KHOVANSHCHINA Mussorgsky – Stanislavsky Music Theatre Moscow

KHOVANSHCHINA Mussorgsky – Stanislavsky Music Theatre Moscow

Modest Mussorgsky
KHOVANSHCHINA National music drama in 5 acts.
Libretto by Modest Mussorgsky. Edited and orchestrated by Dmitry Shostakovich.
Finale by Vladimir Kobekin. Music Director – Alexander Lazarev
Stage Director – Alexander Titel Sets – Vladimir Arefiev
Costumes – Maria Danilova Principal Chorus Master – Stanislav Lykov
Lighting Designer – Damir Ismagilov
Choreography – Larisa Alexandrova ‘The morning after the Streltsy revolt’
Moscow comes back to normal after
the rebellion that had shed much blood. ‘The report’
Shaklovity dictates to a clerk the report letter
in which he claims that the Khovanskys,
father and son, were the instiga­tors of the revolt. ‘Lists on a Pole’
The clerk reads aloud the list
of those perished during the revolt. ‘The Big One is Coming!’
Prince Khovansky, head of the Streltsy, enters.
He leads his squad to patrol the city of Moscow. ‘Andrei and Emma’
Ivan Khovansky’s son, Andrei, pursues
a German girl, Emma, who caught his attention.
Marfa, Andrei’s former lover, pro­tects the girl. ‘Why Raving?’
Ivan Khovansky returns. He sees the German beauty
and commands the Streltsy to take her to his chambers. Andrei does not want to surrender the girl to his father.
The two are ready to engage in a fight, but
Dosifei, leader of the schismat­ics, stops them. He appeals to them to forget all their strife
and get united in the face of upcoming misfortune:
the division and downfall of Russia. ‘Fortune-telling’
Marfa, who has been summoned to Prince Golitsyn,
an all-powerful minion of the Czarevna Sophia’s,
foretells his forth­coming disgrace and exile. The frightened Golitsyn gives
an order to have Marfa drowned. ‘Conspiracy of the Princes’
Prince Ivan Khovansky comes to Golitsyn followed by Dosi­fei,
who in his layman past was known as Prince Myshetsky. Each one of them tries to claim power, and they fail to
agree on common actions against the young Czar Peter. Mar­fa comes back and tells how
she had been rescued by Peter’s soldiers.
Shaklovity brings a frightening piece of news: Czar Peter has received the report against the Khovanskys
and has or­dered an investigation. I’ll march on to Ivangorod I’ll knock down its stone walls… I’ll lead out a good-looking girl… – Look here! He’s sleeping!
– Let him sleep We’ve had a busy night! That clerk of the Council,
Larion Ivanov we’ve split his breast
with a pointed stone! And that Gaden, the German whom we caught
near the Church of Saint Saviour we’ve torn him to pieces! – Oh, don’t sway me, angry wind…
– They protect the lives of our young Tsars
against their foes the greedy boyards
who rob the Treasury The court’s woken up! Where are the robbers?
I’ll show them what’s what! O, Kuzka, mighty guard!
What a great fighter! What are you doing? Hey, Streltsy, what a sorry end! Lying amid a pile of corpses A sorry end! What the deuce
are you doing here at such a late hour? At night indeed!
The matins are over… Look, here comes the Scrivener,
in person! He’s sharpening his quill… What a huge ink-horn! He will be busy
scratching letters soon! Your Worship, we wish you to be
included in the list on this post! Ha-ha! Sodom and Gomorrah!
These are hard times indeed! All the same,
we’ll make some profit… Hey! Hey, you! Scrivener!
With me God has sent you grace Thank you, my good man Being just a miserable sinner,
I failed to see it… Listen I have an important job for you I’ll write you
a nice denunciation in no time If you can face the torture chamber,
if the rack holds no terrors for you if you are prepared
to renounce your family to forget all you hold most dear…
then write! Oh, my God! But if you should happen to meet me
and give me away at any time God help you! Remember that Go your way, good man It’s a hell of a lot you’re offering me,
my friend… – Write now, quickly!
– See how he is! Write, and be quick! OK, go ahead All will be perfectly written, begin “To Their Imperial Majesties,
Tsars and Rulers of all Russia…” Have you got that? Yes, continue “Information has been received
from the Moscow Streltsy “that the Boyars,
Prince Ivan Khovansky “and his son Andrei,
wish to stir up dissension” Couldn’t find anything better to do.
They won’t get anywhere Read it back to me That’s fine. Continue writing… “To stir up trouble throughout
the length and breadth of Russia “to cause the peasantry
to rise up against the authorities “to elect new governors
from the ranks of the Old Believers “and to set Andrei Khovansky
on the throne of Moscow…” The Prince will never forgive me! I’ll be flogged and tortured to death! Brave Streltsy, make merry! Nobody can stop you,
you admit no law! On the loose, enjoy yourselves!
Put down the evil enemy! They’re going. Listen!
Quiet Thank God,
they’ve gone, damn them! I can’t tell you how much I hate them! They’re not human
They’re beasts! Wherever they go, blood is spilled
and it’s off with your head and the people weep and groan! And you see,
it’s in the name of law and order… Hey! Write quickly! “At present, we stay in hiding “but when God brings peace and all is
safe, then we shall reveal ourselves” “In hiding… “…we shall reveal ourselves…”
Done! “To be delivered to the Tsarevna” God help you.
