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Accessible Arias: Marfa's Aria

By Emma Beatty (Former Features Editor)

27 April 2011 at 6.10pm | Comment on this article

Accessible arias: Lyrics to famous arias in the original language and translation.



CONTEXT: Marfa sings this touching lament at the end of Act IV. She is married to the Tsar against her will, and has become seriously ill after drinking a love potion. She rushes on stage agitated and mentally distressed.

Gryaznoy, a member of the Tsar’s secret police, tells her that Likov, her fiancé, is dead. She screams and falls unconscious. Coming round, she imagines herself with her lover, singing flirtatiously to him. Gryaznoy is so moved by her grief that he confesses to his part in the crime.

Before he can be led away, Marfa's love rival Lyubasha arrives, admitting that it was she who substituted the poison for the love potion. Gryaznoy stabs her. As he is taken off to be brought before the Tsar, the deluded Marfa bids him farewell, believing him to be her sweetheart Likov.


Иван Сергеич,
хочешь, в сад пойдём.
Какой денёк, так зеленью и пахнет.
Не хочешь ли теперь меня догнать?
Я побегу вон прямо про дорожке.
(Хлопает в ладоши.)
Ну... раз, два, три!
(Бежит; останавливается)
Ага! Ну, не догнал!
А ведь совсем
задохлась с непривычки.
Ах, посмотри: какой же колокольчик
я сорвала лазоревый!А правда ли,
что он звенит в Ивановскую ночь?
Про эту ночь Петровна мне говорила чудеса.
Вот эта яблонька всегда в цвету...
Присесть не хочешь ли под нею?

Ох, этот сон!
Ох, этот сон!...

Взгляни, вон там, над головой,
простёрлось небо, как шатёр.
Как дивно Бог соткал его, соткал его,
что ровно бархат синий.

В краях чужих, в чужих землях
такое ль небо, как у нас?
Гляди: вон там, вон там, что злат венец,
есть облачко высоко.
Венцы такие ж, милый мой,
на нас наденут завтра.

Ivan Sergeyevich,
would you like to go to the garden?
What a day, with all the green aromas.
Wouldn’t you like to catch me now?
I will run straight along the footpath.
(Clapping hands)
Well…one, two, three!
(Runs; stops)
Aha! Why, you didn’t catch me!
And I have grown out of breath.
Ah, look: what a bright bluebell
I've picked!
Is it true that it rings on Ivan’s Night?
Petrovna told me miracles about that night.
This apple tree is always flowering…
Would you like to sit under it?

Oh, this dream!
Oh, this dream!...

Look, over there, above the head,
there is a sky like a marquee.
How wonderfully has God woven it,
as If it were blue velvet.

In foreign parts, in foreign lands is the sky
the same as here?
Look: over there, right there high above,
there is a small cloud, as golden as a crown.
Crowns like that, my dear,
will be put on our heads tomorrow.


AUDIO: coming soon.

PODCAST: Director Paul Curran introduces his new production of The Tsar's Bride for The Royal Opera at a recent Insights event. [Listen.]

NOTES ON THE OPERA: Composer: Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. Libretto: Il’ya Fyodorovich Tyumenev, based on a scenario by the composer after a drama by Lev Alexandrovich Mey. Discover more about The Tsar's Bride: synopsis, characters, context text, full details of current production.
Score: as sung on stage, translation:  Anastasia Medvedeva

By Emma Beatty (Former Features Editor)

27 April 2011 at 6.10pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Accessible Arias, marfa's aria, rimsky-kors, russian opera, the tsar's bride

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