St Petersburg, The Prokofiev Hall

The Brave Hare

opera for the very youngest


The Hare: Vladimir Babokin
The Doe-Hare's Mother: Alexandra Ponomareva
The Dog Postoiko: Ivan Novosyolov
The Wolf: Zaur Aliev
The Squirrel: Elena Gorlo
The Narrator: Vsevolod Nelubov


Music by Sergei Banevich
Libretto by Oleg Serdobolsky and Sergei Banevich after the tale by Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak

Musical Director: Larisa Gergieva
Director: Alexander Maskalin
Lighting Designer: Andrei Ponizovsky
Stage Design Manager: Veronika Milovskaya
Props supervised by Svetlana Kalandiya
Costumes selected by Anna Yakuschenko


Sergei Banevich is justifiably known as a classic of children's music. In the words of the renowned composer Isaak Shvarts, his works are "music written by the easy hand of a great maestro."

Banevich's activity is connected not just with musical education (he initiated international children's music festivals in St Petersburg), but also in engaging children in musical theatre. He began to compose for young audiences at the very start of his artistic career. His works include the operas The Story of Kai and Gerda, The Snuff-Box Town, Twelve Months and Ferdinand the Magnificent and the ballets The Mermaid, Thumbelina and Bambi among others. Several generations of audiences have been raised on his music.

The Brave Hare is Banevich's fourth opera staged at the Mariinsky Theatre. Last season at the Prokofiev Hall chamber venue came premieres of An Opera about Porridge, a Cat and Milk after motifs of the tale by Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak and Scenes from the Life of Nikolenka Irtenievbased on motifs of Leo Tolstoy's autobiographical trilogy. On 30 November the historic stage will host a revival of The Story of Kai and Gerda.

The opera The Brave Hare (2016), specially commissioned by the Mariinsky Theatre, is targeted towards very young audiences. It is a touching, dynamic and somewhat sad story. It is based on Mamin-Sibiryak's tale About a Brave Hare – Long Ears, Slanting Eyes, Short Tail from the anthology Tales for Alyonushka. The work, simple in terms of compositional construction, subtly and laconically finds a lively response with both children and parents. As in any fairy-tale, here the beasts are given human characteristics: the village dandy-dog Postoiko, the coquette Squirrel and the boastful yet sympathy-seeking Hare. As a composer, Banevich well understands the laws of little children's perception and is able to compose accessible but professional music for them.

Olga Vokina

Premiere: 29 October 2016, Mariinsky Theatre

Age category 3+

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.”