The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish

opera in 2 acts
music by Alexander Kulygin
staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev

21 September, Sat


Music: Alexander Kulygin
Libretto: Nelly Korneyeva based on the fairy tales by Alexander Pushkin and Russian folklore

Author of the artistic concept, Stage Director: Vyacheslav Starodubtsev
Music Director and Conductor: Evgeny Volynsky
Conductor: Pyotr Belyakin
Production Designer: Timur Gulyaev
Lighting Designer: Irina Vtornikova
Video Designer: Vadim Dulenko
Stage Movement: Sergey Zakharin
Assistant Conductor: Maria Moiseenko
Assistants to Stage Director: Igor Bondarenko, Nikolay Natsybulin

The soloists of the Novosibirsk Opera, engaged in the production:
Konstantin Buinov, Alexey Laushkin, Nikita Mukhin (The Old Man), Galina Kuznetsova, Ekaterina Marzoeva, Svetlana Tokareva (The Old Woman), Diana Belozor, Galina Petkevich, Daria Shuvalova (The Fish), Olga Obukhova, Elizaveta Tselikova (The Bear), Olga Kolobova, Irina Novikova (Mom, and also the Nurse), Artem Akimov, Roman Vereshchagin, Maksim Golovachyov (Raven, and also 2nd Guard), Andrey Denisov, Victor Ditenbir, Evgeniy Kozyrev (Young Man, and also 1st Guard),
and artists, performing characters: Vladislav Kupryukhin, Sergey Michurin, Dmitry Romanov, Artem Loychenko

* Cast is subject to change.

1 hour 30 minutes

one intermission

The premiere of the performance in NOVAT took place on June 3, 2023

NOVAT presents another production of the educational cycle Pushkiniana for young viewers. Its the opera The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish by Alexander Kulygin.

The fairy tale lives for centuries, reveals the truth to each generation in a new way and in its own time. It teaches gratitude, friendship, courage, condemns greed and false pride. Behind the colourful, magical shell of such works there is always a deep moral, which is worth listening to not only for kids, but also for adults.

Alexander Pushkin is the luminary of fairy tales, and they, in turn, are a real treasure of folk wisdom. Together with the heroes of Pushkin's fairy tales, from an early age we go through a difficult path of choice, we acquire the most important values: humanity, the ability to have compassion, to see the beauty, to respond with kindness to kindness.

Alexander Kulygin, a famous Russian composer, the author of a large number of works for the children's theatre, was, just like Pushkin, fascinated by the world of Russian fairy tales. Among his children's operas, musical comedies and musicals are Balda and The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish by A. Pushkin, The Wooden House and The Cat's House based on the works by Samuil Marshak, The Stone Flower based on the tales by Pavel Bazhov. Kulygin's The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish reveals a well-known story from a different angle. His opera has become a parable not about envy and false pride, but about love and human relationships.

On the stage of NOVAT, in the author's concept and production of the theatre Chief Stage Director Vyacheslav Starodubtsev, the beloved Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish will come to life in the opera realm. Not only with the word, but also with the beauty of music, it will show what friendship is, how to respond with kindness to kindness, be grateful and true to the word, will reveal the fragility of love and the importance of relationships.

Fairy tales are the first step of a child into the fascinating world of art. So let's step together with music!

By the very edge of the blue sea lived an Old Man and his Old Woman in a ramshackle hut. Together they had lived a long life for exactly "three and thirty years." The Old Man caught fish in his fishing net, and the Old Woman span yarn that's how they lived.

One day the Old Man went to the sea to fish. Twice he cast the net, but pulled out only mud and sea grass. The third time there was a fish in the net - no ordinary fish, but a golden fish. She began to beg the Old Man to let her go back to the sea. In return, she promised to fulfill any of his wishes. The Old Man was seriously frightened: he had been fishing for many years, but he had never heard a fish speak. Taking pity on the Fish, he released her into the blue sea without ransom.

The Old Man told his Old Woman about the great miracle, and she began to scold him with all her might: their old washtub had been split, and he did not even think to ask the Fish for a new one.

The Old Man went to the shore and saw how the sea got a little rough. He began to call for the Golden Fish, and she came to his call. The Old Man asked her for a new washtub for the Old Woman, and she agreed to fulfill his request. But, having received the washtub, the greedy Old Woman began to scold her husband even more he, like a simpleton, did not think to ask the magic fish for a new house.

There was nothing to do, the Old Man wandered back to the blue sea, which became even muddier. He called the Golden Fish, bowed to her from the waist and conveyed his wife's request. She agreed to fulfill this wish. The Old Man returned and instead of the old shack he saw a beautiful new wooden house. But even this was not enough for the grumpy Old Woman. As soon as she saw her husband, she immediately drove him back to the sea: "I don't want to be a lowly peasant, I want to be a noble lady!"

The Old Man went to call the Fish again. She calmly listened to the Old Woman's new request and promised to fulfill it. The Old Man was quite surprised when he saw a splendid mansion instead of the wooden house. His wife sat there dressed in a precious sable jacket and commanded numerous servants. Seeing her husband, the Old Woman shouted at him and "sent him to serve in the stable."

The Old Woman is enjoying herself surrounded by servants, and the Bear is dancing in front of her.

Walk, walk,
talk, talk,
and don't bend in an arc
like a tight bag,
but well, get up,
and walk on tiptoe,
show yourself to good people.
Roll and roll,
don't hurt your sides,
take care of yourself!

After a while, the greedy and envious Old Woman sent the Old Man to the blue sea again to convey her new desire to the Fish: "Come back, bow to the Fish: I don't want to be a fine lady, but I want to be a sovereign queen." The Old Man was scared, asked his wife to come to her senses, but she didn't want to hear anything. He went to the darkened sea to bow to the Fish. She pitied the Old Man and promised to make the Old Woman a queen.

Returning back, the Old Man was surprised to see the royal palace instead of the high mansion. The Old Woman in luxurious clothes sat on a throne, formidable guards stood near her, and "boyars and nobles" served her. She didn't even "look at the Old Man, she just ordered him to be driven out of her eyes."

The people are cradling their queen. And the Old Woman is dreaming that the Golden Fish herself puts a crown on her. "The Old Woman raged even more." She sent her servants for her husband, ordering him to immediately tell the Fish to make her the "mistress of the sea." Having learned that the Old Woman wanted to become her ruler, the Fish did not answer anything, "just splashed her tail on the water and went into the deep sea."

The Old Man stood on the shore for a long time, waiting for an answer. When he returned back, he saw his old shack, and on the threshold, the Old Woman sat with a broken washtub