The Tsar’s Bride

Historic Stage Opera in four acts

Tickets to The Tsar’s Bride opera

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We bring you the opera The Tsar’s Bride at the Bolshoi Theater, produced and directed by Julia Pevzner. This tragic love story is sure to touch every viewer. If you have not visited the opera in a long time, this is a splendid opportunity to do so.

You can easily and quickly reserve tickets to the The Tsar’s Bride opera on our website below, or by phone with personal assistance from our managers. It is our pleasure to offer you booking services so you don’t have to worry about planning your cultural and leisure events.

Music Director -Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

Stage Director - Julia Pevzner

Set Designer - Alyona Pikalova

Costume Designer - Elena Zaitseva

Chorus Master - Valery Borisov

Lighting Designer - Damir Ismagilov

Choreographer - Ekaterina Mironova

Performed with two intervals. Running time: 3 hours 30 minutes.

Act I

The Carousal

Chamber in Oprichnik Grigory Gryaznoy’s house. Grigory is desperate: he has fallen passionately in love with Marfa, daughter of the merchant Sobakin, but she is already betrothed to the young boyar Ivan Lykov. In order to put his love out of his mind, Grigory called some guests to a drinking-party. One of them is the Tsar’s foreign physician Bomelius, the other is Lykov.

The guests arrive, led by Malyuta Skuratov, Gryaznoy’s friend. Lykov who just returned to Russia, tells the assembled company of the life abroad. The guests sing the praises of their sovereign, Ivan the Terrible, drink and dance.

Malyuta mentions Lyubasha and tells Gryaznoy to call her. “Who is Lyubasha?”, Bomelius asks. “Gryaznoy’s mistress, a right bonny lass!”, Malyuta replies. At Malyuta’s request, Lyubasha sings a song about bitter fate of a girl who is forced to marry a man she doesn’t love. The carousal comes to an end and the guests depart. Gryaznoy detains Bomelius.

Lyubasha, sensing that something is wrong, hides and listens to their conversation. Gryaznoy asks Bomelius for a love potion. The physician promises to provide him with powder that can arouse love in a girl’s heart. After Bomelius has gone, Lyubasha accuses Grigory of having fallen out of love with her but Grigory won’t listen. He can think of nothing else but his passion for Marfa and leaves when the bells sound for the early morning service. Lyubasha is left alone with her despair. She vows to find the girl who is the cause of her troubles and bewitch her away from Gryaznoy.

Act II

The Love Potion

A street in the Alexandrovskaya Sloboda. The parishioners are coming out of the monastery after the evening service. At the porch of her house, Marfa stands talking to her friend Dunyasha of her betrothed, Ivan Lykov. A group of Oprichniks appears through the monastery gates. Marfa doesn’t recognize Ivan the Terrible who is leading the group, but the stranger’s intent gaze frightens her. It is only when she catches sight of her father and her betrothed, who are approaching the house, that she calms down.

Sobakin invites Lykov into the house and the girls follow them in. Dusk is falling. A shadow is circling round the Sobakin house. It is Lyubasha. She cautiously steals up to the porch: she wants to have a look at her rival. Having peeped through the lit-up window, Lyubasha is struck by Marfa’s beauty. The desperate girl rushes to Bomelius’s house. Bomelius appears in asnwer to her call. Lyubasha begs him to sell her a potion which will destroy human beauty. Bomelius agrees, demanding in return Lyubasha’s love. Indignant, Lyubasha wants to leave, but Bomelius threatens to tell Gryaznoy what she has asked him for. The sound of Marfa’s laughter coming from the Sobakins house, makes Lyubasha agree to Bomelius’s terms. The potion is ready, and she goes into his house.

The Oprichniks appear on the street, coming back from an execution ride.


