Mozart and Salieri

one act opera
music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
choreography by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev


Opera is based on Alexander Pushkins Little Tragedy of the same name
Musical director: Dmitri Jurowski
Conductor-producer: Eldar Nagiev
Stage director and creator of artistic concept: Vyacheslav Starodubtsev
Stage Designer: Timur Guliaev
Lighting Designer, Video Designer: Sergei Skornetsky
Sound design: Ilya Oleinik
Plastique: Sergei Zakharin
Choreography: Kirill Novitsky
Choirmaster-producer: Vyacheslav Podyelsky

The performance contains a number of excerpts from Mozarts Requiem as well as other pieces. Opera soloists, ballet artists, main chorus, childrens chorus and the theatres orchestra are engaged in this production.

Premiered on January 27, 2018

55 minutes

without an intermission

performed in Russian

Each of Pushkins Little Tragedies explores one of human vices. Following Pushkins plot N. Rimsky-Korsakov displays the grievous one of them- Envy in his opera Mozart and Salieri. A craftsman is deeply envious of a genuine talent. Although there are no trustworthy evidences of Salieri being responsible for Mozarts death, A.S. Pushkin stigmatized him as poisoner for good. What is more important: meticulous work or a stroke of genius; is a genius man capable of villainy ageless questions that disturbed both the poet and the composer.


Salieri is deep in his thoughts. He exceled at music through hard work and now he is deeply and sorely envious of Mozart.

Enters Mozart. He brought over a blind fiddler, who played tunes from Mozarts operas at an inn. The fiddler performs an aria from Don Giovanni. Salieri sends him away in anger.

Mozart shows his new musical piece to his friend. Salieri is amazed, though openly discontent.

They decide to dine together and then leave. While being alone, Salieri makes a decision. I have been chosen to stop him - otherwise, all of us die he says drawing out the poison.


A room at Golden Lion inn. Mozart and Salieri are talking.

Mozart tells his friend of a strange man in black clothes, who came over a couple days ago he commissioned Requiem and then never showed up again. By day and night my man in black would not leave me in peace he confesses.

Salieri tries to soothe Mozart and suggests that he uncork a bottle of champagne, as advised by his companion Beaumarchais or to reread Le Nozze di Figaro. Mozart asks whether it is true that Beaumarchais had poisoned someone, and hears the answer: too laughable a fellow for such a serious craft. He was a genius, objects Mozart, and genius and evildoing are incompatibles.

Salieri hesitates for a second and then throws poison into Mozarts glass. Deep in his thoughts Mozart drinks his wine, then sits down at the piano and plays Requiem. Salieri cries. Mozart stops playing: But now I'm feeling sick and kind of heavy. I should go and sleep.

Salieri is alone again. Heavy doubts crawl into his soul as he is recollecting Mozarts words of genius and evildoing being incompatible. Then what? Does it mean that he, Salieri, is not genius? That is not true he cries desperately - And Buonarotti? Or is it a legend of the dull-witted, senseless crowd while really the Vatican's creator was no murderer? His exclamation is left unanswered.