Another masterpiece of Russian opera inspired by the poetry of Aleksandr Pushkin. The lovers this time are Mazeppa, commander of the Cossacks, and the noble Mariya—a December-May pair if ever there was one. The mismatch in ages scandalizes Mariya’s father, but he’s powerless to prevent the marriage. All hell breaks loose. Heads roll. Peter the Great, who never appears, routs his enemies in an orchestral battle that can blow off the roof of the theater. Mad, wretched Mariya is the last one standing at the final curtain, or rather sitting, lost on a battlefield, cradling the corpse of the boy next door she rejected in Act One. The score, start to finish, is Technicolor Tchaikovsky of the most thrilling order. Vladislav Sulimsky, Olga Peretyatko, Dmitry Ulanov, and Ekaterina Semenchuck lead the cast. —M.G.
Kirill Petrenko conducts Tchaikovsky’s “Mazeppa”
Berlin Philharmonic / Berlin / Music
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