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Tchaikovsky, Peter

The Maid of Orleans (Original edition) (1878-79, rev.1882)

(Jeanne d´Arc / Die Jungfrau von Orleans)
Duration: 180 minutes
Opera in four acts

Libretto by the composer after Schiller's tragedy 'Die Jungfrau von Orleans'; German version with new musical arrangement by Gerd Albrecht and krista Thiele; new German version by Louisa von Westernhagen and Rainer Thomas (R,G)

2S,S(M),2T,2Bar,5B; chorus; ballet; 3.2(II=corA).2.0-4.2(II=crt).3.1-timp.perc(3)-harp-org-strings; Off-stage: 3trp-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
Mariinski-Theater, St Petersburg
Company: unknown


DYUNUA, a French knight Baritone
LIONEL, a Burgundian knight Baritone
TIBO D'ARC, Ioanna's father Bass
RAIMOND, Ioanna's bridegroom Tenor
BERTRAN, farmer Bass
A soldier Bass
IOANNA D'ARC Soprano or Mezzo Soprano
Solo voice in the angels' chorus Soprano

Time and Place
In France, during the Hundred Years' War, 1429-31

Facing the approaching English troops, Tibo warns his daughter Ioanna against marrying the peasant Raimond. She tells him, however, that she feels that her destiny will be different. It is obvious to Tibo what is happening: she has a pact with the devil. When Bertran, who rushes upon the scene with a group of peasants, gives an account of the battles which have been lost and of the siege of Orléans, Ioanna reveals her prophecy that an armed virgin will defeat the English. Left on her own again, she bids her home farewell and her mission is revealed to her in a vision: she shall renounce earthly love and liberate France with the sword. When King Charles, discouraged by the reports of the lost battles, wants to withdraw, he is told of Ioanna. The archbishop informs him of the wondrous turn of events regarding the war. Ioanna appears before the king and describes her vision to him. Convinced of her godly mission, Charles passes the command of his army over to her. In the battle Ioanna meets the Burgundian Lionel and instead of killing him she tries to talk him into escaping. The two of them slowly become aware of their feelings towards each other. After Charles' and Ioanna's entry into the cathedral of Reims, Tibo accuses his daughter of having saved France with the devil's help. Thinking of her guilty love towards Lionel, she does not venture to declare herself pure and holy when asked to do so by Tibo. A hollow, thundering noise makes the crowd shiver, as though a higher power was judging Ioanna. She decides in favour of Lionel. However, he is killed in battle, and Ioanna delivers herself to the enemy.

Dramatic, Poetic, Romantic, Tragic

History, Religion, Politics

Recommended Recording
Sofia Preobrazhenskaia/V Kilchevskii/O Kashevarova/V Runovskii/L Solomiak/N Konstantinov/Vladimir Ulianov/Ivan Iashugin/Ivan Shashkov/ Ion Marin/S Vodskinskii/M Merzhavskaia/N Grishanov/ Kirov Opera/Boris Khaikin
Myto 992H 028

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