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234th Season

Main Stage

6 July
2021 | Tuesday
Stars of the Stars
Betrothal in a Monastery
Opera in 4 acts
Artists Credits
Anatoliy Kuznetsov, Lighting Designer
Maestro Valery Gergiev, Musical Director
Marina Mishuk, Musical Preparation
Andrei Petrenko, Principal Chorus Master
Vladislav Pazi, Stage Director
Performed in Russian (the performance will have synchronised English supertitles)
World premiere: Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Premiere of this production: 14 Sep 1996

The performance has 2 intermissions
Running time: 3 hours 35 minutes

"Betrothal in a Monastery is not just a magnificent production, it is a brilliant operatic work as well… It is a unique blend of Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola, and in terms of energy and glitter Prokofiev’s music is close to the operas of Rossini. It is clear that both the company and maestro Gergiev love this work… The opera “looks a million dollars”, which, indeed, is not so very far from the truth. If that is true, then the Mariinsky Theatre has spent its money wisely!"
Dallas Morning News

Libretto by the composer and Mira Mendelson, after the play The Duenna by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

•First performance in Russia (USSR): 3 November 1946, Kirov Opera, Leningrad (St Petersburg);



In 18th-century Seville Don Jerome arranges to marry his daughter Louisa to Mendoza, an ugly but very rich old fish merchant who has not seen the girl but is enthusiastic. He hears the penniless Antonio serenading Louisa and vows that the wedding must take place soon.


Louiseґs duenna hatches a plan that will allow Louisa to marry Antonio and herself to snare Mendoza and his money: Don Jerome must believe that the duenna is acting as a go-between for the lovers; he will then dismiss her but Louisa will put on the duennaґs clothes, escape and elope with Antonio. The duenna, disguised as Louisa, will marry Mendoza instead. Having escaped, Louisa comes across her friend Clara who, feigning distress at her loverґs over-ardent behavior (her lover is Louisaґs brother Ferdinand), has decided to take refuge in a monastery. Disguised, this time as Clara, Louisa enlists Mendozaґs help in finding Antonio – the merchant is only too pleased to divert his rivalґs attentions away from Louisa (as he thinks). At Don Jeromeґs house Mendoza meets "Louisa" (the duenna); he is won over by her flattery and the couple plan to elope.


Antonio meets the real Louisa and Mendoza, still ignorant of her identity, smiles on young love. Don Jerome, interrupted in his amateur music making, unwittingly blesses the separate marriages of Louisa and Mendoza. At the concert Clara pines for Ferdinand.


A visit from Mendoza and Antonio interrupts the alcoholic revelry of the monks at the monastery. Ferdinand also arrives and, believing that Antonio is about to marry Clara, stars a fight. Confusions are resolved and the monks bless all three marriages. At the wedding ball planned for Louisa, Don Jerome learns of the turn of events and is eventually reconciled to them; his daughter has married a pauper, but Ferdinand has married an heiress.

Mariinsky Theatre:
1 Theatre Square
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky-2 (New Theatre):
34 Dekabristov Street
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky Concert Hall:
20 Pisareva street
St. Petersburg

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