The Fiery Angel

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


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

Listen to a soundbite

Co-production with Covent Garden

World premiere:
25 November 1954 – Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris (concert performance in French)
15 September 1955 – Teatro La Fenice, Venice (performed in Italian, translated by Mario Nordio)
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre and premiere of this production: 29 December 1991

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+
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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