10 Nov 2021

Who is who?

The plot of the gripping opera “Mazeppa” is set in the time of Peter the Great. The background to the dramatic love story is the conflict between Russia and Sweden over the territory of present-day Ukraine.  But who is who in the piece? Introducing: the main characters.

Vladislav Sulimsky: Mazeppa

Ukrainian Cossack captain Mazeppa rebels against the Russian Tsar Peter I. The ageing general Mazeppa has fallen in love with the young Maria, daughter of a Cossack allied with the Russians, and married her against her father’s opposition. He is defeated in the decisive battle of Poltava and in the end loses his lover Maria after having her father arrested and executed.

Olga Peretyatko: Maria

Maria is in love with her much older godfather Mazeppa and, forced to make a decision, chooses him over her father. However, when he has her father sentenced to death after a failed intrigue – she tries unsuccessfully to change his mind – she eventually goes insane.

Dmitry Ulyanov: Wassili Kochubey

The rich landowner Kochubey initially thinks the engagement of his daughter Maria to Mazeppa is a joke – but then has to realise that they are both serious. In revenge, he plans an intrigue against the Cossack captain: he knows that Mazeppa has allied himself with the Swedes against Tsar Peter. He wants to warn the Tsar about this. However, the intrigue fails and he is sentenced to death by Mazeppa and executed.

Oksana Volkova: LyubovKotschubey

Maria’s mother Lyubov, saddened by the loss of her daughter, initially goads her husband into raiding Mazeppa’s castle. But he has already devised a supposedly better plan. After Kochubey’s intrigue fails, Lyubov tells Maria that the general plans to execute her father. The two women rush to the place of execution to beg for mercy, but they are too late.

Dmitry Golovnin: Andrey

Andrey is Maria’s spurned childhood sweetheart. After the battle, he hides in the devastated garden of Kochubey’s estate. Mazeppa appears, who has lost all power after his defeat and has become a fugitive. Andrei challenges him to a fight and is shot by Mazeppa. When Maria arrives, ragged, exhausted and insane, she no longer recognises Mazeppa. He flees, leaving his lover behind with the dying Andrey.


Concert in Berlin

The programme will also be performed on 14 November 2021 at 19:00 at the Philharmonie Berlin and broadcast live in the Digital Concert Hall. Buy tickets

Photos: Monika Rittershaus