Remember my warning! Why do you keep frightening me? Good God,
I’ve had enough of you! Who are you to put on such airs? Your purse is full
so you like to scare other people Don’t try to find out
with whom you are dealing with! Don’t force me
to tell you who I am Cursed from the day I was born,
I’m the devil’s advocate You will hear about me!
Farewell! Good riddance! Farewell There’s a queer cuss for you.
He hasn’t a notion about clerks Apparently a man of some importance,
powerful and wealthy See how he sticks his nose in the air! But when all’s said and done in spite of his rank and importance,
he’s sillier than a newborn calf! And as for me, poor worm,
I’m cleverer than he is I imitated the handwriting
of the late, lamented Ananyev No one can harm the dead! Once there lived a gossiper.
They said she was ugly and dim But another gossiper found out how
he could approach and provoke her And so he came and found… What’s happening here in Moscow? Look brothers,
they have erected a pillar! Wait, brothers, that’s a real puzzle There’s something written there Wouldn’t it be nice
to know what it says Who can read for us what’s written?
Nobody can do it We are illiterate – How is that so?
– That’s how it is Stop, you devils!
There is the scrivener! He works for the government So what? We’ll approach him politely,
according to protocol Are you sure
there is no harm in it? Would you be so kind
as to tell us what is written here? What? I know nothing about this Don’t be afraid,
we are just simple people If you’re poor as church mice,
a scribe can be of no use Lads, he’s asking for a bribe.
You’ll not profit from us, you devil! Well, lads, we need to know
what’s written on the pillar Lads, lift him up! Let’s raise him up to the pillar
and make him read what’s written We’ll sing a song
about a scrivener Once there was a scribe
who lived to be seventy He amassed
two hundred sins… Have mercy! He was from the outskirts,
he lived in a crooked house… There he committed
many crooked deeds One day the lads took
his crooked house and carried it away… And they bowed to the scribe Do us a favour,
tell us what we do not know… The scribe refused to read,
he wanted money… Then the lads destroyed
his crooked house… Stop, you bastards! What are you
doing, you rogues? I’ll read it Read what’s written there! God help me!
Oh God! I will die! Christians! The Streltsy are cruel beasts!
Their terrible fury is insatiable! Never mind, read it! I’m done for! “By God’s will, on behalf of us
Sovereigns of the Court “the detachments
of the Moscow infantry regiment “and those loaders and gunners “who for all the injustice
inflicted on them have destroyed “Prince Telepniya was exiled,
Prince Romodanovsky was killed “He surrendered Chigirin to the Turks “They also killed Larionov “Deacon of the Duma
and his son Vasily “He had tried to poison the Tsar…” Then it serves him right “Other Boyars have also been killed” Which Boyars? The Bryantsevys Who else? All the Solntsevys What were they guilty of? “They transferred money
and bread supplies “and used them,
ignoring the laws of God” Now we see “And they who dare to slander the court
infantry of the Moscow Regiment “will be punished without mercy!” Listen, listen! “To them we’ll deal out
our merciful judgment without mercy” That can’t be so! Liar! I swear it is true! Oh God! What times these are! Oh dear Motherland, dear Russia! There is no peace
and no path for you You always stand up to defend us and you are always oppressed You are oppressed
not by the cruel invaders but by your own disorderly sons You lived in wars and robberies
and groaned… Who will bring you solace? Who will bring you peace? What fun! Come on, girls, let’s sing a song! What’s this? What’s going on? The savage brute is approaching!
Let all humans take to their heels! Make way for the White Swan! Sing praises to the noble Boyar! A crowd has gathered.
Is it for a feast? The Chief is coming! Make way, the Chief is coming!
Our Father is coming! Hail to the Swan! Make way for him! The Streltsy look like executioners! Hear us, Orthodox believers.
Russian people, hear us The Chief will make a speech Listen to him attentively! Children! My children! Moscow and Russia
are in great distress thanks to the Boyars
who turned out to be traitors and their wicked injustice Isn’t that so, children? That is so! Woe is us! And so we have been at great pains for the sake of the young Tsars,
to crush this treason God save us! Are we right? Yes, quite right! Glory to the great man!
Glory to Father! Streltsy! Are your muskets ready? Let’s do the rounds
of our beloved Moscow in the name of the Tsars! Raise a song in our honour! Hail to the White Swan,
hail to the greatest of all the Boyars! May God grant the White Swan
a fair course! God grant you health and fame!
Glory to the Chief! Leave me alone! Stop! You terrify me!
Have mercy on me, I beg you! No, the dove cannot escape the falcon No, there’s no escape for the dove
caught in the falcon’s talons! Listen! I know you.
You are Prince Khovansky You killed my father,
you banished my betrothed You had no pity
for my poor mother! What do you want?
Kill me! I’m in your hands How pretty you are
when you’re angry, my birdie! Just like a little bird
defending its young Love me, my beauty don’t cast your bright eyes
to the damp ground Let me go!
If you have to kill me, kill me fast – Be mine! Don’t torture me!
– Oh God! What is he saying? I’ll make you tsaritsa, Emma! Don’t be frightened, my love!
Be mine, love me! My sweet dove, ease
the brave falcon’s anguish – Fear not!
– Oh God, please protect me! Be his, love him! – Love me!
– Love him! Prince, let me go! Leave me alone!
I told you to kill me! Kill me then! Then the furious falcon
will take the dove by force! Save me! Help! There’s no escape
for the dove caught by the falcon! There is nobody here to save you! I am here! Marfa! So, Prince, this is how
you remain true to me? It’s clear you’ve soon grown
tired of me, my dear You swore before God
you wouldn’t deceive me, Prince But you didn’t keep your vow!
