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The Tale of Tsar Saltan

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The Tale of Tsar Saltan

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

A Tour

 

For the first time in Israel – Rimsky-Korsakov’s beguiling opera bases on a poem by Pushkin. A magical production featuring three sisters, three wishes and that everlasting haunting melody of the flight of the bumblebee.

 

Libretto: Vladimir Belsky after Pushkin


 

 Conductor Evgeny Brazhnik 
 Director Alexander Titel
 Set Designer Yuri Ustinov
 Costume Designer Irina Akimova
 Lighting Designer Ildar Bedernikov

 

Soloists, orchestra and chorus of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Opera House, Moscow

 

Sung in Russian

English and Hebrew Surtitles
Translation:

Synopsis

Prologue
Three sister are sitting by their spinning wheels on a winter evening. Tsar Saltan eavesdrops their conversation and hears the older sister boast that if she would become the Tsar’s bride she would prepare a sumptuous banquet. The middle sister then promises to weave a grand beautiful linen. The youngest sister says that if she becomes the happy bride she will give the Tsar a son who will become a knight and a warrior. The Tsar enters and chooses the youngest sister for his bride and the two leave. Aided by the old woman Babarikha, the two remaining sister devise their revenge. Once the baby is born, a message will be sent to the Tsar on the battlefield telling him that the newly born prince is actually a monster.

Act I
While the Tsar is leading his armies to war, his wife had given birth to a son. However, the young bride is desperate, as no response has arrived from the Tsar to the happy news. Her two sisters, who have become the cook and the weaver at the court, try to cheer her up but to no avail. They however have already sent the Tsar the message informing him that his heir is actually a monster. Suddenly a messenger from Saltan arrives ordering his people to put his wife and the young monster in a barrel and throw them into the sea. The Tsar’s orders are reluctantly obeyed. 

Act II
The Tsar’s wife and her son Gvidon have arrived on the island of Buyan and have broken out of the barrel in which they were imprisoned. The young man Gvidon goes to search for food and finds out a swan whom he rescues from being killed. Gvidon learns about his history from his mother, and the swan suddenly magically erects the city of Ledenets on the island. Its inhabitants hail Gvidon as their prince.

Act III
Gvidon laments his destiny and the fact that he does not even know his father. The swan promises to help him by turning him into a bumblebee. Thus, he will be able to fly and reach his father’s palace in Tmutarakan. Gvidon in his disguise mounts a ship going back from Buyan and reaches the palace. The sailors tell the Tsar about the wonders of the island. The two sisters of the Tsar’s bride are worried that the Tsar might want to travel and visit the island and try to convince him otherwise. Gvidon the bee stings them both and then continues to sting and blind Babarikha who also tries to prevent the Tsar’s plans. Saltan decided he does want to visit the enchanted island yet before he leaves, he bans bees from ever entering his palace again. 

Act IV
Gvidon returned to his island and he now yearns to wed a wife. He tells the swan about the princess he has heard about in the palace and miraculously the swan transforms herself into that very princess. His mother and her women bless the happy couple. Gvidon and his mother await the arrival of Saltan to the island. Gvidon greets his father, who is not aware of his identity, and asks him about his children. The Tsar regrets the way in which he treated his wife long ago, and even though Gvidon tries to cheer him up by showing him the magic of the island, the Tsar cannot be comforted. Now it is the turn of the swan princess to arrive and reveal the Tsar’s wife to her husband and everyone else. The two sister, who have obviously arrived as well, beg forgiveness from the joyous Tsar who happily pardons them. Everyone is ready to celebrate the marriage of Gvidon and his princess swan.
Back Stage Secrets

Back Stage Secrets at the Opera
Many Opportunities to Widen your Opera Experience


Do you want to know more about the opera you are about to attend? Do you want to find out some back stage secrets? Do you want to meet the artists after the performance? The Israeli Opera enables you to widen your opera experience with a variety of pre performance and post-performance events. 


Towards Opening

On Saturday morning before the premiere, the creators of the production and several of the soloists gather to discuss the opera, the production, their own career and today’s opera world. This is a unique opportunity to learn as much as possible about the production and meet the director, conductor, designers and some of the participating soloists. Musical excerpts from the opera illustrate the discussion. Towards Opening takes place before some of each season’s productions.


Pre Performance Lecture

One hour before each opera performance there is a 30-minute introductory lecture in the auditorium (in Hebrew). Opera staffers present the opera and the production and enable the audience to get some extra information a short time before attending the performances. Admission is free for ticket holders. 


Pre Performance Back Stage Tours

What happens backstage before the audience even thinks of getting dressed for the performance? What do the singers do? The conductor? The Technical teams? How does everyone prepare for the performance? A unique opportunity to taste a little bit of the back stage excitement before the curtain ascends/ A concerted half hour tour in places that are not usually open to the general public. Tours begin 90 minute before the performance begins and last 30 minutes. Tickets are 25NIS and can be booked in advance (tickets for each tour are limited). Tours take place on several evenings in each production. Details can be found at the Israeli opera’s website. Tours from groups both in Hebrew and in English can be booked in advance ( sarah@tapac.org.il )


Opera Talkback

The curtain has just descended on the final scene of the opera. The hour is late. Nut the experience was riveting. This is the time to meet several of the performers. Come to listen and to speak. Ask questions. Meet the artists. A once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the artists who have just excited you on the stage. Opera Talkbacks takes place on the second level of the Opera House foyer and last around 30 minutes. Admission free. Opera Talkback takes place on several evenings in each production. Details can be found at the Israeli opera’s website.  

 

    Date   Hour  
Towards Opening       
PREMIÈRE 6 May, 2018  20:00  
Back Stage Tours

7, 9, 10 May 2018

 18:30   
Opera Talkback

7, 9, 10 May 2018

After the show   

 

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The Tale of Tsar Saltan
Synopsis
Back Stage Secrets
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