov's purchases, and the subject provides the main conversational topic at the governor's ball. Chichikov is outraged about the sumptious festivities - while the country is riddled with poverty and price rises. In the city, people seriously wonder about Chichikov, and a great number of rumours circulate about his background. Suspecting him to be an auditor, the procurator commits suicide. There is also a rumour that Chichikov has eloped with the governor's daughter. When Nozdrev accuses him of kidnapping and maintains that Chichikov is considered by many to be a robber or secret agent, Chichikov makes a rapid departure.


Recommended Recording

Alexander Voroshilo/Vladislav Pyavko/Larissa Avdeyeva/Boris Morozov/Galina Borisova/Vitali Vlasov/Alexei Maslennikov/Vladimir Filippov/Pyotr Gluboky/Georgy Selezniev/Nina Grigorieva/Irina Zhurina/Moscow Chamber Choir/Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra and Chorus/Yuri Temirkanov
Melodiya 74321 29347-2





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