Now you are trying to have another – Be happy with her
– I am not guilty! – You wish to be happy with her
– Have mercy on me! – You’re safe with me, my child
– A demon brings this witch here – I know everything, I saw everything
– You are kind. Protect me – I’ll watch over you
– I am scared of him I’ll drive away the evil falcon You are pure and innocent What do you want here, my beauty? Isn’t it time for you to repent, rather
than lying to the heart of a woman? Or is a Boyar’s vanity more important
than a forsaken girl’s grief? I will silence you,
troublesome one! Did you forget your oath, Prince? “To avoid the Lutheran faith”… No, I won’t give in!
I’ll finish her off at once Have you heard the story
of this man, my dear? How he settled his scores
with his love, of whom he had tired How he swiftly
whipped out his knife I know the story too, Prince,
but the other way round Only this is not the end
I was preparing for you Not at my hand will you settle
your account with life She’s bewitched,
even the dagger doesn’t harm her! She saved me,
but I am powerless to save her! My aching heart divines the future.
I see a cloister in a blaze of light! And in the wondrous light Glory be to the Swan! The souls of the dead fly up to Heaven! The Chief is coming! My father’s coming! The Chief is coming! Oh, Lord, you are my fortress! Glory be to the White Swan! Hail to the greatest of all Boyars! What’s going on? Prince Andrei? Good day to you, Marfa He’s not alone He’s with a pretty girl here What a fair face!
She’s to my liking Streltsy, put her under guard! No, I won’t give her up to be tortured,
to become your plaything, brigands! Slaves, do not dare to oppose me! What’s this? God save us! What was that? Streltsy, take her away! I said keep away from her We can’t, Chief!
Prince Andrei is interfering Prince, my Father It looks as if
we are no longer in command as if we no longer
have authority over our son! Father! What’s that?
Who dares tell us what to do? Who dares oppose us? In the name
of the most glorious and mighty Tsars I command you, Streltsy,
without fail to seize that Lutheran girl there
and bring her to us! Then take her dead! Stop! Possessed of the devil!
Why are you raging? Are we not master here? Whoever you are, save me! Marfa, take this Lutheran girl
to her home and protect her on the way,
my child Father, give me your blessing Peace be with you I ask you once more possessed of the devil,
why are you raging? The hour of darkness has come The time of destruction of souls The Antichrist reigns! Pride rules over us and evil powers make people untrue to the true Russian faith Brethren, friends the time has come
to stand up for our ancient faith A great struggle lies before us My spirits languish my heart is cold Can we save our holy faith? Help me, God-fearing people! Streltsy, to the Kremlin!
Stand vigilant at your posts! Guard well all entrances and exits!
God save Moscow! We are ready to die for our faith! Let the trumpets sound! Prince Andrei, take command! Oh God do not let the Enemy overcome us! Oh God, may Thy holy word safeguard Thy faithful children Brothers, my heart aches Can we save our faith? Let us sing
the hymn of renunciation of the world! Off to battle! Our Lord deliver us
from the snares of the Evil One! Foil the powers of temptation
of the Antichrist! Oh God,
I open my heart to Thee! “Warmest greetings to you, Vasenka,
my precious one “I can hardly believe
that I shall see you again “It will be a great day
when I hold you once more in my arms “I came home from Vozdvizhensk
with your letters “I cannot remember how I went,
as I was reading…” The Tsarevna,
despite her responsibilities is still afire with passion and dreams
day and night of our past love Can I trust the promise
of so powerful and ambitious a woman? Eternal doubts!
I doubt everything No, I cannot give myself
to vain dreams the delightful pleasures of our love I willingly trust you… But great caution is called for One falls easily into disfavour
and then, off with your head! Be careful, mighty prince! Oh! A letter from my mother! The Princess sends me money… A lot of money is needed
for the just cause! “You know how I love you,
my darling! “I love you more
than my own sinful soul “Keep your soul and body pure “You know, this is what God loves…” What is it? A sign? What fate lies ahead for me? Black thoughts torture my soul… We cannot perceive the mystery Our power is useless,
our reason is useless… “Keep your soul and body pure,
this is what God loves…” – Who’s there?
– My lord! The fortune teller
that you summoned has come Whose head have you,
your own or another’s? Sorry, my lord,
it was a slip of the tongue I meant, the woman who comes
to ask your advice Call her in! Coming to see you, Prince,
is like walking into a trap Your servants are everywhere These are times of great deception,
times of treason and envious greed Our future lies veiled in mist We tremble every moment
of our useless lives Shall I tell your future, Prince? Shall I ask the spirits of earth what they have in store
for you, Prince? How? Order some water Bring water… …I am thirsty Mysterious forces,
great powers souls departed
to the unknown world to you I call! Souls of the drowned,
lost souls who know the secrets of the depths are you here? Will you now reveal to the noble prince,
worn with fears the secret of his fate
hidden in darkness? It’s quiet and clear in the heavens Everything is flooded with magic light The mysterious powers
have heard my call Prince, the secret of your fate
reveals itself Wreathed in crafty
and malicious smiles the evil faces press tightly about you faces well known to you,
all pointing far away I see clearly: the truth is revealed! What is revealed? Prince! I see you menaced
by the threat of disgrace and exile You will be stripped forever
of power, wealth and fame Neither past glory, nor valour,
nor your learning nothing will avail you Fate has decreed it thus You will know great suffering,
sadness and privation, Prince And in this suffering and bitter tears you will learn
the meaning of all truth on earth Go away! Have her drowned in the marsh so no tales get about! So that is to be my fate So that is why my heart was troubled! I face shameful disgrace
and then dishonour and death A short time ago,
firmly believing in fortune I planned to renew
my sacred Fatherland I deprived the Boyars of their “seats”,
strengthened ties with Europe and prepared a lasting peace
for my country Europe’s eyes were on me,
as I headed a well-trained army and smashed the arrogant Poles or at Andrusovo
snatched back our lands soaked with our ancestors’ blood from the covetous kings
and bestowed them on my country Now all has turned to ash and dust,
all is forgotten! O holy Russia! You won’t wash off
the Tatar rust for ages! I came in unannounced, Prince Be seated Be seated?
