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News - Russian Operas

Yuri Butsko
Born 18 Mai 1938 in Lubny, USSR; died 25 April 2015 in Moscow, Russia
Belye noči (White Nights) (1968)
Libretto (Russian) by the composer based on the story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Duration: 60’
Cast: S, T
Orch: 2(pic).2(ca).2(Ebcl,bcl).2(cbn)/2110/timp.perc/
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Zapiski Sumasshedshego (Diary of a Madman) (1963)
Libretto (Russian) by the composer based on the story by Nikolai Gogol.
Duration: 63’
Cast: Bar [=B]
Orch: 2(pic).2(ca).2(bcl).2(cbn)/1211/timp.perc/
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Edison Denisov
Born 6 April 1929, Tomsk, Russia; died 24 November 1996, Paris, France
LEcume des jours (The Foam of Days) (1981)
Lyric drama in three acts and 14 scenes.
Libretto (French) by the composer based on the novel by Boris Vian.
Translation available: German, Russian
Duration: 160’
Cast: 3S, Mz, 3T, 2Bar, 2B, 2 speakers, child’s voice
Orch: 3.3.3.asx+tsx.3/
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in the North America only
Quatre Jeunes Filles (Four Young Girls) (1986)
Chamber opera.
Libretto (French) by the composer based on a play by Pablo Picasso.
Duration: 56’
Cast: 2S, 2A
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in the North America only
Isaak Dunayevsky
Born 30 January 1990, Lokhvytsia, Ukraine; died 25 July 1955, Moscow, Russia
Volnyj Veter (The Wind of Liberty) (1947)
Operetta in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by Victor Vinnikov,
Vladimir Kracht and Viktor Tipot.
Translation: German (H. Moller and Alice Wagner)
Duration: 74’
Cast: 3S, Mz, A, 4Bar, B-Bar; chorus; dancers; various non-singing roles
A poor partisan widow, Klementina, lives with her daughter Stella in a port town. No longer knowing how to pay the rent, she is overjoyed when the rich shipping magnate named Stan asks for Stella’s hand. Stella, however, is not interested in Stan, for she is in love with the sailor, Janko. While sailors organise a collection for the needy Klementina, all speak of the partisan Stefan, who is celebrated as a hero of the people but pursued by the police as a criminal. Stella and Janko celebrate their engagement, and the young sailor reveals himself to his bride as the partisan, Stefan. Stan, who has found out about Janko’s
true identity, tries to blackmail Stella into marrying him but is confounded and arrested as a Fascist collaborator. Stella and Janko are happily reunited and the brutal suppression of colonial revolutions is averted.
Publisher: Hans Sikorski Russian Music
Available in North America only
Elena Firsova
Born 21 March 1950, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Feast in Time of Plague (1972)
Libretto (Russian) by the composer after a story by Alexander Pushkin.
Duration: 35’
Cast: 5 singers
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Veniamin Fleischman
Born 1906, Russia; died 1941, Russia
Rothschild’s Violin (orch. by Dmitri Shostakovich) (1941)
Opera in one act.
Libretto (Russian) based on the Chekhov short story.
Duration: 45’
Cast: Mz, 2T, B; TB chorus (6-8 voices)
Orch: 2.2+ca.3.2+cbn/4331/timp.perc/2hp/str
Reduced orch (Gerd Junemann): 1011/0110/pf/str (
This opera tells the story of an old Jewish man who can play the violin like a god. Though he is lonely and his life is empty, through his music he forms a bond with the townspeople.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Grigori Frid
Born 22 September 1915, Petrograd, Russia
The Diary of Anne Frank (1969)
Opera-monodrama in four scenes and twenty-one episodes.
Libretto (Russian) by the composer.
Duration: 60’
Cast: S
Orch: fl(pic), cl, bsn, timp, perc, pf(cel), vn, vc, db
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Dmitri Kabalevsky
Born 17 December 1904, St Petersburg, Russia; died 14 February 1987, Moscow, USSR
Colas Breugnon (Master Of Clamency) (1936-8)
Opera in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by Vladimir Bragin after Roman Rolland’s story; second version (1967-68), libretto by the composer and Vladimir Bragin.
