Le conte du tsar Saltan


11/06/2019 - 29/06/2019

Le conte du tsar Saltan

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‘I bring light and joy to many on earth, sorrow becomes sweet in a song; in a tale, fear becomes endearing.’ Years after Tsar Saltan had cast out his wife and son as a result of false accusations, the Swan Princess restores harmony and marries the tsarevich. This fairy tale by Pushkin, based on an old Russian folk legend, provided the ideal story for the great fairy-tale opera that Rimsky-Korsakov composed for the centenary of Pushkin’s birth in 1899. Like the poet, the composer found his own voice in a masterly narrative and rhapsodic style. The orchestration is of course very important as ‘part of the very soul of the work’. In this opera with a happy ending, Alain Altinoglu can revel in the role of orchestral wizard, as he did recently in The Golden Cockerel. Following his muchtalked- about production of Il Trovatore, the Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov returns with a fairy-tale ending to the opera season.


Tsar Saltan marries the youngest of three sisters, having heard that it is her dearest wish to present him with a heroic son and heir. Her jealous sisters and the old Aunt Barbaricha cannot bear this situation to persist and by trickery see to it that the Tsaritsa and her newborn son Gvidon are thrown into the sea. In their barrel they are washed ashore on an enchanted island where the rapidly growing tsar’s son saves a swan from the clutches of a wizard. In gratitude, the swan helps Gvidon to visit his native country once again in the guise of a bumblebee. Three wishes, three miracles and three bee-stings later, father and son are finally able to get to know each other.

Praktische Infos