God save us! How can I? We’ve all lost our positions,
our “seats” You’ve reduced us, Prince,
to the level of serfs! Where should I sit?
Here, or where? Further off the threshold
with your servants and serfs? What do you mean, Prince? Isn’t it amazing,
that you, so famous and mighty you, the commanding chief
of the invincible Streltsy should distress yourself
over the Boyars’ whims! Do not mock me, Golitsyn! Drunk with your successes you betrayed our honour and dignity
to the scorn of scribes At whose expense? All right then, Prince!
You’ve had your fill of amusement! Of what? The Tatars also say all men are equal If you don’t satisfy their chief,
then off with your head! Are you mimicking the Tatars? What? Are you mad?
Remember where you are, Khovansky! That hit a nerve You dare to mention the damned tribe! But then you know,
I am too hot-tempered, Prince… It was decided
by your Council of Boyars… I decided nothing.
It was decided without me But I’ll restore my Boyar’s “seat”
in defiance of you! Forgive my sudden outburst,
Prince Khovansky I am with you as long as you wish I don’t believe you, Prince Let me finish first Very well, then, go ahead Perhaps I have offended the Boyars
by my unavoidably harsh measures But strange as it may seem the thought of you never crossed
my mind, Prince Khovansky although I knew you envied that Boyar who during the reign of Alexey was so offended
by his loss of his “seat” that during the meal he crept
under the table weeping bitterly whining like a punished child Foolish words! There, under the table,
the Tsar ordered food and drink to be brought to the Boyar And you, Prince Khovansky you omnipotent ruler before whom all Moscow
lay level with the dust you can’t find a place anywhere! Enough, Prince! I didn’t interrupt your speech Now just you listen to me,
and don’t interrupt me Do you know what blood flows
in my veins? Gediminian blood! That’s why I can’t abide
your arrogance Why are you so stiff-necked? What is it you’re so proud of? Could it be the “glorious” campaign in which whole companies
starved to death, without firing a shot? It’s not for you to judge my actions! It’s a matter beyond
your comprehension, you hear? What? Princes! Control your anger! Subdue your selfish pride! Your quarrels will not save Russia Really, it’s a pleasure
to look at you, Princes! You wanted to hold council
for Russia’s sake And now you are brawling
just like fighting cocks! Dosifei, keep within the limits! You have forgotten
that the Princes conduct themselves not according to your rules! I’ve forgotten nothing But I could remind you of my past
which I have renounced… What did you renounce? My Princehood and my power,
Prince! Prince Myshetsky? Really… I’ve heard rumours… But I did not believe that the Russian princes
could renounce their ancestors and put on the monks’ habit! That’s true! If you were born a prince,
you should live as princes live! A monk’s habit does not fit a prince Stop it, Princes!
You are vainly dreaming! We have come here to take council.
Let’s begin Take your seats, please Well, if Myshetsky is sitting,
I will take a seat too Princes! Surely Almighty God has given
you wisdom and good counsel First of all, I should like
to come straight to the point of the matter under discussion Do you not know,
my lords what is destroying Holy Russia and wherein lies her salvation? Why are you silent? We ought to know our strength.
Wherein does it lie? In God’s love and our holy faith Of course,
but what other strength do we have? No other strength Even the peasants have left
their homes and are on the move! That’s the end of this conversation And what do you think,
Khovansky? Just let me keep my Streltsy and I’ll manage the whole of Russia
as I manage Moscow! And who will govern it? I will, I hope And what do you think
about the government? We need one that governs according to
the old traditions and beliefs The people will know what’s best I’m no great lover of old ways,
I must confess See how he is No wonder,
after your taste of foreign schooling Lead the Teutons against us
with their army of devils! For all I care, you can dance
and make merry to please the devil Dosifei, do not call me a traitor I, unlike, you,
did not betray myself! My love for my country may be greater
than your lip-service to the past In me and my anger you must see
the anger of our people! The people take refuge
in the wilds from your wanton reforms! Quite right! I too see the crux of the matter I’ve kept on drumming it
into the haughty prince “Prince, don’t disrupt the old order” Yet he got rid of the boyard seat You’d better look after your Streltsy What about them? They serve Momus and Belial! They’ve left their wives and homes,
they’re on the roam like wild beasts! It’s not my fault
that they drink too much wine Were it not for the wine
they would serve impeccably And where were you all this time? Really, you are a babbler! What? What’s that?
