“The Enchanted Wanderer” at the Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg

Mariinsky II:
34 Dekabristov Street

14 January
2014 | Tuesday

The Enchanted Wanderer

opera for three solo voices, chorus and orchestra

performed in Russian (the performance will have synchronised English supertitles)

Music by Rodion Shchedrin
Libretto by the composer after the novel by Nikolai Leskov The Enchanted Wanderer


Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: Alexei Stepanyuk
Set Designer: Alexander Orlov
Costume Designer: Irina Cherednikova
Lighting Designer: Yevgeny Ganzburg
Musical Preparation: Natalia Domskaya
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko
Choreographer: Dmitry Korneyev


Ivan Severyanovich Flyagin, Storyteller: Sergei Aleksashkin


• People’s Artist of Russia (2005)
• Recipient of the Golden Sofit, St Petersburg’s most prestigious theatre prize (2002, 2004 and 2008)

Sergei Aleksashkin studied at the Saratov State Sobinov Conservatoire (1982). After graduating from the Conservatoire, he was engaged by the Saratov Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. He also trained at La Scala, Milan, from 1983–1984. Sergei Aleksashkin has been a Mariinsky Theatre soloist since 1989.

Roles performed at the Mariinsky Theatre include:
Ivan Susanin (A Life for the Tsar)
Ruslan (Ruslan and Lyudmila)
Boris Godunov, Varlaam (Boris Godunov)
Ivan Khovansky (Khovanshchina)
Konchak, Vladimir Yaroslavovich and Galitsky (Prince Igor)
Gremin (Eugene Onegin)
Rene (Iolanta)
Kochubei (Mazepa)
Mamyrov (The Enchantress)
Vasily Sobakin, Malyuta Skuratov (The Tsar’s Bride)
Sea King (Sadko)
Salieri (Mozart and Salieri)
Yuri Vsevolodovich (The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia)
Tsar Dodon (The Golden Cockerel)
Old Gypsy (Aleko)
General (The Gambler)
Faust (The Fiery Angel)
Mendoza (Betrothal in  a Monastery)
Rostov, Kutuzov (War and Peace)
Boris Timofeyevich (Katerina Ismailova)
Sobakevich (Dead Souls)
Flyagin, Storyteller (The Enchanted Wanderer)
Zaccaria (Nabucco)
Banco (Macbeth)
Jacopo Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra in  concert)
Grand Inquisitor, Filippo II (Don Carlo)
Ramfis (Aida)
Méphistophélès (Faust)
Lindorf, Coppélius, Dapertutto, Dr Miracle (Les Contes d’Hoffmann)
Leporello (Don Giovanni)
the King (Lohengrin)

The singer’s repertoire also includes Méphistophélès in  Berlioz’ dramatic legend La Damnation de Faust and the bass roles in Verdi’s Requiem and Shostakovich’s Thirteenth and Fourteenth Symphonies.

Sergei Aleksashkin has toured to many countries throughout Europe and the USA, Australia and Japan, and he has worked with such conductors as Georg Solti, Valery Gergiev, Claudio Abbado, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Yuri Temirkanov, Mstislav Rostropovich, Marek Jankowski, Rudolf Barshai, Alberto Zedda, Eliahu Inbal, Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Mariss Jansons and Alexander Lazarev among many others.

He has performed as a guest artist at the Metropolitan Opera (New York), La Scala (Milan), the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (London) and opera houses in Washington, Rome and Hamburg. He has sung at top concert venues throughout Europe, among them the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the concert hall of the Accademia Santa Cecilia (Rome) and the Barbican Hall and the Royal Festival Hall (London); he has appeared several times at Salzburg’s Easter Festival and festivals in San Sebastian, Baden-Baden, Mikkeli and Savonlinna.

Sergei Aleksashkin’s recordings include CDs of the operas The Fiery Angel, Sadko, The Queen of Spades, La forza del destino, Betrothal in  a Monastery, Iolanta, Prince Igor and Shostakovich’s Thirteenth and Fourteenth Symphonies.

