Main Stage

10 June
2020 | Wednesday
Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theatre production
Rezeda Akhiyarova "Suyumbike" Opera in two acts
Artists Credits
Cast to be announced
Music by Rezeda Akhiyarova
Victor Gerasimenko, Artistic Director
Victoria Harhalup, Costume Designer
Arseny Radkov, Lighting Designer
Premiere of this production: 26 Sep 2018

The performance has 2 intermissions
Running time: 3 hours

Music by Rezeda Akhiyarova
Libretto - Renat Haris

Conductor director - Renat Salavatov
Producer - Yury Alexandrov
Art director - Victor Gerasimenko
Costume designer - Victoria Harhalup
Lighting designer - Arseny Radkov Choirmaster - Lyubov Draznina Choreographer - David Avdysh Responsible accompanist- Alsu Baryshnikova


Age category 12+


Historical events unfold in the years 1551-1552 in Kazan (action 1), Moscow (action 2) and Kasimov (action 3).

Act 1. Kazan

Scene 1.

July 1551. The meeting of the sofa (council) in the Khan's palace. On the throne is the young khan Utyamysh. Beside him is his mother, regent Syuyumbike. Bybars-Murza, the head of government, says Moscow is threatening the Kazan Khanate with war. A fortress is being built near Kazan on Sviyaga, from where the attack must be expected. But Kazan is not able to fight back: the troops are weakened, so defeat is inevitable. There is no unanimity on this issue in the government, and supporters of war and peace are quarreling. Some call for war, others for an alliance with Moscow.

Confused and not knowing what to do, Syuyumbike closes the meeting. “The gates of heaven! Well, you do not open! Why don’t you give me a helping hand? Why, oh God, in a difficult hour, you will not show me the right path? ” She asks. The only person who can support the queen is the head of the palace guard Koshchak. After the death of her husband Syuyumbike, he brightens with love and affection her bitter widowhood. But here he is. Koshchak intends to immediately go to the Crimea, with the help of allies to resist the Moscow invasion. Syuyumbike does not want to let him go: at such a difficult time, he leaves her alone ?! Koshchak is sure that this is the only way to help his beloved defend the throne of Kazan, and leaves her. Syuyumbike in despair calls to heaven, begging to show her the right path.

Utyamysh runs in accompanied by a nanny, and Bibars-murza appears after them. He expects to persuade Syuyumbike to make an important decision - for the sake of saving the country, she, together with the young khan, must leave Kazan and go to Moscow, otherwise, the war is inevitable, and the people will drown in blood. Seeing no other outcome, Syuyumbike was forced to agree.

Scene 2. 

August 1551. The people of Kazan came to see off Syuyumbike, but Kazan people perceive her departure ambiguously. Many do not understand why she is leaving. Some, loving their queen, in tears, asks her not to leave them. Others think that she is marrying the Russian Tsar Ivan and condemning her for it. Still, others are determined and demand to keep the hanbika in Kazan by force. Syuyumbike, addressing the people with words of farewell, explains that he is going to Moscow with the holy goal of protecting the country with a righteous word. He and his son will long for their beloved city, and Khan Utyamysh, saying goodbye, promises to return: “I am going only to visit. Bye!"

Act 2. Moscow

Scene 3.

September 1551. Moscow Kremlin. Ivan the Terrible and his boyars feast and have fun, waiting for Syuyumbike. Even the appearance of Queen Anastasia, who is on the demolitions, does not interrupt the revelry fun that Prince Serebryany runs. Grozny wonders if the hanbika is so beautiful if the prince returned from Kazan "full" of it. And he assures the king that Syuyumbike is beautiful and, according to rumors, is smart as the Queen of Sheba. The conversation turns into a joke. Ivan assures the prince that the Tatars are inaccessible, and only by spreading the mirrored floor, as the wise King Solomon did, can you discern their “virtues”. The courtiers vividly pick up the tsar’s joke, but Anastasia is outraged by rudeness and ardently stands up for the honor of a woman - mother, wife, and sister. After her departure, Ivan the Terrible inspires others that women are weak, worthless creatures worthy of contempt: "Do not forgive her, do not judge her." But, he believes, the policy of intimidating everyone without exception must always be persistently and firmly pursued.

Syuyumbike and Utyamysh enter. The king meets them with a feigned affection of a hospitable host, assuring dear guests of his friendship. Suyumbike wants to hear from the king whether he will keep his promise after she fulfilled his will. Grozny evasively answers: “Khanbika, believe: trouble will pass us, and everything will pass,” - and immediately afterward he presents Syuyumbike with the “gift” he had just promised. A person is introduced with a bag on his head. This is Koshchak: his detachment was intercepted at the crossing by the guards of Ivan the Terrible. So Koshchak was captured. King hypocritically offers Syuyumbike to marry Koshchak in order to save him. Syuyumbike, realizing the impossibility of such a misalliance, suffers immeasurably. “I do not accept your gift! I don’t want to be a toy in your hands! ” She says to Grozny, thereby condemning her beloved to a painful death.

