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Opera “Snegurochka” for the first time in Estonia

15.11.2014 / Ülla Veerg

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On 19 November Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Snegurochka” continues Estonian National Opera’s successful series of concert performances of operas, being 14th on the list. The opera will be conducted by the artistic director and chief conductor Vello Pähn. The soloists of the concert are Evgeniya Sotnikova from Bavarian State Opera, Maxim Paster from the Bolshoi Theatre, Yaroslava Kozina from Belarussia, Rauno Elp, Olga Zaitseva, Juuli Lill, Pavlo Balakin, Andres Köster, Yana Boiko from Ukraine and Vladislav Horuzhenko.

Rimsky-Korsakov has repeatedly remarked: “”Snegurochka” is my best work ever!” The opera enchants with colourful and poetic musical depictions of nature and masterful arrangements of folk tunes. The fairy-tale deals with the opposition of realistic and fantastic forces, the invigorating power of nature is praised and the reign of winter is ended. The events of the opera take place in the pre-historic times, in a fairyland, where injustice is unknown and the unanimous people are ruled by the wise and nature-loving Tsar Berendey. All would be fine, if the Sun God Yarilo would not be jealous for the love of Spring Beauty and Grandfather Frost and their daughter Snegurochka. Yarilo refuses the Berendeyans his warming and invigorating sun rays and therefore the country is reigned by eternal winter. Snegurochka is enchanted by the songs of the shepherd Lel that reach her in the depths of the forest and make her long for life in the village. Her parents grant her permission to go live with the humans. There, a young tradesman Mizgir falls in love with her, but Snegurochka has her father’s icy heart that does not understand human feelings – she is incapable of falling in love. Spring gives her daughter a magic garland that awakes love in her heart and warns her to stay out of the light of the sun. Being free of her iciness, she is now vulnerable to Yarilo’s sun rays – she melts and dies. With the death of Snegurochka, the reign of frost in the land of Berendeyans is over, the sun rises again and Yarilo has taken the country under his protection.

Of Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas, “The Tsar’s Bride” was performed on the concert stage in 2011.

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