In my house I require decorum Are you mocking me now
because I helped you with troops? Kindly respect my guests! And you, Prince, were also mocked And helped with counsel and money? Be silent and show respect
to those good people who walk in the ways of the Lord What’s going on? Your Boyars
are only good at speeches but there go the men of action! We have routed the heresy,
that foul source of all evil We have shamed and defeated
the Niconian’s false doctrine! We have planted
the vineyard of the Lord We observe the true faith
to the glory of the earth’s Creator Good for you,
you are brave! Who is brave? We will prevail And crush
the false teachings of Nikon We will create God’s city The true faith will prevail Glory be to the Creator
of the universe Schismatics! That’s splendid! Through us and the old faith,
Russia will rejoice! Prince, don’t let them kill me! A werewolf! Don’t be alarmed, Prince,
it is Marfa! What happened to you,
dear child? Father, you are here?
I left the prince In the courtyard I saw a servant He was clearly following me
through Belgorod to the marsh By the marsh, he tried to strangle me
and said you ordered it, Prince I didn’t believe it and began to argue,
but he didn’t give in We fought for a long time,
death hung over me I don’t recall how I managed
to break free Thank God, Tsar Peter’s soldiers
arrived just in time – They’re on the outskirts
– Tsar Peter’s soldiers? Yes. The Poteshny regiment
was passing Shaklovity! Princes! The Tsarevna
has ordered me to tell you a denunciation
has been delivered to the palace The Khovanskys
have tried to overthrow the Tsars! The Khovanskys? Leave your idle scheming!
What did Tsar Peter say? He said, “Khovanshchina!”
and ordered… …an investigation ‘My Love – the Terrible Torture…’
Susanna, a schismatic, judges Marfa for giving in to sinful temptation. Dosifei stands by Marfa. ‘The Streltsy’s Nest Sleeps’
Shaklovity comes to the Streltsy Borough. He tries to imag­ine
what kind of power might save Russia from her enemies. ‘Father, Father, Come Out to Us…’
The Streltsy wake up.
A clerk brings news of Peter’s troops approaching. The Streltsy call for Ivan Khovansky, wishing to hear his order.
But Khovansky refuses to lead the Streltsy into battle
and orders them to disperse to their homes. ‘Punishment’
Ivan Khovansky is ill at ease
even though he feels safe inside his own house. A minion of Prince Golitsyn’s brings Khovan­sky a warning,
but he brushes it aside and consequently falls victim of sent assassins. The disgraced Prince Golitsyn gets exiled.
The Streltsy who had already mounted
the scaffold are pardoned by Czar Peter. ‘The Skit’
Having gathered together,
the schismatics commit self-im­molation. A young maiden walked through the meadows and marshes and all through the hay fields Her poor feet blistered,
her legs cut up she searched for her dearest,
never finding him Then the young maiden crept up
to his house I tapped on the window-pane,
I rapped on the door Remember me, my dear one Do not forget the vows you swore… Many a long night I languished My only solace was your oath We will shine together Like God’s candles we shall burn… Our brethren in flames around us I see our souls borne aloft
amidst smoke and flame You have ceased
to love the young maiden You have left me,
now you are free But in captivity you will return to the wicked Old Believer
you have wearied of… A terrible sin! Hell! I see hell burning
and the devils in triumph The windows of hell blaze,
the flaming pitch boils! Sister, have mercy!
Tell me why you are full of fear Our present life is hard
in this vale of tears and sorrow I sound like a book! Ah, look! You are cunning
and an evil-doer and sing sinful songs to yourself! You overheard my song You crept up like a robber
and like a thief You stole the sorrowful secrets
of my heart! Sickly sister! I did not hide my love
and I won’t hide the truth from you Oh God! He was frightful
when he kissed and caressed me… Stop! Leave me alone! You seek to ensnare me
with the words of the devil? No, Sister, hear me out! If you had ever known
the heart’s sick passion if you had ever known
what it is to be desired and render up one’s very soul to the beloved then many, many sins
might be forgiven you, sister! And you yourself
would forgive others their passion if you understood
what affliction love can bring Oh Lord, what’s come over me?
Am I losing my senses? Or is the cunning fiend
whispering in my ear? Oh Lord!
Drive these wild demons away! Remember me, oh dearest! – Do not forget your vow
– My heart is consumed… – Many a night I pined for you…
– …by a thirst for vengeance! You! You beguiled me!
You tempted me! You’ve filled me
with a spirit of hellish fury I’ll expose your evil ways
to the court I will light a raging fire for you Why are you in such fury? Sister Susanna was enraged by my words without deceit or guile You have hurt the aching heart of your sister with your selfish pride No! I won’t give in! You, Susanna! Servant of Belial, servant of hell! With your fury
you have created an inferno! And legions of devils rush after you,
leaping and dancing! Daughter of Belial, be gone! Begotten of hell, be gone! So much for her.
She’s gone, I think Oh, my darling child, bear up and you will do our ancient holy Russia
a great service Oh Father, my heart throbs with pain It foresees great grief! I am despised, forgotten,
and abandoned! By Prince Andrei?
Did he offend you? Yes. He tried to kill me What did you do? Like two of God’s candles we shall soon burn,
our brethren in flames around us and I see our souls
fly up in smoke and flame! To burn? That’s a terrible thing!
