Opera Scotland

Christmas Eve 1991Bolshoi Opera, Moscow

Read more about the opera Christmas Eve

The Edinburgh Festival opera programme in 1991 was dominated by visits by the two great Soviet companies. The Bolshoi from Moscow had enjoyed a ground-breaking success in the 1990 visit to Glasgow's year of culture with unusual pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, followed by a stop at Edinburgh with a Prokofiev piece. They now returned to Edinburgh with more Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Meantime, Valery Gergiev and his Kirov forces from Leningrad also put in an appearance bringing a survey of all Musorgsky's operatic output.

Christmas Eve remains a rarity in this country, which is a pity. ENO had staged its British première at the Coliseum, directed by David Pountney, only a couple of years before, and it was a great success in both stagings. This was a good period for Rimsky opera in this country, with the Kirov productions of Sadko and The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh still to come in 1995. Yet scarcely a note has been heard in the years since. Why?

This piece had a wonderful start with a massive starscape backdrop with appropriate sounds twinkling in the pit. The plot contains lots of broad humour - led by Oleg Biktimirov (unrecognisable from his Triquet the previous week) as the Devil, garbed in red following the pattern set by Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust. Nina Rautio and Lev Kuznetsov both made an excellent impact as Oksana and Vakula.

Performance Cast

Solokha a widow rumoured to be a witch

Galina Borisova (Aug 24)

Marina Shutova (Aug 25)


Oleg Biktimirov

Panas Chub's friend

Peter Gluboky (Aug 24)

Maxim Mikhailov (Aug 25)

Chub an elderly Cossack

Arthur Eizen (Aug 24)

Boris Morozov (Aug 25)

Vakula the blacksmith, Solokha's son

Paolo Kudriavchenko (Aug 24)

Lev Kuznetsov (Aug 25)

Oksana Chub's daughter

Katerina Kudriavchenko (Aug 24)

Nina Rautio (Aug 25)

Golova the Mayor

Mikhail Maslov

Diak the Priest

Vladimir Kudriashov (Aug 24)

Nikolai Maiboroda (Aug 25)

First Woman with a violet nose

Ludmila Nam (Aug 24)

Raisa Kotova (Aug 25)

Second Woman with a normal nose

Nina Larionova (Aug 24)

Nina Smolianinova (Aug 25)

Patsiuk an old Dnieper Cossack and Sorcerer

Anatoly Babykin (Aug 24)

Nikolai Nizienko (Aug 25)


Tatiana Erastova (Aug 24)

Galina Borisova (Aug 25)

Performance DatesChristmas Eve 1991

Map List

Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

24 Aug, 19.00 25 Aug, 19.00

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