• Georges Bizet
  • Ivan IV (1863)

  • Choudens (World)

Maurice Bellecorr & Fritz Schröder

  • SATB
  • 2S, Mz, 2T, Br, 4B
  • François-Hypolite Leroy and Henri Trianon
  • French

Programme Note

The libretto is about Tsar Ivan IV "the Terrible”, his requited love for Marie and court intrigue that ensnares her father and brother in an assassination plot.

Boyars celebrates the victory of Ivan over the Tartars. Ivan congratulates Yorloff, who uncovered the conspiracy and who is confident that his own daughter, Marie, will be chosen by Ivan as wife. People sing praises on the marriage of Ivan and Marie. The cortege approaches and Igor steals on, Yorloff reveals to him that he has a grievance against Ivan.

Marie felt in love with Ivan. Yorloff tells the Tsar that he will watch out for assassins, and when Ivan has left admits Igor. Marie is horrified when Igor tells her he has come to kill the Tsar. Igor is about to stab her when Marie reminds him that their mother had placed her under the protection of her brother. He forgives his sister and embraces her.

Ivan, heartbroken by Marie’s supposed treachery hesitates to condemn her. An officer enters to announce that the Kremlin is on fire and enemies are attacking the gates. Ivan condemns Igor and Marie then collapses.

Yorloff proclaims himself regent, as the tsar had lost his reason. Ivan bursts in and reveals Yorloff’s plots and condemns him to die. Courtiers sing praises to Ivan and Marie.