OPERA SEARCH

Composer List


Title


Genre List


Opera Length



Advanced Search

Rachmaninoff, Sergei

Aleko (1892)

Duration: 56 minutes

Opera in one act


English   Deutsch  

Libretto by Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko based on Pushkin's poem 'The Gypsies' (R)


Scoring

S,A,T,Bar,B; chorus 2.picc.2.corA.2.2-4.2.3.1-timp.perc:tgl/tamb/cyms/BD-harp-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)


Territory

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


World Premiere
09/05/1893
Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Conductor: Ippolit Altani
Company: Bolshoi Opera


Roles

ALEKO Baritone
YOUNG GYPSY Tenor
OLD GYPSY Bass
ZEMFIRA Soprano
OLD GYPSY WOMAN Contralto
Chorus of gypsies chorus SATB

Time and Place

A camp of gypsies


Synopsis

A band of gypsies has pitched its tents for the night on the bank of a river. Beneath a pale moon, they light campfires, prepare a meal and sing of the freedom of their nomadic existence. An old gypsy tells a story. Long ago, he loved Mariula who deserted him for another man, leaving behind Zemfira, their daughter. Zemfira is now grown up, has her own child, and lives with Aleko, a Russian who has abandoned civilisation for the gypsy life. Hearing this story, Aleko is outraged that Zemfira’s father took no revenge on Mariula. But Zemfira disagrees. For her, as for her mother, love is free, and she herself has already tired of Aleko’s possessiveness and now loves a younger gypsy, one of her own people. After dances for the women and the men, the gypsies settle down to sleep. Zemfira appears with her young lover, whom she kisses passionately before disappearing into her own tent to look after her child. Aleko enters and Zemfira taunts him, singing about her wild lover. Alone, Aleko broods on the catastrophe of his relationship with Zemfira and the failure of his attempt to flee the ordinary world. As dawn comes, he surprises Zemfira and her lover together. In a torment of jealousy he kills them both. All the gypsies gather, disturbed by the noise. Led by Zemfira’s father, they spare Aleko’s life but cast him out from them for ever.


Moods

Dramatic, Romantic


Subjects

Literary, Relationships


Recommended Recording

Sergei Leiferkus/Maria Guleghina/Anatoly Kocherga/Ilya Levinsky/Anne Sofie von Otter/Gothenburg Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Neeme Järvi
Deutsche Grammophon DG 453 4532

Click here to purchase this CD set from Amazon


Aleko


Email Newsletters

Sign up for news updates and offers via email

SIGN UP
Audio Visual Gallery
ONLINE SCORES

Explore our library of 1500 online scores

VIEW SCORES