Duration: 120’
Cast: 2S, Mz, A, 5T, 2Bar, 2B; silent role
Orch: 3333/4331/timp.perc/hp/str; stage music: 2ob, small drum, tam, hns, bells, fanfares; 2vn; tpt flourishes
The seventeenth-century sculptor Colas Breugnon contemplates the events of his life. As a young man he loved Selina, who married Gifflard out of jealousy. Colas then married Jacqueline but couldn’t forget Selina. His wife died during the plague and he was accused of causing the burning of Clamency by Gifflard. The furious Prince of Asnois has had all of Colas’ sculptures destroyed. Colas, although enraged, promises the ruler to make a statue of him as penance. When it is unveiled before the residents of Clamency, they break into laughter upon seeing Colas’ creation, the prince in a majestic pose astride a donkey.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Tikhon Khrennikov
Born 10 June 1913, Yelets, Russia; died 14 August 2007, Moscow, Russia
Dorothea (1983)
Comic opera in two acts.
Libretto (Russian) by Yakov Khaletsky after Sheridan’s “Duenna”.
Duration: 100’
Cast: 2S, 3Mz, 4T, Bar; chorus
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Alexander Knaifel
Born 28 November 1943, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Kantervilskoye Privedenie (The Canterville Ghost) (1966-8)
Opera in three acts (seven scenes) and a prologue.
Libretto (Russian) by Tatyana Kramarova after Oscar Wilde.
Translation: English by V. Paperno, German by Jorg Morgener
Duration: 90’
Cast: S, B
Orch: 1121/1111/timp.5perc/pf(cel).org[=on tape]/str (
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
Born 9 March 1839, Karevo, Russia; died 16 March 1881, St Petersburg, Russia
Boris Godunov (1874)
 (orch. Shostakovich)
Opera in four acts.
Libretto (Russian) by the composer.
Translation available: English
Duration: full eve
Cast: 2S, 3Mz, 6T, 3Bar, 7B; SATB chorus
Orch: 3343/4331/timp.perc.glock/[=4]hp.[balalaika].[domra]/str; stage band: 2hn.2thn.2cnt.4tpt.2bar.2tba/balalaika and domra (ad lib)
The opera is set in Russia and Poland between 1598 and 1605. Boris Godunov becomes Czar of Russia after he has murdered the young Dmitri, who is the rightful heir to the throne. The novice Grigory resolves to avenge the murder and, driven to insanity by his guilt, Boris falls dead at the end.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Khovanshchina (1886)
(ed. Pavel Lamm & Dmitri Shostakovich)
Opera in five acts.
Libretto (Russian) by the composer and B. Stassov.
Duration: full eve
Cast: 2S, A, 6T, Bar, 6B; SATB chorus; ballet
Orch: 3322/4231/timp.perc/pf.cel.2hp/str; stage band: 2hn.3tpt.3tbn
The opera is set in and near Moscow during Peter the Great’s reforms at the end of the seventeenth century. The story of the struggle between Old Russia, the Sectarians (Old Believers) and Peter the Great’s New Russia.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Sorochinskaya Yarmarka (Sorochinsk Fair) (1880)
(ed. Vissarion Schebalin)
Opera in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by the composer after Gogol.
Cast: S, Mz, 2T, Bar, 3B; SATB chorus
Orch: 3222/4.2+2cnt.3.1/timp.perc/
Cherevik and his daughter Parasya visit Sorochintsy Fair, where Parasya meets her lover Gritzko. Initially horrified, Cherevik eventually gives his consent to the relationship when he finds out that Gritzko is the son of an old friend. However his wife Khivra is less accepting and forbids the relationship, until she is forced to show humility after her own affair with the son of a priest becomes public. Parasya and Gritzko are finally reunited and the opera ends happily.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Andrei Petrov
Born 2 September 1930, Saint Petersburg, USSR; died 15 February 2006, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Peter I (1975)
Musical-dramatic frescoes in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by Natalia Kasatkina and
Vladimir Vasilyev.