We haven’t come to that yet, my dove Oh, Father! My love is a terrible torment Day and night
my spirit knows no rest I feel I have broken
God’s commandment and that my love is wicked and sinful But, Father, if it is sinful,
punish me quickly Kill me! Do not spare me Let my body die and with its death,
save my soul Marfa, my poor unhappy child! Forgive me too I am the first among sinners Bear it patiently, my dear Let’s leave here Go on loving as you have loved With time,
all your sufferings will pass The lair of the Streltsy sleeps Sleep, Russian people! Your enemies do not sleep How sad is your fate Russia, my dear homeland Who’ll deliver you,
unhappy country, from your ills? Or will a ruthless enemy seal your fate? Does the malevolent German
wait to profit by your plight? Oh, dear homeland! Do not succumb to them,
your enemies Do not forget your children who love you and suffer with you You suffered long
under the Tatar yoke nor was it easy
to live under the Boyars’ rule You gave in to the Tatar’s demands
to make peace between the princes you put up with the Boyars… The Tatar yoke is past!
The Boyars’ rule is over Yet, sad country,
you still suffer and endure! Oh God! God, who from Thy infinite realms
looks down upon our sinful earth… Thou who knows the secret sorrow of the weary hearts send down the light
of Thy wisdom on Russia Let Thy chosen one appear to save unhappy Russia from misfortune! Oh, Lord,
forgive our sins and hear my prayer! Let not Russia perish at the hands of ruthless mercenaries! Get up! Or is getting up
too hard for you? The tame flock
of our so wise Khovanskys is awake! Sing while you may,
your time is short! It’d be nice to have a drink
to clear our heads And why not? Come on, then We wouldn’t have
a care in the world if it weren’t
for this pretty fierce liquor… Perhaps it’s not the liquor’s fault,
but the amount! Let’s break heads
or smash something! Let’s show our mettle! Here go the Streltsy,
here they go! Christians, leave him be.
Let him rest Cheer up!
Pick yourselves up! Get up, Streltsy! The Streltsy used to get up To destroy and shatter With your might All evil,
all gossip and thieving that enemies brought So off went the Streltsy The whole of Moscow
will be left in ruins! Hey, Streltsy!
Well done, Streltsy! So fear not, worry not Guard Russia well, Streltsy,
well done, Streltsy You damned drunkards! You roistering
good-for-nothings! There’s no trouncing you,
no restraining you! You’ve forgotten
your wives and families You’ve abandoned your children,
you don’t care if they croak Damned drunkards! Women, that’s enough! It looks as if our women are angry They’ve come in force and hinder us They’ve scolded us
and are assaulting us! What husbands? Where? We had husbands, but no longer! How terrible, these Streltsy women!
You’ve turned against your husbands! It’s difficult for women to fight against
a man’s strength and willpower! You have the strength of a man? Your willpower
is drowned in liquor! We never had any trouble.
Now our women are asking for trouble Well, we’re already
suffering grief and trouble! Kuzka! Please, help us, friend! Calm our enraged women! – Hey, brothers
– Yes Oh, I’m exhausted!
I’m so scared! Those stern Streltsy women
are extremely angry They’re so angry
that they forbid us everything They even forbid us
to say a single word You women are our masters.
Order what you please Well done, Kuzka! Once upon a time in a dark alley there lived an evil woman,
big and lonely She began plotting
how to stir up trouble using gossip to alienate
husbands from wives What was her name? The woman responded to “Evil Gossip” She caused much trouble
and tempted people to do evil things We must curse
that most evil of women who dubbed herself “Evil Gossip”! Gossip quickly stole into the family life Gossip ruined families
and made children miserable Be fearful, good people,
of the Gossip, the vilest woman! It threatens us with grief
and with the end of mankind Gossip wandered through the prisons
and befriended the executioners It attracted all informers,
luring them with gold and silver It even enlisted the scribes
who scratch along with their pens and give not a thought
to the value of human life Gossip has done so much damage
that no one can think straight People whisper and lie
and refuse to accept the truth The moment you give in to gossip
you lose your good sense Gossip turns everything upside down
and topples the mighty How can we get rid of Gossip
and never see that woman again? You lads decide and advise us Streltsy Gossips, men and women alike,
on trial! Oh, oh!
The most awful thing’s happened! I can’t bear it!
Death is upon me! What are you lying about?
They must have thrashed you hard! – Serves you right, you Devil
– See how he shakes as if with a fever Oh, it was terrible!
No, I wasn’t beaten No one thrashed me or abused me Then what the deuce
brought you here to us at such an inopportune moment? I’m scared to death!
Nothing matters to me now Didn’t you know, uninvited guests
are regarded as thieves here and don’t leave here alive? I’m not long for this world
and I’ll warn you The foreign legions are galloping here!
They are destroying everything! I was working in Kitaygorod
fulfilling my duty according to the oath
drawing up a letter working with heart and soul,
for the whole world and all God-fearing people Hark! Suddenly I heard
the sound of distant horses’ hooves the neighing of horses the clash of weapons and a wild yelling! They were already near Belgorod,
close to the Streltsy stronghold The cruel foe surrounded and attacked
your women and children! You’re lying! Good God! Suddenly Tsar Peter’s
soldiers came out of the blue to aid the foreign troopers.
And the fighting began! Oh woe,
the Streltsy succumbed! Woe to us! Now I’m off,
getting out while the going’s good! Let’s ask our Chief
whether this mad scribe’s tale is true this tale about the foreign troopers
and Tsar Peter’s soldiers! Shall we? Father, come out to us!
Your children are calling you! Greetings, children In joy and glory,
here’s to your good health Why did you call me?
Has anything happened to harm you? The troopers and Tsar Peter’s guards
are attacking us! Lead us into battle! To battle? Do you remember, children,
how we saved Moscow fighting the foe,
up to our ankles in blood? Now things are different.