Scene 4. 

The rooms of Syuyumbike in the Moscow Kremlin. Utyamysh joyfully informs his mother that he knows Russian words. Tsarina Anastasia comes and with longing watches her mother and son. She tells Syuyumbike that a mother with a baby is happy: “All the joys in the world will disappear, but this one will not leave you! A child is a sun! ” Anastasia shares her sorrows with Syuyumbike, and she tells her about her difficult fate. Meanwhile, Ivan the Terrible appears, and Prince Silver followed him. The tsar orders that Utyamysh goes to learn Russian: he will be brought up in Moscow and, in time, will receive a Russian city as his lot. The prince tears the child from his mother, clinging to her hem with a cry.

If Syuyumbike wants to keep Utyamysh with her, she should marry Shah-Ali, a Moscow favorite, who will become Kazan Khan. Syuyumbike indignantly rejects the offer of Grozny: she hates the traitor Shah-Ali, thrice expelled from Kazan. But the king is adamant: if Syuyumbike does not go for Shigaley, let him stay in Moscow, but the monks will immediately take away Utyamysh. Syuyumbike - in dismay. Anastasia begs the sovereign: "Have pity on this woman!" However, his answer is harsh: “I will regret the woman, but never the hanbik! Utyamysha - to the monks! Syuyumbike - to Shigaley! ”
Act 3. Kasimov

Scene 5. 
In the palace of the Khan is preparing for the wedding. Shah Ali - on the throne. Two chichans compete in his praise. They alternately sing the virtues of the khan: Shah Ali - the pride and beauty of the Kasimov khanate, a brave commander, a noble and generous ruler, he is merciless to enemies, gentle in speeches ... When Syuyumbike appears, chichans begin to sing toasts in her honor. Shah Ali is pleased with the singing: it melted the ice in his soul. He convinces Syuyumbike that her visit to Kasimov is beneficial for both of them. This will help restore relations between Kazan and Moscow, and he himself will be able to make his wife happy by returning her to God.

“Can a throne make you happy?” - asks her husband Syuyumbike. Alas, this time she was married to the throne, although all her life she dreamed only of a loving and beloved husband. Shah Ali eagerly promises that she will conquer and put Kazan on her knees, and Syuyumbike will once again become a brilliant decoration of the throne of Kazan, but she asks not to remind her of her beloved city. The praise of the wedding feast begins: “Shah Ali's wedding, Suyumbike's wedding!” The dishes will be sweet, the reception will be affectionate! Wedding, wedding! ” Suddenly, Suyumbike starts a frantic dance, but Shah Ali shouts to stop her: “Stop it! Kings do not dance themselves! Kings make the world dance! ” But Syuyumbike continues her dance - the last dance in her life ...
Scene 6. 
Syuyumbike dominated by vision. The terrible reality is gone. The “gates of heaven” opened for a moment, giving the suffering woman a meeting with her son. Is this a dream? But the reality is returning, and Syuyumbike is alone again. What unbearable anguish torments the heart, does not give it rest! Shah-Ali appears: he went to Moscow and brought Syuyumbike a patterned scarf as a gift from Queen Anastasia. With an expensive present for her, Syuyumbike pours out the bitterness of a wounded soul: “Clouds beckon into the sky, Anastasia! The day will come, my soul without sorrows and worries for the dear will fly, in a hurry. Let it fly! Hurry, in flight, in flight! ”

Shah Ali promised to bring Utyamysh, but he could not keep his words. He expects from her a “case” - the moment when Syuyumbike will finally begin to fulfill her conjugal duty. He admits that all his life he dreamed about the beautiful Syuyumbike, all his life he strove for her, but he was always late, and an angry despot commits violence against a defenseless woman. But this is not enough for him, and Shah Ali gloatingly reports that his son has already forgotten it: he is now Alexander Safagireyevich, he likes Moscow, and "he spits your Kazan!" Syuyumbike curses Shah Ali and prays to God to heed her calls. In the sick imagination of the Hanbiki, visions of tragic events arise, but suddenly the nightmare ceases. The Lord heard the unfortunate: “the gates of heaven” opened, taking the sufferer into his arms.

Main Stage 1 Teatralnaya ploschad (1 Theatre Square), Moscow, Russia
New Stage Bol'shaya Dmitrovka Street, 4/2, Moscow, Russia
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