FULL CHRISTMAS EVE (Rimsky-Korsakov) Tikhvin 2023 Mikhail Vekua, Natalya Pavlova, Oleg Sychev
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: Noch' pered Rozhdestvom or Christmas Eve
- Composer: Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolai
- Libretto: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov based on the short story by Gogol    Libretto Text, Libretto Index
- Venue & Opera Company: Rimsky-Korsakov Palace of Culture, Tikhvin, Russia, Mariinsky Theatre
- Recorded: March 18, 2023
- Type: Staged Opera Live
- Singers: Mikhail Vekua, Natalya Pavlova, Oleg Sychev, Alexander Morozov, Andrey Zorin, Vitaly Yankovsky, Alexander Timchenko, Gleb Peryazev, Irina Vaneeva. Olga Savova, Marina Mareskina, Tatyana Kravtsova
- Conductor: Valery Gergiev
- Stage Director: Olga Malikova
- Stage Designer: Ksenia Pantina
- Costume Designer: Varvara Yevchuk
Information about the Recording
- Format: Streaming
- Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
- Subtitles: nosubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
A performance by the Mariinsky Theatre in Tikhvin, the home town of Rimsky-Korsakov.
Synopsis by Wikipedia:
Time: 18th century
Place: The village of Dikanka, Ukraine; mid-air; a royal court
Tableau 1: Christmas Eve in the hamlet of Dikanka
The widow Solokha agrees to help the Devil steal the moon. The Devil is annoyed with Solokha’s son Vakula, who painted an icon mocking him. The Devil decides to create a snowstorm to prevent Vakula from seeing his beloved Oksana. While the storm rages, Solokha rides up to the sky and steals the moon, while the Deacon and Oksana’s father, Chub, are unable to find their way.
Tableau 2: Interior of Chub’s house
Oksana is alone and lonely at home. She passes through several moods and the music follows her with gradually accelerating tempos. At one point, Vakula enters and watches her admiring herself. She teases him, and he says he loves her, but she replies that she will only marry him if he brings her a pair of the Empress’s slippers. Chub comes back out of the storm, and Vakula, not recognizing him and taking him for a rival, chases him out by striking him. Seeing what he has done, Oksana sends Vakula away in a miserable state. Young people from the village come around singing Ukrainian Christmas carols. Oksana realizes she still loves Vakula.
Tableau 3: Solokha’s house
The Devil is just getting cosy at Solokha’s hut when in succession the mayor, the priest and Chub arrive to seduce her each hiding in a sack when the next arrives. Vakula hauls the four heavy sacks to his smithy.
Tableau 4: Vakula’s smithy
Vakula puts down his sacks. Young men and women, including Oksana, gather singing Kolyadki and having fun. Vakula, however, is bored and dejected. Oksana taunts Vakula one last time about the Tsaritsa’s slippers. Vakula gives his farewell to the lads and to Oksana, exclaiming that he will perhaps meet them in another world. He leaves the sacks – from which the four men emerge.
Tableau 5: Inside Patsyuk’s house
Patsyuk makes magic vareniki jump into his mouth. Vakula has come to request assistance from him. Patsyuk advises him that in order to obtain the help of the devil, he must go to the devil. Vakula puts down his sack, and the devil jumps out and tries to get his soul in exchange for Oksana. Vakula, however, grabs him by his neck, and climbs on his back. He forces the devil to fly him to St. Petersburg.
Tableau 6: Space. Moon and stars
We witness the charming “Games and Dances of the Stars”. This is followed by the “Diabolical Kolyadka” in which Patsyuk, riding a mortar, and Solokha, on her broom, attempt to stop Vakula. He succeeds, however, in getting through, and the lights of St. Petersburg become visible through the clouds.
Tableau 7: A palace. A sumptuous room, brightly lit
The Devil puts down Vakula in the tsaritsa’s court and disappears into the fireplace. Vakula joins a group of Zaporozhian Cossacks who are petitioning the tsaritsa. A chorus sings the tsaritsa’s praises in a magnificent polonaise. The tsaritsa addresses the Cossacks. Vakula requests the tsaritsa’s boots to the music of a minuet, and his wish is granted because of its unusual and amusing nature. The Devil takes Vakula away as Russian and Cossack dances commence.
Tableau 8: Space. Night
Vakula returns home on the devil’s back. We witness the procession of Kolyada (young girl in a carriage) and Ovsen (boy on a boar’s back). On approaching Dikanka, we hear church bells and a choir.
Tableau 9: Christmas Day. Courtyard beside Chub’s house
Oksana listens to some women exchanging gossip about Vakula, who is believed to have committed suicide. Alone, Oksana sings an aria expressing her regret that she had treated Vakula harshly, and wishing for his return. He appears with the boots, followed by Chub. Vakula asks Chub for Oksana’s hand in marriage and Chub assents. Vakula and Oksana sing a duet. Other characters enter and ask Vakula about his disappearance.
Epilogue: In memory of Gogol
Vakula announces that he will relate his story to the beekeeper Panko the Gingerhead (i.e., Gogol), who will write a story of Christmas Eve. There is general rejoicing.