Duration: 110’
Cast: 2S, 2Mz, 4T, 2Bar, 3B
Peter I and Sofia, his half-sister and regent, are in a struggle for the Czarist Empire. Peter intends to modernise the Empire; Sofia wants all the power for herself. Anastasia is dismayed by Peter’s godless plans. Her fiance, the Tikhon, is one of Peter’s partisans. A revolt – apparently with Sofia behind it – is put to an end by Peter. Ascending the throne, the new Czar Peter I banishes his half-sister. Peter defeats a new revolt. The simple washerwoman Marta first becomes the Czar’s lover and later his wife. The Czar has the church bells taken out to gain iron for cannons. Old Believers stand under the bells. A victim of an accident, Anastasia is killed by a falling bell. Makari, the leader of the Old Believers, rebels. Tichon tries to kill Peter. The Czar has Makari executed; Tikhon is released.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North-America only
Sergei Prokofiev
Born 11 April 1891, Sontsovka, Ukraine; died 5 March 1953, Moscow, USSR
Obrucheniye v Monastire (The Betrothal in a Monastery) (1941)
Lyric-comic opera in four acts (nine scenes). Libretto (Russian) by the composer after Sheridan’s
Duenna, with verses by Mira Mendelson-Prokofiev.
Translation available: German (Gerhard Schwalbe and Walter Zimmer)
Cast: S, 2Mz, A 6T, 5Bar, B; 3 musicians (tpt, b drum, cb); chorus
Orch: 3333/4331/timp.perc/hp/str
In eighteenth-century Seville, a rich middle-aged merchant Mendoza wants to marry Louise, the daughter of an impoverished nobleman, but he is tricked into marrying Louise’s duenna, who has been masquerading as the young lady and who helps Louise and her brother marry those they really love.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Alexei Rybnikov
Born 17 July 1945, Moscow, USSR
Junona I Avos (Iunona and Avos) (1979)
Libretto (Russian) by Andrei Voznezensky.
Duration: 90’
Cast: 6 male, 2 female, 4 rock Tenor; SSAATTBBB chorus; vocal solo groups: female voices (A), male voices (C-T), children’s voices, Yakut gutteral singers
Orch: 0000/6441/timp.perc/pf.hpd.epf.syns.gtr.12-str gtr.sitar.bgtr/
str, str4t
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Alfred Schnittke
Born 24 November 1934, Engels, USSR; died 3 August 1998, Hamburg, Germany
Gesualdo (1993-4)
Opera in seven scenes, prologue and epilogue.
Libretto (German) by Richard Bletschacher.
Duration: 135’
Cast: 3S, 2Mz, A, 3T, 3Bar, 3B; silent role; SATB chorus
Orch: 3(afl:pic).3(ca).3(Ebcl:bcl).3(cbn)/4431/
This opera is based on the life of the sixteenth-century composer Carlo Gesualdo, Price of Venosa. Gesualdo’s wife, Maria d’Avalos, falls in love with Fabrizio Caraffa, brother of her late first husband. Realising the danger of their situation, the lovers struggle to suppress their passion. But Gesualdo learns of the affair and hires a group of assassins. After the lovers have been killed, Gesualdo takes refuge in his castle and begins to question whether his young child is in fact Fabrizio’s. Ignoring the assertions of his wife’s former maid that he is indeed the father, he murders the child as well.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Historia von D. Johann Fausten (The History of D. Johann Faustus) (1983-94)
Opera in three acts, preface and epilogue.
Libretto (German) by Jörg Morgener and Alfred Schnittke after folk legend.
Cast: A, Ct, 3T, 6Bar, 2B; chorus; silent roles; ballet
Orch: 3(pic:afl).3(ca).3(2Ebcl,asx,bcl,barsx).3(cbn)/4441/; old instruments: transverse flute.crumhorn.lute.zither
Dr Faustus signs a pact with the devil. In return for knowledge and power, Mephistopheles will claim his soul. When Faustus asks for a wife to be provided, instead of a sacred contract of marriage,Mephistopheles offers to find him a woman for his bed every day and night. Later the devil takes him on a journey to see both heaven and hell. An old Christian man appears and offers to help save him from the terrors of hell. But Mephistopheles appears and furiously forces him to sign a second pact, this time with Lucifer himself. When twenty-four years have passed, Mephistopheles finally comes to claim his part of the bargain and tears Faustus into pieces. The moral of the story, as the chorus tells us, is to live a sober and vigilant life and to resist evil.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Hommage a Zhivago (1993)
Musical allegory on Boris Pasternak’s novel.
Libretto (Russian) by Boris Pasternak, Yuri Lubimov, Alexander Blok, Andrei Vosnesensky.
