Opera Scotland

Sorochintsy Fair 1991Kirov Opera, Leningrad

Read more about the opera Sorochintsy Fair

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.

The special event of the 1991 Festival was perhaps the first of many visits by the Kirov Opera under conductor Valery Gergiev. They did an astonishing survey of works by Musorgsky, the operatic element of which consisted not just of Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina, but of three other works which exist only in fragmentary form, Sorochintsy Fair, The Marriage, and Salammbô.

This concert began with another rarity. Pictures at an Exhibition was played, not in the familiar orchestration by Ravel, but in an unknown Russian attempt by Gorchakov - altogether more spare and Russian-sounding. Ravel's knowledge of the composer's work would have been largely through Rimsky's lushly-upholstered adaptations, where Gorchakov clearly attempted to create something that might have been by Musorgsky himself.

The scenes from Sorochintsy Fair also rejected the attempts by later composers such as Lyadov to complete the work, and concentrated on those completed sections orchestrated by Musorgsky himself and Vissarion Shebalin (in 1934).

Performance Cast

Tcherevik a villager

Mikhail Kit

Parassia Tcherevik's daughter

Larissa Shevchenko

Khivria Tcherevik's wife, Parassia's stepmother

Olga Korzhenskaya

Kum an old crony of Tcherevik

Sergei Alexashkin

Gritzko a youth

Yuri Marusin

Afanasi Ivanitch the Priest's son

Konstantin Pluzhnikov


Viacheslav Trofimov

Black God

Viacheslav Trofimov

Production Cast


Valery Gergiev

Performance DatesSorochintsy Fair 1991

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

13 Aug, 20.00

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