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

Scoring

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)

World Premiere
2/15/1884
Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Company: Bolshoi Opera

Roles

MAZEPPA, Captain of the Ukrainian Cossacks Baritone
KOTCHUBEI, a rich landowner Bass
LYUBOV, Kotchubei's wife Mezzo Soprano
MARIYA, Kotchubei's daughter Soprano
ANDREI, an old friend of Mariya Tenor
ORLIK, Mazeppa's confidante and secret agent Bass
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

Synopsis

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...

Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

History

Recommended Recording
cd_cover

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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