Dmitri Kabalevsky "Colas Breugnon" Opera in 4 acts (concert performance)
Music by Dmitry Kabalevsky
Libretto by Vladimir Bragin and the composer after the eponymous tale by Romain Rolland
Performed by soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers Artistic Director and Accompanist: Larisa Gergieva
Synopsis The sculptor Colas Breugnon recalls his experiences at the end of his life. When he was young he fell in love with Selina, who was also admired by the miller Gifflard. While Colas was summoned to visit the Duke of Asnois in his castle, Gifflard spoke ill of Colas to Selina. She therefore married Gifflard out of jealousy. The desperate Colas then married Jacqueline who had long felt a hitherto unrequited love for Colas - but he could not forget Selina.
The plague has broken out in Clamecy, brought in by the soldiers of the Duke, and.Colas and his wife Jacqueline have contracted the illness. Colas survives but Jacqueline weakens, confessing to him before she dies that she had always known about his love for Selina. Gifflard and the ducal troops pillage and burn Clamecy. When Colas attempts to file a case against Gifflard with the Duke, Gifflard blames Colas for inciting the citizens against the Duke. Enraged, the Duke orders the destruction of all the statues made by the master sculptor. Colas is appalled but promises the Duke nevertheless to redeem his sins by producing a sculpture of the Duke in full armour. On revealing the finished sculpture in front of the castle the citizens of Clamecy see the Duke in majestic pose sitting backwards on a donkey. Their laughter drives the Duke back into the castle.