Based on Pushkin's poem Poltava, Tchaikovsky's opera Mazepa (1884) focuses on a tragic love story between a young woman Maria and a much older Mazepa, a Ukrainian commander allied with Tsar Peter the Great of Russia.
Abandoning her parents, Maria elopes with Mazepa, who also happens to be her godfather. In revenge for stealing Maria and bringing shame to the family, her father Kochubey warns Peter of Mazepa's secret plans to ally with Sweden against Russia. Peter does not believe the story, and turns over Kochubey to Mazepa for execution. Maria learns from her distraught mother Lyubov of upcoming execution, but it is too late to save her father. Guilt-ridden Maria loses her sanity.
Siding with Sweden and losing the Poltava battle, Mazepa is on the run. He encounters insane Maria who doesn't recognize him. Being pursued again, Mazepa flees. Wandering Maria then encounters dying Andrei, her lovesick childhood friend. To avenge Kochubey family and his beloved Maria, Andrei challenged Mazepa who shot him in an earlier encounter. Maria mistakes Andrei for an abandoned child and sings a lullaby as he dies in her arms.
Ivan Mazepa, hetman - Baritone
Kochubey - Bass
Lyubov, his wife - Mezzo Soprano
Mariya, their daughter - Soprano
Andrei - Tenor
Orlik, henchman - Bass
Iskra, a friend of Kochubey - Tenor
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