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31 March 2018 (Sat), 19:00 World famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1776) - Marvellous Main (Historic) Stage - Stars of the Stars  Opera Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov "The Snow Maiden" opera in four acts Tickets available only at

Running time: 4 hours (till 23:00)

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov "The Snow Maiden" opera in four acts 2020

Conductor: Tugan Sokhiev
Tenor: Roman Muravitsky
Tenor: Marat Gali (Galiakhmetov)
Bass: Valery Gilmanov
Bass-baritone: Nikolai Kazansky
Soprano: Marina Lapina
Bass: Gleb Nikolsky
Soprano: Anna Nechaeva
Tenor: Bogdan Volkov
Soprano: Olga Seliverstova
Bass: Vladimir Komovich
Tenor: Vadim Babichuk
Baritone: Andrei Kimach

Composer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Choirmaster producer: Valery Borisov
Light Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Designer: Vladimir Arefiev
Costume Designer: Vladimir Arefiev
Director: Alexander Titel
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Music Director: Tugan Sokhiev

Opera company: Bolshoi Opera
Orchestra: Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Opera in 4 acts

Performed in Russian, with syncronized English supertitles

World premiere: 10 February 1882, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Premiere of this production: 15 June 2017, Bolshoi theatre, Moscow, Russia

Libretto by the composer based on the pay of the same name by Alexander Ostrovsky.


Music to my "Snow Maiden" amazing, I could not ever imagine a more suitable to her and so vividly expresses the poetry of Russian pagan cult, and this first snow and the cold, and then irresistibly passionate main character of the tale.

Alexander Ostrovsky


The Snow Maiden is an opera in four acts with a prologue by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, composed during 1880–1881. The Russian libretto, by the composer, is based on the like-named play by Alexander Ostrovsky (which had premiered in 1873 with incidental music by Tchaikovsky).

The first performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera took place at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg on 29 January 1882 (OS; 10 February NS) conducted by Eduard Nápravník. By 1898 it was revised in the edition known today. It remained the composer's own favorite work.

The story deals with the opposition of eternal forces of nature and involves the interactions of mythological characters (Frost, Spring, Wood-Sprite), real people (Kupava, Mizgir'), and those in-between, i.e., half-mythical, half-real (Snow Maiden, Lel’, Berendey). The composer strove to distinguish each group of characters musically, and several individual characters have their own associated leitmotifs. In addition to these distinctions, Rimsky-Korsakov characterized the townspeople particularly with folk melodies. For a deeper understanding of this work from the composer's point of view, the reader is directed to his autobiography, as well as to his own incomplete analysis of the opera from 1905.

The Moscow premiere followed that of St. Petersburg three years later in 1885. It was presented by the Russian Private Opera (the Opera of Savva Mamontov in Moscow), conducted by Enrico Bevignani with scenic Design by Viktor Vasnetsov, Isaak Levitan, and Konstantin Korovin; Tsar Berendey – Grigoriy Erchov, Bermyata – Anton Bedlevitch, Spring Beauty – Vera Gnucheva, Grandfather Frost – Stepan Vlasov, The Snow Maiden – Nadejda Salina, Bobyl Bakula – G. Kassilov or Nikolay Miller, Lel – Tatyana Liubatovitch, Mizgir – Mikhail Malinin (Boris Mikhailovich Malinin and Marina Raskova’s father), Second Herald – M.Skuratovskiy.

The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow presented the opera in 1893.

In March 2014 University College Opera presented a new English translation of The Snowmaiden in the Bloomsbury Theatre.



Leshy is anticipating the arrival of Spring. Spring appears, accompanied by birds and animals. Sixteen years previously, she married the ancient and stern Father Frost and they had a daughter – Snegurochka. Since then, the land of the Berendeys (mystical forest-dwellers) has suffered bitter winters and cold springs as the sun god Yarilo is jealous of the marriage.

Father Frost enters. He must leave the land of the Berendeys soon, but is concerned as to what will come of his daughter: Father Frost has heard that Yarilo intends to kill Snegurochka by filling her heart with the fire of love (as long as she remains cold, Snegurochka is in safety). Father Frost and Spring decide to entrust their daughter to Bobyl, an inhabitant of sloboda.

Snegurochka appears. When she learns she is to live among men she is unable to hide her joy. Father Frost and Spring take leave of Snegurochka and instruct Leshy to look after her and respect her.

