When it comes to inept leaders, King Dodon takes the cake. He’s lazy, has terrible advisors, and would rather be in bed eating bonbons than waging war! But he’s also petrified that his enemies will take him by surprise. Happily, his astrologer gives him the perfect gift: a golden cockerel that sounds the alarm whenever danger is near. But even the magical bird can’t save Dodon when he comes up against his most formidable adversary—a voluptuous young queen, who unashamedly displays her charms!
From Scheherazade’s composer---a high-flying comedy about seduction and a royal reign run amok!
Watch what happens when she demands the keys to the old king’s kingdom ---and the astrologer demands a shocking payment for the bird! Enjoy gorgeous music, lavish costumes, and an opulent production that earned rave reviews in Santa Fe.
Co-production by The Santa Fe Opera and The Dallas Opera
Starring:Venera Gimadieva, Nikolay Didenko, Kevin Burdette, Barry Banks, Viktor Antipenko, Lindsay Ammann, Corey Crider, Jeni Houser
A mysterious Astrologer warns the audience that he is about to conjure up a cautionary tale.
Dodon's Throne Room Tsar Dodon complains that he is tired of warfare and that his neighbors threaten invasion. He asks his councilors and his two sons how to avoid future conflicts, but they offer differing opinions. The Astrologer appears with a magic Golden Cockerel who, from a high perch, can warn of any danger. Dodon is elated and promises any reward the Astrologer can name. The Astrologer wants a binding contract from Dodon, but he refuses, explaining that his whims and orders are the law. Later, the Cockerel offers reassurance to all for a restful evening. In his dreams, Dodon sees a vision of the Queen of Shemakho. Suddenly the Cockerel sounds the alarm and the army is mobilized, led by Dodon's two sons. Dodon dons his rusty armor, which he has grotesquely outgrown, and goes off to battle.
A Mountain Gorge Looking in vain for the battle, Dodon stumbles upon the bodies of his two sons, who have apparently stabbed each other to death. The beautiful Queen of Shemakha appears, singing her Hymn to the Sun, and brazenly declares that she has come to subdue Dodon, not by force, but through seduction. At her request, Dodon banishes his loyal commander Polkan, and orders his beheading in an attempt to impress her. The Queen agrees to return with Dodon as his wife.
The Capital A procession welcomes Tsar Dodon and his Queen to the capital. The Astrologer reappears to claim his promised reward, demanding the Queen of Shemakha. Dodon flares up in fury, striking down the Astrologer. The sky darkens. The Golden Cockerel, loyal to the Astrologer, pecks Dodon to death. When light returns, both the Cockerel and the Queen of Shemakha have vanished. The terrified crowd laments.
The Astrologer announces the end of his story, reminding the audience that what they have witnessed was "merely illusion." He leaves with the cryptic assurance that only he and the Queen of Shemakha were real people; all the rest were dream and delusion. Courtesy of Santa Fe Opera