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Composer: Prokofiev, Sergei
Lyricists: Prokofjew, Sergej / Mendelson, Mira (Libretto)
Original work: nach dem Roman von Boris Polewoi
Opus/Year: 117(1947-1948)
Genre: Opera
Premiere performance: D


Alexei has crashed in his fighter plane in a forest and sets out on foot, wounded, in the direction of home. The helpless man is found by farmers children. After first being hidden from the Germans, he is finally brought to hospital. Alexei suffers terrible pain and nightmares after both legs have to be amputated. A severely wounded regiment commissary instils the other patient with courage. He tells the devastated Alexei of a pilot in the First World War who flew again despite amputation of his legs. While Alexei gradually regains his powers and learns to walk again, the commissary dies; he is mourned by all as a real man. Alexei writes to his bride Olga that he wants to fly again but does not mention the amputation of his legs. The recovering man succeeds in convincing the physicians commission of his ability to go into action again, and he is released on the front. Alexei flies and fights successfully again. Olga visits him and confesses to her love for Alexei.