Gradually people flock to the Red Mountain. Leshy hides Snegurochka. The Berendeys are accompanying Shrovetide. Bobyl and Bobylikha notice Snegurochka and are delighted to accept her into their family. Snegurochka bids farewell to her past life and from now on will live among men.


Act I 

The village of Berendey. The people are discussing Snegurochka´s arrival. Lel appears. Bobyl and Bobylikha introduce him to Snegurochka. She is charmed by the shepherd and his songs. She asks him to sing for her and gives him a flower in return. Lel sings, but is distracted by the other girls and forgets Snegurochka. She is insulted that Lel finds her company dull and decides to ask her mother Spring for some heartfelt warmth in order to set Lel´s heart ablaze. Snegurochka´s friend Kupava is sympathetic for her, but she cannot wait to share her own joy. She is happy because today her fiancé Mizgir is due to arrive in sloboda. He appears. In line with custom, the groom ransoms his bride from the youths and maidens of Berendey. The marriage ceremony begins, but Mizgir´s gaze falls upon Snegurochka. Staggered by her beauty, Mizgir turns from Kupava and begs Snegurochka to return his love. Kupava feels humiliated. In despair she wants to drown herself, but Lel restrains her. The people condemn Mizgir and advise Kupava to seek justice from Tsar Berendey.


Act II 

Headed by Lel, blind people praise Tsar Berendey. Tsar Berendey, however, is ill at ease, sensing the sun god Yarilo´s disfavour: every year summer is shorter than before and spring becomes colder.

Berendey makes a decision in order to win back Yarilo´s favour: he will celebrate Yarilo´s Day by wedding all the young couples in the kingdom of Berendey.

Kupava runs in, tears streaming down her face. She begs Berendey to take her part and punish Mizgir for betraying and humiliating her. Berendey is enraged. He gives the order that Mizgir must be found and the people called to the royal court. The Tsar insists that Mizgir marry the girl he has insulted. Mizgir, however, rejects Kupava: he loves Snegurochka. Berendey sentences Mizgir to eternal banishment, but Snegurochka appears and the Tsar, entranced by her beauty, changes his decision. Mizgir will attempt to raise the fire of passion in "Snegurochka´s chaste heart" before Yarilo´s Day.


Act III 

The young men and women are singing round dances in a sacred forest in the kingdom of Berendey. Deeply moved by Lel´s singing, the Tsar suggests he choose a girl to reward "the singer of love with a passionate kiss" in front of the assembled crowd. Snegurochka waits for Lel to choose her, but the shepherd instead selects Kupava. In tears, Snegurochka runs into the forest.

The people depart. Alone, Snegurochka pines and dreams of Lel. Mizgir appears. Snegurochka is frightened at his passionate declarations. She flees in confusion. Mizgir wants to follow her but Leshy stops him and drives him away.


Act IV 

Early one morning, Snegurochka is waiting for her mother Spring beside a lake. Spring arrives, surrounded by flowers. This is her final hour in the land of the Berendeys. At dawn, the sun god Yarilo´s reign will begin and summer will come. As she departs, she gives her daughter a garland of magic flowers which can bestow the ability to love, and warns her of the sun god Yarilo´s fiery eyes.

Mizgir enters, desperately searching for Snegurochka. Filled with elation and love, she is unable to tear her eyes from Mizgir – her heart is full of new sensations.

People enter the valley. Tsar Berendey and his suite arrive. Mizgir asks the Tsar to bless his union with Snegurochka. A bright ray of sun falls on Snegurochka. Unable to withstand Yarilo´s warming rays, Snegurochka melts away. In grief, Mizgir throws himself into the waters of the lake.

However, "the sad passing of Snegurochka and Mizgir´s terrible death" will not cast a cloud on the festival of the Sun. With Snegurochka´s death, Father Frost loses his power over Spring. He can no longer freeze people´s hearts and souls. The sun god Yarilo will grant favour to the land of the Berendeys once more, bringing peace and prosperity.

Schedule for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov "The Snow Maiden" opera in four acts 2020

"The Snow Maiden" opera premiere!
About This Video
June, 15, 2017 “The Snow Maiden” opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov premiered on the Historical stage.

Music Director: Tugan Sokhiev
Stage Director: Alexander Titel

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