The Best Man

Chamber in Merchant Sobakin’s house. Sobakin tells Ivan Lykov and Gryaznoy that Marfa and Dunyasha have been summoned to the palace along with 10 other girls as the Tsar intends to choose himself a bride. This alarms both Lykov and Gryaznoy. Sobakin tries to calm Lykov down. Gryaznoy offers to be Lykov’s best man at his wedding.

Domna Saburova, Duniasha’s mother, appears. She describes the ceremony: the Tsar hardly glanced in Marfa’s direction, but he paid Dunyasha a lot of attention, joking and talking with her. Lykov sighs with relief.

Malyuta appears with the boyars and proclaims the Tsar’s will — Marfa is to be his wife.

Act IV

The Bride

The Tsar’s chamber where Marfa, the Tsar’s bride, is now living before her wedding. But she is ill, and bitter fears give Sobakin no peace. Domna Saburova tries in vain to allay his anxiety.

Gryaznoy appears, and Marfa comes out of her room, pretending to be well. Gryaznoy tells Marfa that Lykov had confessed to giving Marfa a potion, and that he, Gryaznoy, with his own hands had carried out the Tsar’s sentence. Learning of the death of her beloved, Marfa falls unconscious to the floor. When she recovers, she recognizes no one. Mistaking Gryaznoy for Lykov, she converses tenderly with him, recalling the happy days they have spent together. Shaken by Marfa’s words, Gryaznoy admits that he had slandered Lykov and that he was the one who gave Marfa the love potion. But Marfa doesn’t hear him at all, though. Gryaznoy is desperate with guilt. But before going to his trial, he wants to have his revenge on Bomelius. Lyubasha who has appeared in the palace, tells Grigory how she had substituted poison for the love potion Bomelius had given him, and which Grigory had then given to Marfa. Grigory kills Lyubasha.

But Marfa sees and hears nothing. All her thoughts are in the past, with Lykov.

The Tsar’s Bride Tickets

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The Tsar’s Bride Opera

The Tsar’s Bride opera was written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1898, and a year later debuted in a private opera theater in Moscow. Rimsky-Korsakov based his opera on the drama by Lev Mey, and has not only kept the general story lines, but has left many of the texts from the original. He had long wanted to write a piece that could demonstrate rich opera forms and vocal cantilena.

The Tsar’s Bride premiere was very successful, and both the audience and theater critics had high praise for the production and the acting. Since then, the opera has been repeatedly performed on different stages around the world. At the Bolshoi Theater it was held for the first time in 1916.

The modern version of the The Tsar’s Bride has been staged in Bolshoi Theater since February 22, 2014 and was produced by Julia Pevzner, who used the libretto text of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in the production.

The Tsar’s Bride story line has several love stories, but the main one is the relationship of Ivan the Terrible and the beauty Marfa. As the story unfolds the audience experience love triangles of our heroes, their characters, preferences, and amorousness.

From among several beauties Ivan the Terrible has chosen Marfa, and wishes her to be his bride. He still does not know, however, that Marfa is hated by Lyubasha – whose husband is also infatuated with Marfa and wants to marry her. To prevent the marriage, Lyubasha decides to commit a terrible crime: to poison Marfa. The love story ends tragically – Marfa dies.

For the audience, The Tsar’s Bride will be a peculiar encyclopedia of folk life of the Russian people. The broad Russian soul can be kind and merciful, and can love and burn with passion. The performance is an incredibly sensuous and emotional experience, and is sure to touch every viewer.


  • Vasily Stepanovich Sobakin, Novgorod merchant
  • Marfa, his daughter
  • Grigory Grigoryevich Gryaznoy, oprichnik/guardsman
  • Grigory Lukyanovich Malyuta Skuratov, oprichnik/guardsman
  • Ivan Sergeyevich Lykov, nobleman
  • Lyubasha
  • Eliseus Bomelius, royal doctor
  • Domna Ivanovna Saburova, the wife of a merchant
  • Dunyasha, her daughter, Marfa's friend
  • Petrovna, housekeeper of Sobakin family