St Petersburg, Mariinsky Theatre

The Fiery Angel

opera in five acts

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


Conductor: Conductor: Valery Gergiev
Ruprecht: Nikolai Putilin
Renata: Larisa Gogolevskaya
The Sorceress: Irina Bogacheva
Agrippa of Nettesheim: Leonid Zakhozhaev
Mephistopheles: Yevgeny Akimov
The Inquisitor: Fyodor Kuznetsov
Faust: Gennady Bezzubenkov


Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Libretto by the composer, after the historical novel by Valery Briusov

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: David Freeman
Director: Yuri Laptev
Set Designer: David Roger
Lighting Designers: Steve Whitson, Vladimir Lukasevich
Lighting Adaptation for the Mariinsky II by Yegor Kartashov
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko

Listen to a soundbite

Co-production with Covent Garden

World premiere: 15 September 1955, La Fenice, Venice
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 29 December 1991, St Petersburg

Running time 2 hours 35 minutes
The performance has one interval

The opera The Fiery Angel after the eponymous novel by Valery Bryusov was written between 1919 and 1927. The premiere came only in 1955, in Venice – for a long time, theatres would not stage this work, which is steeped in passion and the occult.
At the time of writing The Fiery Angel, Prokofiev had his own experience of demons of the kind that pursued poor Renata. His acquaintance, the outstanding singer Nina Koshetz (who sang as the witch Fata Morgana in the Chicago premiere of The Love for Three Oranges) was drawn by the spiritualism and, like Renata, heard the “strange knocking”. Just how seriously the composer took his is a mystery. In any case, he was surprised to note that the romances, apparently dictated to by a spirit during séances, were strikingly different to other experiences of composition.
Stage Director David Freeman has forced the demons to materialise.

Age category 16+

The Fiery Angel
on the playbill
18 May 2020, 19:30
17 June 2020, 19:00
Sergei Prokofiev. The Fiery Angel
Scene 2 from Act II
Ruprecht: Sergei Leiferkus
Agrippa von Nettesheim: Vladimir Galuzin
Mariinsky Theatre Chorus and Orchestra
Conductor: Valery Gergiev
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