Duration: 150’
Cast: Voice part; chorus
Orch: Stage music (4 players), tape
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Zhizn s Idiotom (Life with an Idiot) (1992)
Opera in two acts.
Libretto (Russian) by Viktor Erofeyev.
Cast: S, T, 2Bar, B; chorus
Orch: 2222/2222/timp.2[+]perc/ player)/str
The opera tells the story of The Wife and ‘I’, though the events do not necessarily take place in chronological order. In Soviet Russia, The Wife and ‘I’ decide to invite Vova, an idiot from the lunatic asylum to come and live with them. At first Vova’s behaviour is violent and disgusting. However when he
copulates with The Wife, he becomes calmer and ‘I’ is sent off to live in another room on his own. When The Wife becomes pregnant, she aborts the child. Vova is enraged and moves to the room where ‘I’ lives, leaving The Wife to fend for herself. When The Wife comes to reclaim Vova, he decapitates her
with a pair of garden shears, to the disturbing excitement of ‘I’.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Rodion Shchedrin
Born 16 December 1932, Moscow, USSR
Dead Souls (1976)
Opera in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by the composer after Gogol.
Cast: 2S, 3Mz [=T], Ct, 6T, 2Bar, 6B; silent role; ballerina; chorus
Orch: 3333/4331/timp.3perc/hp/str (
The master swindler Pavel Chichikov has a plan to buy from landholders the titles to souls (serfs) who have died since the last census, in order to appear prosperous and thus win the hand of the very wealthy governor’s daughter. Although a stranger in the town, with his charm and social graces, he
is soon being feted by everyone. However, rumours of his unusual dealings with serf owners Manilov, Sobakevich, Korobochka and Plyshkin reach the town, coupled with the lies of Nozdrev, so Pavel decides to leave in a hurry.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Ne tolko lyubov (Not Love Alone) (1961)
Opera in three acts with an epilogue.
Libretto (Russian) by V.A. Katanyan after Sergey Antonov’s stories.
Duration: 90’
Cast: 5S, Mz, 5C, 3T, Bar, 2B
Orch: 3(pic).3(ca).33/4331/timp.perc.glock.xyl/ Alt. orch: 1010/0100/2pf(1prep)/perc/str(
A tale of love found and lost by the beautiful but dutiful Varvara, the woman boss of a rural Russian collective farm.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Dmitri Shostakovich
Born 12 September 1906, St Petersburg, Russia; died 9 August 1975, Moscow, USSR
Igroki (The Gamblers) (1941-2)
(compl. 1981 by Krzysztof Meyer)
Comic opera in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) after Nikolai Gogol’s comedy of the same name.
Translation available: German (Jorg Morgener)
Duration: full eve
Cast: 3T, 2Bar, 4B
Orch: 3333/4331/timp.perc.xyl/ balalaika/str
Ikharev, a card shark, sets his sights on defrauding three hotel guests. He soon realises, however, that they are all brothers under the skin; the four decide to go after the other guests, namely, Mikhail Alexandrovich Glov. He leaves, so that his son Sasha remains and loses a fortune. The three other swindlers leave Ikharev to collect the loot, but in the end he finds that Glov and a finance official were both part of the trio and that Glov lost on purpose, leaving Ikharev the big loser.
Publisher: Dmitri Shostakovich Estate
Available in North America only
Igroki (The Gamblers) (1941-2)
(ed. Gennady Rozhdestvensky)
Opera fragment in eight scenes.
Libretto (Russian) after Nikolai Gogol.
Duration: 50’
Cast: 2T, Bar, 3B
Orch: 3343/4331/timp.perc.xyl/ balalaika/str
Unfinished opera fragment. Synopsis as above.
Publisher: Dmitri Shostakovich Estate
Available from G. Schirmer in North America only
Moskva, Cheryomushki (Moscow, Cheryomushki) (1959)
Operetta in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by V. Massa and M. Chervinsky.
