The Tsar´s bride | Tsarskaya nevesta
Although Rimsky-Korsakov wrote fifteen operas, he is known outside Russia almost exclusively for his orchestral works. In his home his operas are mainstays of the repertoire. Slowly, though, they are also beginning to be international performed. The Tsar’s Bride tells a chilling story from the year 1572. Tsar Ivan IV, known as Ivan the Terrible, is looking for his third wife and chooses the merchant’s daughter Marfa Sobakina from 2,000 candidates. Shortly after the wedding she dies a violent death, presumably by poisoning. Rimsky-Korsakovs opera presents the fates suffered by two women. When she is chosen by the tsar, Marfa breaks off her engagement. The concubine Lyubasha, on the other hand, fights for her lover, Grigory, a soldier in the Tsar’s bodyguard, who has also fallen in love with Marfa himself and plans to win her by means of a magic potion. Lyubasha swaps the love potion for a poison that should destroy Marfa’s beauty. Now Tsarina, Marfa falls ill and learns of the death of her previous lover, she goes mad about that. Grigory confesses his complicity in the crime and kills Lyubasha, while Marfa, in the grip of madness, has delusions of her lost happiness.