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Description  opera buffa
First performance  3 June 1922
Librettist  Boris Kochno
Written  1922
Composer  Igor Stravinsky
Language  Russian
Mavra httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Based on  The Little House in Kolomna by Aleksandr Pushkin
Premiere  3 June 1922 (1922-06-03) Théatre national de l'Opéra, Paris
Similar  The Nightingale, Renard, Oedipus rex, Perséphone, The Flood

Igor stravinsky mavra

Mavra is a one-act opera buffa composed by Igor Stravinsky, and one of the earliest works of Stravinsky's 'neo-classical' period. The libretto of the opera, by Boris Kochno, is based on Alexander Pushkin's The Little House in Kolomna. Mavra is about 25 minutes long, and features two arias, a duet, and a quartet performed by its cast of four characters. The opera has been characterised as both an homage to Russian writers, and a satire of bourgeois manners and the Romeo and Juliet subgenre of romance. Philip Truman has also described the music as satirising 19th-century comic opera. The dedication on the score is to the memory of Pushkin, Glinka and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.


Mavra premiered in Paris on 3 June 1922, staged under the auspices of Sergei Diaghilev, with Oda Slobdoskaya, Zoïa Rosovska and Bélina Skoupevski among the original cast, at the Théatre national de l'Opéra, orchestra conducted by Grzegorz Fitelberg. The opera was a failure at the premiere, partly because the large space of the Paris Opéra overwhelmed the small scale of the opera. One critic, Émile Vuillermoz, so enraged Stravinsky that he cut the review out and pasted it onto his manuscript copy.

Stravinsky himself thought very highly of this composition, saying once that "Mavra seems to me the best thing I've done". Erik Satie praised the work after its premiere. Stravinsky himself reacted with hostility to people who criticized it in later years.

The opera was given its United States premiere by the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia on December 28, 1934 with Maria Kurenko as Parasha and Alexander Smallens conducting. The Santa Fe Opera mounted Mavra in 1962.

The first aria of the work has been arranged for cello and piano, and recorded with Mstislav Rostropovich under the title "Russian Song".


Place: Russian village Time: Circa 1840

Parasha is in love with her neighbour, Vassili, a young hussar, but they have difficulty in meeting. After they sing a duet, Vassili leaves, and then Parasha's mother enters. She is lamenting the difficulty of finding a new maid-servant after their prior maid-servant, Thecla, died. The mother orders her daughter to find a new maid-servant. Parasha comes up with a scheme to smuggle Vassili into her house disguised as Mavra, a female maid-servant. The ruse initially succeeds, and Parasha and Vassili are happy at being under the same roof. Parasha and her mother go out for a walk. At one moment, Vassili shaves. The ladies return, disconcerted to see their new maid-servant shaving. Vassili escapes out the window, her mother faints, the next door neighbour rushes in to try to help, and Parasha laments the loss of her young love.


  1. Overture
  2. Parasha's song
  3. Hussar's gypsy song
  4. Dialogue
  5. The mother's song
  6. Dialogue
  7. Duet
  8. Dialogue
  9. Quartet
  10. Dialogue
  11. Duet
  12. Dialogue
  13. Mavra's song
  14. Coda


  • Columbia 72609: Susan Belinck, Mary Simmons, Patricia Rideout, Stanley Kolk; CBC Symphony Orchestra; Igor Stravinsky, conductor
  • Decca: Joan Carlyle, Helen Watts, Monica Sinclair, Kenneth Macdonald; L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Ernest Ansermet, conductor
  • Chandos CHA 9488: Tatyana Kravtsova, Olga Korzhenskaya, Olga Markova-Mikhailenko, Alexei Martynov; Netherlands Wind Ensemble; Thierry Fischer, conductor
  • BMC 118: Maria Fontosh, Ludmila Schemtschuk, Lili Paasikivi, Valerij Serkin; German Youth Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony; Péter Eötvös, conductor
  • References

    Mavra Wikipedia