Duration: 160’
Cast: 6S, 4Mz, 3T, 3Bar, 3B, singing actress, singing actor; SATB chorus
Orch: 3(pic).332/4331/timp.perc/hp/str Red. orch (Gerard McBurney): 1(pic).0.1(Ebcl).asx(ssx)+tsx(barsx)/0210/perc/gtr(uke,bjo).pf/str(
In late 1950s Moscow, a smart new block of apartments has been built and everyone is desperate to live there. Newly-weds Sasha and Masha, Lidochka Baburov with her friend Boris, an explosives expert and chauffeur Sergei and his crane-driving girlfriend Lyusya all dream of having a place of their own. While keys are withheld from their rightful owners, Lyusya lifts Boris and Lidochka up to their new home in her crane. And as Sasha and Masha host a housewarming party, government official Drebednyov, who illegally plans to knock two apartments into one for his ambitious new wife, comes bursting through the neighbouring wall. But the residents find a way of exposing all the corruption and the wrong-doers are defeated, leaving everyone else to live happily ever after.
Publisher: Dmitri Shostakovich Estate
Available in North America only
Orango (Prologue) (1932) (orch. Gerard McBurney)
Opera fragment.
Libretto (Russian) Alexei Nikolayevich Tolstoy and Alexander Osipovich Starchakovl.
Duration: 40’
Cast: 2S, 5T, 3B; dancer
Chorus: SATB
Orch: 2+pic.2+ca.2+Ebcl.ssx+asx.2+cbn/[+]/str
During a public meeting at Moscow’s majestic Palace of Soviets, spectators extol the liberation of labor from its cursed, servile past. A Master of Ceremonies announces the next attraction: Orango, the famous human-like ape. But when finicky foreign guests demand to witness something truly amazing, he introduces instead a prima ballerina, the ‘eighth wonder of the world,’ who performs a dance of peace. Spectators now clamor to see Orango, whose attributes and talents (‘he eats with a knife and fork,
blows his nose, yawns, plays chizhik-pyzhik and even says “he-hehe”’) are described by the Zoologist as he commands his docile charge to demonstrate them. Suddenly, Orango roars and rushes at the foreigner Susanna, threatening to “rrrrip” her to pieces. After the ballerina dances a taming dance, he is restrained and removed. Curiosity is piqued about Orango’s background and what it is about Susanna that triggered his attack. Three foreigners come forward and introduce themselves: embryologist Armand Fleuri, Orango’s creator; the embryologist’s daughter Rene, Orango’s “step-sister”; and journalist Paul Mash who identifies Orango as his former student and “a brilliant journalist.” With these principals on hand — to be supplemented by members of an amateur troupe — the Master of Ceremonies now proposes a dramatization of the remarkable story of the creature through song and dance:‘ how the unusual hybrid Orango was born, took part in the war, returned to Paris and what he did there... went to the Soviet Union... was exposed... married... destroyed...and bought in Hamburg for 150 dollars.’ The crowd is eager with anticipation.
Publisher: Dmitri Shostakovich Estate
Available in North America only
Vocal score for sale.
Skazka o Glupom Myšonke (The Tale of the Silly Little Mouse) (1939)
Animated cartoon.
Libretto after the story by Samuil Marshak.
Duration: 16’
Cast: 2S, Mz, T, Bar, 2B, 2Narr
Orch: 2(pic).2(ca).2(bcl).2(cbn)/
The silly little mouse won’t go to sleep to the strains of a lullaby, so its mother seeks help from her neighbors, the duck, the pig, the toad, the horse and the pike. No one can help. Eventually the cat succeeds in singing the silly little mouse to sleep. The next morning, however, the cat is discovered to have abducted the little mouse. Led by the dog, the other animals manage to rescue the little mouse from the cat just as she is about to eat it.
Publisher: Dmitri Shostakovich Estate
Available in North America only
Full score and vocal score for sale
Skazka o Pope i o Rabotnike Ego Balde (The Tale of the Priest and his Worker Balda) (1935)
Opera in two acts, realised from the film music by Sofia Khentova.
Libretto (Russian) by Sofia Khentova after the Pushkin tale.
Duration: 75’
Cast: 2S, Mz, 2T, 3B; SATB chorus
Orch: 2+2pic.2+ca.2+Ebcl+bcl.2ssx+2tsx.3(cbn)/433+bar.1/timp.perc.xyl/hp.bayan.hca.gtr.balalaika/str
Created from Shostakovich’s sketches and instrumental parts for the soundtrack of a lost animated film of the same name, the opera follows the amusing Pushkin story about a stingy priest and his wise servant.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Sergei Slonimsky
12 August 1932, Saint Petersburg, USSR
Master and Margarita (1979)
Chamber opera in two acts.
