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War and Peace

Photo: Bill Rafferty

English National Opera 2001, Tim Albery, dir

Prokofieff, Serge

War and Peace (1941/52)

Duration: 230 minutes

Lyric-dramatic scenes


English   Deutsch  

Libretto by the composer and Mira Mendelson, after the novel by Tolstoy (R,E)


Scoring

lyrdramS,S,lowS,6M,4C,dramT,T,2highT,comicT,lowT,T(or Bar),hBar,hBar (or B),6Bar,2Bar(or B),3BBar,3hB,10B,lowB,2speakers,6silent roles; chorus

11 scene version:
2.picc.2.corA.2.bcl.2.dbn-4.3.3.1-timp.perc:tgl/tamburo di legno/tamb/SD/cyms/BD/tam-t/glsp/xyl-harp-strings

13 scene version:
2.picc.2.corA.2.bcl.2.dbn-4.3.3.1-timp.perc:tgl/tamburo di legno/tamb/SD/cyms/BD/tam-t/glsp/xyl-harp-strings

Scenes 7 and 11 of the 13 scene version do not appear in the 11 scene version.

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 incomplete
07/06/1945
Moscow
Conductor: Samuil Samosud
Company: USSR State Symphony Orchestra

World premiere complete
08/11/1957
Moscow
Conductor: Alexander Sharverdov
Company: Stanislavsky Opera Theatre

World stage premiere
12/06/1946
Leningrad
Conductor: Samuil Samosud
Company: Maly Opera Theatre

World premiere of version
01/04/1955
Leningrad
Conductor: Eduard Grikurov
Company: Leningrad State Academy Maly Opera Theatre


Roles

PRINCE ANDREI BOLKONSKY Baritone
NATALYA ROSTOVA (NATASHA) Soprano
SONYA, Natasha's cousin Mezzo-Soprano
MARIA DMITRIEVNA AKHROSIMOVA Contralto
COUNT ILYA ROSTOV, Natasha's father Bass
COUNT PYOTR BEZUKHOV (PIERRE) Tenor
HELENE BEZUKHOVA, his wife Mezzo-Soprano
PRINCE ANATOL KURYAGIN, her brother Tenor
FEDYA DOLOKHOV, an officer Baritone
COLONEL VASSKA DENISOV Baritone
FIELD-MARSHAL PRINCE MIKHAIL KUTUZOV Bass
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE Baritone
PLATON KARATAEV, an old soldier Tenor
THE HOST Tenor
HIS MAJOR-DOMO Tenor
MADAME PERONSKAYA Soprano
THE TSAR Silent
PRINCE NIKOLAI BOLKONSKY, Andrei's father Bass-Baritone
HIS MAJOR-DOMO Baritone
AN OLD VALET Baritone
A HOUSEMAID Soprano
PRINCESS MARYA BOLKONSKAYA, Andrei's sister Mezzo-Soprano
BALAGA, a troika driver Bass
MATRIOSHA, a gypsy Mezzo-Soprano
DUNYASHA, Natasha's maid Soprano
GAVRILA, Akhrosimova's butler Bass
METIVIER, a French doctor Baritone
A FRENCH ABBE Tenor
TIKHON SHERBATSKY, a partisan Baritone
VASILISA Mezzo-Soprano
FYODOR, a partisan Tenor
MATVEYEV, a Muscovite Baritone
TWO PRUSSIAN GENERALS Speaking roles
PRINCE ANDREI'S ORDERLY Tenor
TWO RUSSIAN GENERALS Speaking roles
KAIZAROV, aide-de-Camp to Kutuzov Tenor
ADJUTANT TO GENERAL COMPANS Tenor
ADJUTANT TO MARSHAL MURAT Treble
MARSHAL BERTHIER Baritone
MARQUIS DE CAULAINCOURT Silent role
GENERAL BELLIARD Baritone
ADJUTANT TO PRINCE EUGENE Tenor
AIDE-DE-CAMP TO NAPOLEON Bass
OFF-STAGE ORDERLY Tenor
MONSIEUR DE BEAUSSET Tenor
GENERAL BENNIGSEN Bass
PRINCE MIKHAIL BARCLAY DE TOLLY Tenor
GENERAL YERMOLOV Baritone
GENERAL KONOVNITSIN Tenor
GENERAL RAYEVSKY Baritone
CAPTAIN RAMBALLE Bass
LIEUTENANT BONNET Tenor
IVANOV, a Muscovite Tenor
CAPTAIN JACQUEAU Bass
MARSHAL BERTHIER'S ADJUTANT Tenor
MAVRA KUSMINICHNA, the Rostovs' housekeeper Contralto
MARSHAL DAVOUT Bass
A FRENCH OFFICER Baritone
THREE MADMEN Tenor, Baritone, Actor
TWO FRENCH ACTRESSES Sopranos

Time and Place

Russia - Otradnoye, St Petersburg, Moscow, Borodino, Fili, near Smolensk, 1806-12


Synopsis

In 1809, the world-weary Prince Andrei Bolkonsky encounters the youthful Natasha Rostova, first in the country, then at a ball in St Petersburg. Enchanted, he asks for her hand in marriage. Unfortunately Natasha has also aroused the curiosity of the dissolute Anatol Kuragin. Old Prince Bolkonsky opposes his son’s marriage, on account of Natasha’s family’s poverty and low rank. Natasha is left humiliated and lonely. Anatol and his devious sister Hélène trick Natasha into believing that Anatol is in love with her. Staying with an elderly friend of the family in Moscow, she foolishly agrees to elope with Anatol and is only saved when the plan is betrayed by her cousin Sonia. The gentle Pierre Bezukhov, long-suffering husband of Hélène and close friend of Prince Andrei, explains to Natasha that Anatol is in fact married and that he himself is in love with her but, in despair, Natasha attempts suicide. Pierre forces Anatol to hand over incriminating letters and tells him to leave Moscow at once. News arrives of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. It is August 1812 and the Russian army under Field-Marshal Kutuzov is preparing to defend Moscow at the battle of Borodino. Andrei laments the waste of his life and especially the loss of Natasha. Pierre suspects that Andrei may not survive the battle. Napoleon is observed exulting in the conquest of Russia, but becomes nervous as the battle fortunes shift. Kutuzov urges the Russians to abandon Moscow, leaving it open to being sacked by the French. In the mayhem, Pierre is among those captured by the French. The mortally wounded Andrei is rescued by the Rostov family and is reconciled to Natasha, before death claims him. As the French retreat over the wintry countryside, Pierre and the other prisoners are freed by the liberating forces of Russia.


Moods

Dramatic


Subjects

History, Literary, Relationships, Society


Recommended Recording

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War and Peace


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