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Work data
Title: Mlada
Original title: Млада
Shape: Ballet opera in four acts
Original language: Russian
Music: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Libretto : after Stepan Gedeonow by the composer
Premiere: 1892
Place of premiere: Mariinsky Theater , Saint Petersburg
Place and time of the action: In the Baltic coast, 9th and 10th centuries

Mlada is a ballet opera in four acts by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov .


The action takes place in the 9th and 10th centuries on the Baltic coast. Woislawa killed her friend Mlada to win the love of her fiancé Jaromir, Prince of the Principality of Arkona . The wish comes true. But the shadow of the dead weighs down on the love relationship.

Gods, mythical figures, peoples from many countries mingle in the plot until Woislawa confesses to the murder, Jaromir kills her and the souls of Mladas and Jaromir are united.

1st act

Princess Woislawa is sad, she longs for the love of Jaromir, the fiancé of the Mlada who she murdered. Therefore she makes a pact with the underworld goddess Morena. Jaromir is received and welcomed by Woislawa's father; he feels drawn to Woislawa. But in a vision he sees Woislawa giving Mlada a ring that brings him to death.

2nd act

Market bustle in the city of Rethra . Entry of the princes. Priests of the god Radegast prophesy using a horse oracle. Folk festival; In the circle of the dancing couples Jaromir and Woislawa are separated by the shadow of Mladas.

3rd act

"Night on Mount Triglaw". Mlada's shadow tries to reveal itself to Jaromir. Devil sabbath; among other things, Cleopatra appears to seduce Jaromir. The crowing of the cock puts an end to the bustle. Jaromir decides to let the Radogast priest interpret his visions. (Rimski-Korsakow later published Die Nacht auf dem Berge Triglaw as a stand- alone symphonic poem . This is, however, an original composition, which was composed independently of the symphonic poem Johannisnacht auf dem Kahler Berge , which Modest Mussorgski made a first attempt in 1871/72 for the composition of Mlada .)

4th act

Radegast's Temple. Apparitions of old men accuse Woislawa of murder; she is slain by Jaromir. Morena destroys the temple by a flood; Ghosts pay homage to the souls of Jaromir and Mladas united in love.


Piano reduction by Mlada: title page (1891)

The first plans for a "Slavic ballet" based on Slavic mythology appear to have been made at the Imperial Theater in Saint Petersburg in 1870 , when the composer Alexander Nikolayevich Serow was sought to be won over. Serov's sudden death in January 1871 thwarted the plan. At the end of 1871 / beginning of 1872, well-known composers from St. Petersburg - César Cui , Modest Mussorgsky , Alexander Borodin , Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow and Léon Minkus - were asked to compose a ballet opera. But this project also failed after a few months, and the composed material flowed into other projects.

In 1889/1890 one of the composers at the time, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov , took the piece out of the drawer and made it the basis of his own ballet opera Mlada.

Mlada consists of four acts, the action takes place in the ninth century in the area of ​​the Wends . Several pagan customs that were prevalent at the time are incorporated into the story.

The first performance took place in 1892.

Some time after the completion of this ballet opera, Rimsky-Korsakov arranged a suite of five movements from it. The last movement is entitled “Train of the Nobles”.

Little is known that Léon Minkus composed a Mlada ballet (with the choreography by Marius Petipa ), which was staged in St. Petersburg in 1879 and in a revised form in 1896. But it was not successful. In 1911 César Cui published his first act of the original Mlada, written in 1872; the first performance in Petrograd in February 1917 aroused no interest due to the circumstances of the time.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Night on Mount Triglav (Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay) : Sheet music and audio files in the International Music Score Library Project