Libretto (Russian) by Yuri Dmitrin, Vitaly Fialkovsky, and the composer after the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Duration: 150’
Cast: 3S, Mz, 6T, 4Bar, 5B; 2 mimes; chorus
Orch: 2(pic).1.2(bcl).ssx.1/
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian.
Available in North America only
Dmitri Smirnov
Born 2 November 1948, Minsk, USSR
Tiriel (1983)
Opera in three acts.
Libretto (German) after a poem by William Blake, translated by Paul Esterházy.
Duration: 150’
Cast: Voices
Orch: 3(pic).3(obda,ca).3(bcl).ssx.1/
King Tiriel and his dying wife Myratana return to his palace. After going blind, his sons rebel against him. Tiriel hopes in vain for the destruction of his sons. Myratana dies. Tiriel holds them responsible for her death and pronounces a curse, to no effect. Tiriel goes to the valley where he was raised. Without recognising him, his parents, Har and Heva, ask him to stay. Tiriel continues to travel, however, and
meets his brother Iyim. Iyim leads his brother back to his palace. Tiriel’s sons are disgusted by their father’s return. The blind king repeats his curse, now to terrible effect. Travelling, he encounters his other brother Zarel and his sons – once his slaves – who now mock him. Having arrived at his parents’, he curses them as well, but the curse spoken against his father turns back on him, and everything is destroyed with him.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Born 25 April 1840, Votkinsk, Russia; died 25 October 1893, St Petersburg, Russia
Eugene Onegin (1879)
Opera in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by the composer and Konstantin Shilovsky after Pushkin.
The opera is set in St Petersburg at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The naive young Tatiana falls in love with Eugene Onegin, but he condescendingly rejects her declarations of love. After killing his best friend Lensky in a dual, Onegin goes abroad and when he returns, the tables have turned. Tatiana is now the beautiful and sophisticated wife of Prince Gremin. Onegin now realises that he loves her and asks her to run away with him. For a moment she wavers, but quickly resumes a calculated coolness, declaring that she must fulfil her duty to her husband and sends Onegin away forever.
Publisher: G. Schirmer, Inc.
G. Schirmer controls the rights in the English translation by Henry Reese for this work but does not supply orchestral materials
Vocal score and libretto for sale
Pikovaya dama (The Queen of Spades) (1890)
Opera in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by Modeste Tchaikovsky after Pushkin’s story (1834).
Translation available: English
Hermann, a young officer, wants to marry Lisa, the granddaughter of a Countess known as The Queen of
Spades who is said to know the secret of winning at cards. Hermann tries to find out the Countess’s secret in order that he can raise enough money to marry Lisa. Although the Countess dies before telling him, her ghost appears and reveals the secret to him. Hermann’s increasing obsession with winning at cards costs him his possessions, his betrothed and eventually his own life.
Publisher: G. Schirmer, Inc.
G. Schirmer controls the rights in the English translation by Rosa Newmarch for this work but does not supply orchestral materials
Vocal score (English-Newmarch) and libretto (English-Goldovsky) for sale
Avet Terterian
Born 29 July 1929, Baku, USSR; died 11 December 1994, Yekaterinburg, Russia
Ognennoe Kolco (A Fiery Ring) (1967)
Libretto (Russian) by Vladimir Shakhnazarian after Boris Lavrenev’s novelette “The Forty-First”.
Duration: 80’
Cast: S, T (offstage), Bar, speaker; chorus; male dances
Orch: 3(pic).3(ca).4(bcl).2/
During the Russian Civil War, a soldier of the Red Army succeeds in taking a White Guard officer as prisoner. A bloody battle rages all around them. The two soldiers finally remain alone. It is soon
discovered that the Red Army soldier is a young woman. In the dusk she sings the feverish enemy to sleep and the mountains join her in her singing. In their loneliness, the enemies do not speak to each other. Little by little, however, feelings of love burgeon in the young woman — she dreams of being a beloved wife. The White Guard soldier, too, does not have the heart to kill his enemy. Their tender act of drawing closer together is interrupted when soldiers of both sides approach again — the world again disintegrates into friends and foes. The Red Army soldier finally shoots the White Guard officer dead.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Mieczysław Weinberg
Born 8 December 1919, Warsaw, Poland; died 26 February 1996, Moscow, Russia
Congratulations (We Congratulate) (1982)
Opera in two acts.
