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THE IDIOT. Opera in 4 acts after the novel
of the same name by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Composer: Weinberg, Mieczyslaw
Lyricists: Medwedew, Alexander
Playing time: 210:00
Opus/Year: 144b (1986-89)
Genre: Opera
Instrumentation: 1(Picc),2,1(Es-Klar),1(KFag) 2,1,1,0 Pk, 2-3 Schl (Tamb, gr.Tr, Tam-t, Gl, Glsp, Xyl, Marimba), Harfe, Cel, Streicher Klav auf der Bhne
Premiere performance: 19.12.1991 / Moscow / RUS / Moskauer Kammeroper / Boris Pokrowski (Regie)


The young Prince Myshkin, who suffers from epilepsy, returns utterly destitute to St. Petersburg after a several years stay in a Swiss sanatorium. He immediately finds himself involved in a network of intrigues surrounding the dark-eyed beauty Nastassia. His love for her forces the decent Myshkin into an uneasy relationship with his impulsive rival Parfion Rogoshin, a rich merchants son. Nastassia is fascinated by the profound folly of the Prince, who has meanwhile become a millionaire through a sudden inheritance.
Rogoshins attempt to do away with his adversary fails because Myshkin suffers an epileptic seizure during the attempted murder. Myshkins reaction to the profound affection of the proud and unspoilt Aglaia, the youngest daughter of the Epanchins, with whom he is distantly related, reveals his tragic inability to become truly committed. Nastassia gives her apparently irrevocable consent to the worried Prince in Pavlovsk, but flees a few minutes before the wedding with Rogoshin to St. Petersburg. In a tantrum of raging jealousy, Rogoshin stabs Nastassia to death and spends hours of devotion next to the murdered woman. After desperate searching, Myshkin finds the scene of the horrible crime. Forgetting himself, he strokes the head of Rogoshin, who is sunk in painful paralysis.