Flogged Monk, Prince, Magnetiser, Old Man in the Woods, Storyteller: Artyom Melikhov


Prize-winner at international competitions
Born in Leningrad. In 2001 he graduated with distinction from the Glinka Choral School. He took professional lessons in clarinet and the organ as well as composition. In 2006 he graduated with distinction from the Faculty of Choral Conducting of the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire (class of Professor Yelizaveta Kudryavtseva). He is currently a student in the vocals faculty (class of Dmitry Karpov).
In 2009 he made his Mariinsky Theatre debut in several roles in the opera War and Peace. Since 2011 he has been a soloist with the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers. In May 2013 he performed the lead role in a premiere of Wagner’s Rienzi at the Saratov Opera and Ballet Theatre (production by Alexei Stepanyuk).Repertoire at the Mariinsky Theatre includes:
Ovlur (Prince Igor)
Servant at the Ball, Prince Andrei’s Orderly, Prince Eugene’s Aide de Camp, Madman (War and Peace)
Nero (The Mystery of the Apostle Paul)
Selifan (Dead Souls)
and Brighella (Ariadne auf Naxos).Repertoire also includes: Lensky (Eugene Onegin), the Young Gypsy (Aleko), Lohengrin (Lohengrin), Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem and Gubaidulina’s St John’s Passion.

In 2008 at the VIII Easter Festival at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire he performed the role of the Japanese Envoy in Stravinsky’s opera Le Rossignol under the baton of Valery Gergiev. He also made his debut as a soloist at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre in Gavrilin’s Chimes.
In 2010 he performed the role of Nero in the world premiere of Nikolai Karetnikov’s opera The Mystery of the Apostle Paul at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre. The same year, he made his debut at the Kennedy Center in Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace under Valery Gergiev.
At the Mariinsky Theatre in 2011 he performed the role of Ovlur in the opera Prince Igor. 2011 also saw appearances in premiere performances of the operas Dead Souls by Rodion Shchedrin (Selifan the Coachman, production by Vasily Barkhatov) and Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Wagner (Brighella, production by Michael Sturminger. In 2013 he performed the tenor role in a stage version of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana during a tour by Naples’ Teatro di San Carlo at the new stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Grusha the Gypsy, Storyteller: Kristina Kapustinskaya


• Prize-winner at the International Moniuszko Competition (2007)
• Prize-winner at the International Rimsky-Korsakov Competition (2006)
• Recipient of Russia’s Golden Mask theatre prize for her sole as Grusha the Gypsy in the opera The Enchanted Wanderer (nominated for “Best female role in opera”, 2009)

Kristina Kapustinskaya was born in Kiev. Studied at the Kiev State Glière High School of Music. In 2006 she graduated from the National Tchaikovsky Music Academy of Ukraine (class of Professor Diana Petrinenko). At the Youth Opera studio theatre of the National Music Academy of Ukraine she performed as the Old Gypsy (Aleko), Dunyasha (The Tsar’s Bride), Maddalena (Rigoletto) and Carmen (Carmen).
In 2007 she made her Mariinsky Theatre debut as Smeraldina in Sergei Prokofiev’s opera The Love for Three Oranges.

Roles performed at the Mariinsky Theatre include:
The Angel (The Demon)
Polina and Milovzor (The Queen of Spades)
Smeraldina (The Love for Three Oranges)
Grusha the Gypsy (The Enchanted Wanderer)
Servant (Elektra)
Agrafena Alexandrovna (The Brothers Karamazov)

The singer’s repertoire also includes the roles of Lyubasha and Dunyasha (The Tsar’s Bride), Maddalena (Rigoletto) and arias from operas by Donizetti, Gluck, Handel, Massenet, Moniuszko, Mozart, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky and Verdi, as well as songs and romances by Fauré, Glière, Grieg, Musorgsky, Rakhmaninov, Schubert, Richard Strauss and Sviridov.

In 2007, Kristina Kapustinskaya performed in the Russian premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera The Enchanted Wanderer (as Grusha the Gypsy) during the Stars of the White Nights festival at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. She sang this role the same year at the Moscow Philharmonic at an opera festival to mark the seventy-fifth birthday of Rodion Shchedrin, and one year later at the Edinburgh Festival. In 2009, Kristina Kapustinskaya received a Golden Mask award for her interpretation of the role of Grusha (nominated for “Best female role in opera”).

