Tchaikovsky's The Enchantress

Vasily Barkhatov (stage director), Valentin Uryupin (conductor) — With Asmik Grigorian (Nastasia), Iain MacNeil (Prince), Claudia Mahnke (Princess), Alexander Mikhailov (Prince Juri) …

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Vasily Barkhatov — Stage director

Christian Schmidt — Set designer

Kirsten Dephoff — Costumes

Gal Fefferman — Choreographer

Olaf Winter — Lighting

Christian Borchers — Video

Zsolt Horpácsy — Dramaturgy

Asmik Grigorian — Singer (Nastasia)

Iain MacNeil — Singer (Prince Nikita Kurlyatev)

Claudia Mahnke — Singer (Princess Yevpraksiya Romanovna)

Alexander Mikhaylov — Singer (Prince Yuriy)

Frederic Jost — Singer (Mamyrow, Kudma)

Zanda Švēde — Singer (Nenila)

Božidar Smiljanić — Singer (Iwan Schuran)

Oper Frankfurt Choir — Choir

Tilman Michael — Chorus Master

Program notes

The greatest tragedy ever written by Tchaikovsky—in his own opinion—casts a spell over the Frankfurt Opera, with the entrancing Asmik Grigorian in the title role of The Enchantress!

Rarely performed today, Tchaikovsky’s seventh opera is notable for its multi-stranded plot, combining amorous jealousy and political intrigue, human drama and religious intervention. The story revolves around the fascinating Nastasia—interpreted by an impeccable Asmik Grigorian—who finds herself caught in a love triangle: her interest in Prince Yuriy is unrequited, though Yuriy’s royal father is enamored with her, much to the chagrin of his wife. The plot thickens when the old deacon Mamyrov accuses Nastasia of being a witch, which leads to violent and unpredictable consequences…

This is no misogynistic love story: Tchaikovsky himself wrote of the title character, in a letter to soprano Emiliya Pavlovskaya, “[Nastasia’s] is a strong feminine nature; she can fall in love only once and for all, and for the sake of that love she is capable of surrendering everything.” About the spurned princess, he continued, “My princess will also be a strong character … She is jealous not on account of her husband, but, rather, on account of her princely dignity”—an attribute which the excellent Claudia Mahnke brings out with assurance and aplomb.

Photo © Barbara Aumüller

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