Libretto (Russian) by M. Shambadal, after Sholem Aleichem’s play, Mazl tov.
Duration: 75’
Cast: 2S, Mz, T, Bar
Orch: 2(pic,afl).1(ca).2(bcl).1(cbn)/
In the house of a rich Jewish lady in Odessa, the widowed cook, Belya, is busy preparing a festive dinner for the engagement of the daughter of the house. She complains about her lonely life. The booklender appears. While he is eating and drinking, the cook confides to him the latest gossip about her employer. The booklender becomes more talkative with each glass he empties. Khaim, the neighbors’ servant, joins in and complains about his employers. Finally, Fradl also appears in the kitchen and Khaim begins flirting
with the servant girl. Uninhibited carousing ensues. At its climax, Belya and the booklender decide to become engaged. Stimulated by the newly-engaged couple, Khaim turns to Fradl with a marriage proposal, which she accepts. The lady of the house appears unexpectedly, interrupting the joyful mood.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
The Idiot (1986)
Opera in four acts.
Libretto (German, Russian) by Alexander Medvedev after the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Duration: 220’
Cast: 3S, Mz, C, 6T, 2Bar, 5B; 3 silent roles
Orch: 3(pic).3(ca).4(Ebcl,bcl).3(cbn)/[+]perc/hp.cel/str; onstage pf
Prince Myshkin, who suffers from epilepsy, returns to St. Petersburg after several years’ stay in a Swiss sanatorium. He finds himself embroiled in the intrigues surrounding the dark-eyed beauty, Nastasya. His love for her forces the decent Myshkin into an uneasy relationship with his passionate rival Rogozhin, a rich merchant’s son. Rogozhin’s attempt to murder his adversary fails when Myshkin suffers an epileptic
seizure. Throwing over the affections of the beautiful Aglaya, with whom he is distantly related, the prince becomes engaged to Nastasya, but a few minutes before the wedding she flees with Rogozhin to St. Petersburg. In a jealous tantrum, Rogozhin stabs Nastasya to death. After a desperate search, Myshkin finds the scene of the horrible crime.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
Lady Magnesia (1975)
Opera in one act after G.B. Shaw.
Libretto (English, Russian) by V. Stanevich.
Duration: 50’
Cast: S, Mz, T, B; children’s, women’s and men’s choirs on tape
Orch: 1(pic).0.2(bcl)+asx.0/[five-string] or multiples)
Shortly after Lady Magnesia retires for the night, her husband, Lord George, sneaks into the chamber with a dagger, intending to murder her, but she awakes and surprises him. They are interrupted by the arrival of Adolphus, Magnesia’s lover. George prepares drinks for all three of them. A few moments later Adolphus falls to the floor with violent stomach pains – George has spiked his drink with poisonous soda water. While Adolphus writhes with pain, Magnesia declares that she will henceforth transfer her full devotion to her husband. George finds this prospect overwhelming and it is decided that they will try the antidote to the poison, highly concentrated chalk. Eventually, Magnesia’s plaster bust is dissolved in hot water. However, this brew gives the lover only temporary relief. It causes him to petrify into a statue.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only
The Portrait (1980)
Opera in three acts.
Libretto (Russian) by Alexander Medvedev after the novel by Nikolai Gogol.
Translation available: English
Duration: 130’
Cast: 2S, Mz, 5T, 4Bar, 3B; silent roles or dancers
Orch: 2(pic).2(ca).2(bcl).2(cbn)/
The young painter Chartkov is warned by his teacher not to seek success with facile painting. His ‘Psyche’ painting is unfinished. He buys a portrait. In a dream, its subject comes alive and leaves a number of coins. After Chartkov awakes, the landlord appears for rent. The newly bought painting is touched; gold coins fall from it, and he pays his debts. A friend explains that the portrait is the evil
money-lender Petromikhali. Disturbed, Chartkow covers the portrait. Years pass. Chartkov is successful. At an exhibition by a young painter, he recognises true talent. ‘Psyche’ appears to him. Chartkov realises that his own painting is arbitrary and empty. He curses Petromikhali. Chartkov accepts no more commissions. He feverishly attempts to finish ‘Psyche’. Unable to complete it, Chartkov dies.
Publisher: G. Schirmer Russian
Available in North America only

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