St Petersburg, Concert Hall

The Enchanted Wanderer

opera for three solo voices, chorus and orchestra

Performed in Russian (the performance will have synchronised Russian and English supertitles)


Ivan Severyanovich Flyagin, Storyteller - Sergei Aleksashkin
Flogged Monk, Prince, Magnetiser, Old Man in the Woods, Storyteller - Andrei Popov
Grusha the Gypsy, Storyteller - Kristina Kapustinskaya

Conductor - Valery Gergiev


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
Lighting Adaptation for the Mariinsky II by Kamil Kutyev
Musical Preparation: Natalia Domskaya
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko
Choreographer: Dmitry Korneyev



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.

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


Age category 16+

The stage premiere of Rodion Shchedrin's opera The Enchanted Wanderer after the novel by Nikolai Leskov proved to be a high note of the Mariinsky Theatre#180;s 225th anniversary season and the XVI Stars of the White Nights festival. Alexei Stepanyuk's production of The Enchanted Wanderer is notable for the innovative nature of the mise-en-scènes and the restrained but musically expressive set design where even the crushing of the reeds under the singer#180;s feet forms an integral part of the aural atmosphere of the performance. The sumptuous and exuberant performances by the protagonists and the brilliant Mariinsky Theatre Chorus and Orchestra under Valery Gergiev ensured the success of the premiere, which received a thunderous and unanimous ovation from the audience.
A performance of the opera at the 2008 Edinburgh International Festival proved no less of a success. The British press commented on Valery Gergiev´s magnificent conducting and the stunning talent of Kristina Kapustinskaya as Grushenka: "Gergiev conducted The Enchanted Wanderer as if he believed in every note – and those notes carry undeniable authenticity in the hands of a top-flight Russian ensemble, which has so much of Shchedrin´s idioms in its genes. In the mezzo role of Grusha the gypsy, Kristina Kapustinskaya oozed technical virtuosity and vocal charm. (The Financial Times)
Any use or copying of site materials, design elements or layout is forbidden without the permission of the rightholder.

The highlighting of performances by age represents recommendations.

This highlighting is being used in accordance with Federal Law N139-FZ dated 28 July 2012 “On the introduction of changes to the Federal Law ‘On the protection of children from information that may be harmful to their health and development’ and other legislative acts of the Russian Federation.”