The singer was also the first performer of the role of Agrafena Alexandrovna in Alexander Smelkov’s opera The Brothers Karamazov, which was premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre on 23 July 2008.

At the opening of the 2007-2008 season, Kristina Kapustinskaya performed the mezzo-soprano role in Sergei Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky cantata with the St Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov. She has toured with the Mariinsky Opera Company to Sweden, the USA and the UK.

World premiere: 19 December 2002, Avery Fisher Hall, New York
Russian premiere: 10 July 2007, Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Premiere of this production: 26 July 2008, Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

Materials presented by the publishers «SCHOTT», Mainz

Running time 1 hours 35 minutes
The performance without interval

In his story of the novice of the Valaam Monastery Ivan Severianovich Flyagin, where the main subject is his love for Grusha the gypsy girl who loves not him but rather the frivolous Prince and later begs Flyagin to kill her, Shchedrin avoids traditional operatic approaches. Here there are neither developed scenes as such nor sweet love duets, but there is an aural continuum of impossible beauty in which vocal and choral voices are blended together, underscored by a thousand different orchestral timbres, from the shepherd-like folk tunes of the oboe that tear at the soul to the laconic guslis, tender block flutes and, as always with Shchedrin, the glittering percussion. Also enchanting in The Wanderer was the countless number of shades of silence – melting, lulling, oppressive, terrifying, thoughtful: Shchedrin is one of few composers who have the skill to construct music not just from notes but from pauses too.
Vremya novostei

… The famous gypsy song Nevechernyaya, performed by Grushenka-Kapustinskaya to the refined accompaniment of the muted strings, resounds, like a peaceful requiem, as a funereal premonition-hymn of a tragic destiny. And at the other “pole” there is the scene of Tatar captivity, addressing both Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances and Stravinsky’s ballets – and the performance with incredible energy, “proprietarily” ascribed only to Gergiev… It bears repeating the axiom that the Mariinsky Theatre’s musicians and their conductor are on brilliant professional form today… The chorus deserves particular praise, under Gergiev’s baton sounding fresh and resilient yet at the same time powerful, a rare thing indeed.
Literaturnaya gazeta

Ivan Severyanovich Flyagin, a novice at the monastery in Valaam, is reminiscing about former days. Before renouncing the material world, he once accidentally whipped a monk to death. The monk appeared in a vision, reproaching Ivan for taking his life before he could make his final confession. He told Ivan Severyanovich that he was God´s “promised” son and that he would die but never pass on until real “death” comes, so Ivan enters the monastery on the island of Valaam. And although Ivan Severyanovich did not believe in it, the monk´s prophesy came true. While on his travels, Ivan was captured by the Tatars and lived with them for ten years in Ryn-peski. He managed to flee from them, met with some shepherds on his way back to his native land and entered the service of a Prince, who admired him for his skill with horses. But after three years of devoted service Ivan Severyanovich took to drinking binges. At an inn, Flyagin met a landowner with the gift of hypnosis. The same night in another inn Ivan Severyanovich spent all the money entrusted to him by the Prince on Grusha, a beautiful gypsy songstress.

When the Prince demands his five thousand roubles, Flyagin shows remorse and relates his tale of the beautiful gypsy. Having fallen in love with Grusha, the Prince paid her immense dowry of fifty thousand gold roubles and took her home with him. But the Prince is a fickle man and he soon tired of Grusha. During his trip to town, Ivan found out that his master planned to marry a rich noblewoman and, returning home, could not find the gypsy girl: the Prince secretly removed her to the swampy woodlands. But Grusha escaped her incarceration, met Flyagin and forced him to take a dreadful oath – to kill her, otherwise she would kill the unfaithful Prince and his young bride. In order to carry out Grusha´s request, Ivan Severyanovich throws her into a river from a cliff top. The chorus mourns her death. In his visions Ivan Severyanovich Flyagin hears the voices of the monk and the gypsy girl Grusha whom he murdered.

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