The Tsar’s Bride Royal Opera House

A villain’s throat is slashed, a heroine is poisoned and goes mad and her lover is executed this all in The Tsar’s Bride, who would have guessed a royal wedding would have been so exhilarating. The 1899 work of Rimsky-Korsakov is now in a new setting in London at the Royal Opera House, and tells the story of a young woman Marfa who is ordered against her will to marry the tsar.
Because of this all sorts of problems are caused with her sweetheart and for a nobleman that is full of evil that burns with desire to have her. The West is not where this opera is normally performed and has not been seen prior at the Covent Garden. The piece is both hot and cold and has incredible music and plot that is diffused.
You do not need the fat lady because this is over when all the main characters are lying in a heap of blood on the stage. Paul Curran the director set all the action amidst the modern oligarchs of Moscow and makes good use of effective background to carry the story of power and brutality of wealth.
Grigory the evil nobleman ties up his enemies and tortures them in his stylish restaurant while Marfa’s father invites his friends to his rooftop terrace adorned with a pool to view all the stunning vistas of Moscow.
Marfa played by Marina Poplavskava performs with great intensity and her un-relaxed and tense tone is compensated by that same intensity. Ivan is played by tenor Dmitry Popov and Grigory by baritone Johan Rueter and both sing with a soothing beauty as her lover and nemesis.
The production is strong but has its flaws. For each beautiful set design there is a poor one. For each moment of dramatic intensity there are times of static and narrative confusion.