Opera in four acts
Libretto by Rimsky-Korsakov and Ilya Tyumenev based on the drama by Lev Mey
Production by Evgenia Minakova, set design by Dmitry Smolin, choreography by Leonid Taube
The opera was written in 1899. This version was first performed in Perm in 1957 and revived in 2005. Running time: 3 hours 15 minutes including 3 intervals
The composer took the conflicts in the plot from the costume drama by Lev Mey, based on events during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. The action takes place in the autumn of 1572, when Tsar Ivan, who has decided to marry for a third time, has organized an inspection of prospective brides. Two thousand girls from the noblest Russian families have come to the Alexandrovskaya Sloboda, the Tsar’s current residence, for the inspection. One of them is the boyar’s daughter Marfa Sobakina, who eventually becomes the Tsar’s chosen one. As a result of a complicated romantic intrigue, the bride dies before the wedding at the hand of her secret, crafty rival, Lyubasha.
In stylistic respects, the production is an example of a successful reconstruction of one of the monumental operas of the post-Stalin period.