Tsar Peter is a tyrant! Go to your homes and await the decision of fate Farewell! Good Lord! Keep the enemy from us and in Thy great clemency protect us and our homes In the meadow near the river
I spent the night as a young man I heard a young girl’s voice
and rose from my bed of grass I rose
and went to wash myself I washed myself
and spruced myself up and went to meet the girl… What a dirge! God save us! It sounds as if they were following
a corpse to the grave! Life in our great Russia is sad enough
and isn’t much fun anyhow And here I have to put up
with the howling of women! Wailing and teeth-grinding,
how nice! God save us! I want something lively,
merry and bright, do you hear? As you command,
Boyar and Prince! What? As you command,
Boyar and Prince! What command? What are you whispering there?
Sing! Late at night I sat alone
and the candle was burning Haiduk, Haiduchok,
and the candle was burning! And the candle was burning
and it burned right out How dare you enter? Prince Golitsyn ordered me
to tell you to take care, my lord Take care? A great danger threatens you! Have you taken leave of your senses? Here in my house, on my estate a great danger threatens me? Truly? What a joke! How absurd! He wants to frighten me! Lithuania is up in arms.
Arise, Khovansky, up with you too! Away with him to the grooms! They’ll honour him
with a good thrashing! Bring me some mead! And you in the women’s quarters call my Persian slaves! What brings you here? – I came to see you, Prince
– I know that, but why? – Without abiding by convention…
– How dare you? – Prince
– Well? The Tsarevna
is convening the High Council in grave distress for Russia
and asks you to attend Does she, and why should I care?
She can ask all she wants It seems to me
we’ve served the Tsarevna well with deed and counsel
and in every other way There must be others
who’ll run to do her bidding You were the first
she deigned to summon, Prince She said without your services
the Council couldn’t take place That’s as it should be… Now we shall attend her willingly and once more our wisdom
will be at great Russia’s service God save us! Hey! Bring my best robes of state
and my staff of office! And you sing a song in our praise! A swan is swimming She’s swimming
to meet her mate He has seen his lady coming and hurried to meet her He joined her and they swim together They are betrothed Glory to the White Swan Glory to the White Swan Look, they’re taking him away May God forgive you
and help you in your exile! Fate’s decree has been fulfilled inevitable and terrible
as the judgment of God itself Prince Golitsyn,
the all-powerful ruler Prince Golitsyn,
the pride of all Russia has been disgraced and exiled All that remains here of the sad cortège
is the rut of his carriage wheels! And so wise
was the chief of the Streltsy! That pride caused his downfall
and the ruin of his familiars It looks too as if the young prince
will come to no good They wanted to set him
on the throne in Moscow Father! Have you heard, my dear what decision the High Council
has reached regarding us and the ancient Russia
we sought to preserve? Father, I will not conceal from you
the ill that threatens us! Mounted troopers are ordered
to surround us in our sacred hermitage and destroy us without mercy The time has come to win a martyr’s crown in the flames Marfa! Take Prince Andrei with you,
or his strength may fail him and his soul will not be saved I will Endure, my dear child love him as you always have and your name
will be crowned with glory Farewell! The time has come to win from God a crown of eternal glory So you’re here,
wicked woman! Serpent! Where is my Emma?
Where have you hidden her? Give Emma back to me,
give me back my dove! Where is Emma?
Return her to me The soldiers
have taken Emma far away With God’s help
she will soon be in her native land safe in the arms of her betrothed
whom you banished from Moscow I won’t believe it! I’ll summon my Streltsy
and raise the people of Moscow You’ll be put to death,
traitress! You’ll have me put to death? Evidently, Prince, you don’t see
what fate has in store for you She commands the path
you are to take without greed without lies, without flattery,
or deceit, Prince! Give me back my Emma! Your proud father
came by his death through treachery and his sinful body lies unburied Only the wild wind blows over him
and the wild beasts prowl around him and they’re searching
all over Moscow for you I don’t believe you!
May you be accursed! With the aid of the spirit of darkness and your dreadful spells
you bewitched me you have broken my heart
and ruined my life I’ll denounce you as a witch and the Streltsy will accuse you
of black magic You will burn at the stake
before the eyes of all the people! – Call the Streltsy!
– Shall I? Call them again! Oh my God! All is lost!
Marfa, I beg you! Save me! All right then,
I’ll hide you in a safe place, Prince Come with me!
Be calm, be brave! Show them no mercy! Let them be executed,
cursed atheists and wicked enemies! Oh Lord God, have mercy on us!
Forgive us our sins! Almighty Father,
have mercy upon our sinful souls! Streltsy! The Tsars Ivan and Peter
have pardoned you! Go to your homes and pray to God
for their Imperial welfare Let the trumpets sound! Tsar Peter is pleased
to go on foot to the Kremlin Here on this sacred spot I shall proclaim to the world
the testament of salvation How much sorrow,
how much suffering have I endured
through the spirit of doubt! Fear for the brethren
and for the soul’s sinfulness has tortured me day and night yet my heart has never doubted the will
of our Heavenly Father will be done The hour has come and my pain
crowns you, my dear ones with the crown of glory You have held in contempt
the pleasures of this transient earthly life
for the sake of immortal glory Be brave, my brethren! By fervent prayer you will find strength
to stand in the presence of God Oh, just Lord, strengthen our faith! We fulfil it not to be judged
and condemned but to embark
on the road to salvation All-merciful Father in Heaven! Brothers!
Listen to the voice of Revelation in the holy name of the Creator
and in God’s Might Sovereign Father,
Keeper of the World our hearts stand revealed
before God for all eternity Amen Sisters!
