New Opera NYC presents

Golden Cockerel

May 18–21, 2017

Loreto Theater

For the first time in decades, New Opera NYC presents a new production of the opera “Golden Cockerel” by N.Rimsky-Korsakov, the 15th and the last opera of the composer. It is based on a faux fairytale by a great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and set to a libretto by Vladimir Belsky.

Golden Cockerel” is a corner stone of the Russian opera heritage. It has enjoyed international success ever since the premiere in 1909.
However, “Golden Cockerel” has not been staged in NYC in many years.
New Opera NYC brings an exciting new production featuring outstanding cast of singers.
Legendary bass of Bolshoi Theater Mikhail Svetlov will perform the one of his signature roles - King Dodon. He will be joined by a young countertenor winner of many international vocal competitions Andrey Nemzer as the Astrologer and Russian soprano Julia Lima as Queen of Shemakha.

Performances are sung in Russian (with English titles)
3 acts with 1 intermission.




The King complains that he is tired of warfare but that his neighbors keep invading. Assembling his councilors and two sons, he asks how they may avoid future conflicts. The conflicting opinions among his advisors vary highly to say the least. Enter the Astrologer, he presents Dodon with a magic Golden Cockerel who will always give warning of danger. The Tsar promises the Astrologer any reward he likes to name. To make it lawful, the Astrologer wants a binding document from the King, of which the King refuses. Later, the Cockerel offers reassurance to all for a restful evening. In his dreams, the King has a vision of the Queen of Shemakha. Suddenly the Cockerel sounds the alarm. Noise and bustle. The Tsar mobilizes two armies which march off to the scene of war led by his sons. He then goes back to sleep. Dodon’s terrible dream. Again the Cockerel warns of danger. Having gathered together a force, Dodon now goes off to war himself accompanied by General Polkan.

Act II

Tsar Dodon, accompanied by his army, sees the bodies of his two dead sons. A horrified Dodon mourns his children. Suddenly a mysterious tent appears before him. A beautiful woman steps out of the tent and sings a hymn to the rising sun. It is the Tsaritsa of Shemakha. Dodon is bewitched by her beauty and her singing. By guile and artifice, the cunning Tsaritsa seduces Dodon who offers her his hand in marriage. His offer is accepted. The Tsaritsa of Shemakha and Dodon set off for the capital.


The populace are awaiting the return of their Tsar. Dodon and the Queen of Shemakha appear to the sound of trumpets. The populace greet them. The Astrologer makes his way through the crowd. He reminds the Tsar of his promise and asks for the Queen of Shemakha. Dodon tries to make the old astrologer see sense, offering him at least half his kingdom, but the latter is adamant. Loosing his temper, Dodon rough-handles the old man and chases him off. The Astrologer dies. The Golden Cockerel flies down off the tower and pecks Dodon on the forehead. Dodon dies. The Queen of Shemakha and the Cockerel vanish. The people are totally disorientated.


The Astrologer announces the end of his story, reminding the audience that what they have witnessed was “merely illusion.”