Will you be true to the faith in the sacred name of the Creator
and in God’s might? We have no fear, Father! Our faith is sacred before God
and is unshakable Amen! Put on the white garments light the tapers of the Lord and stand here at the stake Oh God,
my love is my sin! Hear me! Let me make atonement for his soul’s salvation for his broken vow I will not fear
being excluded from heaven Forgive me in the power of Thy love, oh Lord! Where are you, my darling? Where are you, my delight? Are you with your father? Are you with your mother? Whither my darling whither my delight whither have you vanished where shall I turn? Emma! My beloved! Remember the bright,
fleeting moment of our love! Since then I have dreamt
many strange dreams I dreamt
you had betrayed our love and I was full of gloomy thoughts Marfa! Be calm, Prince! We will not part.
Let us perish together in love Do you remember that night
when you whispered to me of your love and of my happiness? But after, my love was shrouded
in a black cloud and my vow was fettered in icy cold The hour of death is near, my love I will embrace you for the last time Hallelujah! The bugles herald eternity! The time has come to win a martyr’s crown
through fire and flame! Did you not hear in the distance,
beyond this forest the bugles herald the nearness
of Tsar Peter’s Guard? We are betrayed and surrounded There is nowhere to hide,
we cannot save ourselves Fate has bound us together
and ordained the hour of our death Neither tears, nor prayers,
nor reproaches, nor cries nothing will bring avail
fate has decreed it thus! Marfa, I entreat you!
It is too terrible! Let us go, Prince Our brothers
have already gathered together and the sacred fire
awaits its victims Remember the bright,
fleeting moment of our love how you promised me happiness In the fire and flame
your vow will be tempered Lord ever-glorious! Grant we may behold Thee
in Thy might! Brethren! May we be uplifted! We shall see the radiance
of Divine Truth and Love May the carnal snares of hell vanish before the bright face
of Truth and Love My Lord,
my protector and guardian Show me the way Nothing will separate us From the Lord of Truth Remember the bright,
fleeting moment… – O, Emma, Emma!
– Amen! Prince Ivan Khovansky – Dmitry Ulyanov
Prince Andrey Khovansky – Nikolay Erokhin Prince Vasiliy Golitsin – Najmiddin Mavlyanov
Dosifey – Denis Makarov Marfa – Ksenia Dudnikova
Boyar Fyodor Shaklovity – Anton Zaraev Scrivener – Chingis Ayusheev
Emma – Maria Makeeva Susanna – Natalia Muradymova
Kuzka – Dmitry Polkopin Varsonofiev, Golitsin’s Confidant – Vladimir Svistov
Streshnev – Alexander Nesterenko Golitsin’s myrmidon – Sergey Nikolaev
Streltsy – Kirill Kapachinskich, Maxim Osokin A Voice – Daria Terekhova Subtitles by:
Day for Night

11 thoughts on “KHOVANSHCHINA Mussorgsky – Stanislavsky Music Theatre Moscow

  1. Listened to and viewed the live Premiere on April 27 2019. A terrific performance from the Stanislavsky company. No longer are Russian performances of opera merely a showcase for beautiful voices and opulent scenery. This was living theatre: involving and alive. And the voices? As beautiful as ever. Mafra, I love you!

  2. I had not heard very much of Stanislavsky before. Yesterdays performance was a revelation. What a great ensemble. Beautiful voices from the major roles to the comprimarii. Refreshing to see that Marfa and Dossifej were sung by also convincingly acting singers in their prime, and not by veterans, which you find so often. If I compare it with the famous Vienna production of 1989 with Ghiaurov, I find this production even more interesting, with a couple of unconventional surprises. And I fully second Robert's statement: This is living opera of today at its best. High praise for the outstanding chorus and orchestra. One was also very much drawn into the action by the excellent camera work that sometimes took the viewer to the middle of the stage. In total: Another gem in the crown of OperaVision and naturally Stanislavsky theater. Bravi to all and thank you so much for having made this transmission possible.

  3. Великолепный,хорошо выстроенный спектакль..каждый предмет на сцене играет..поразил Антон Зараев (Шакловитый).. голос,актерская игра..как Антону удалось показать силу,коварство своего персонажа..всей команде БРАВО!!!

  4. This was a beautiful production. Wonderfully staged, amazing music and beautifully sung. The camera work was also outstanding. Bravo to this company

  5. exquisite production. I enjoyed the persian dance performed on traditional instruments. I have not seen Prince Andrei acted better. I enjoyed the subtle allusions to deeper levels of debauchery (after all, in this opera there is no ”good” character). a sexy, alluring, mischievous and passionate Marfa, a multifaceted Dosifei. Ivan Khovanski a little bit too cringeworthy (there was a stubborn dignity in the way Ghiaurov portrayed him, not to mention the outlandish arrogance portrayed by Vedermikov). the guy singing Shaklovity hits the notes, but his acting is way too one-dimensional (that boyar was way more than a mafia thug). I liked the brisk tempi in some scenes, but the final aria of Dosifei I prefer a little slower (Gergiev is brilliant with it accompanying Vladimir Vaneev). beautiful and innovative stage direction. last but not least, oh man, that glee on the face and in the voice of Streshnev… a whole lot to see here for those who love this masterpiece.

  6. Just Awesome!
    I don't understand why 3 persons dislike this opera.
    Bravo to rezissor postanovshik this opera whoever.
    Just amazing.

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