The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga

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The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga
Opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Rimsky-Korsakov Serow crop.png
The composer in 1898)
Native title Russian: Боярыня Вера Шелога, Boyarïnya Vera Sheloga
Librettist Rimsky-Korsakov
Language Russian
Based on drama by Lev Alexandrovich Mey
Premiere 27 December 1898 (1898-12-27)
Solodovnikov Theater, Moscow

The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga (Russian: Боярыня Вера Шелога, Boyarïnya Vera Sheloga) is an opera in one act by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the libretto, which he based on the drama by Lev Alexandrovich Mey. The opera was composed in 1898 from material omitted from Rimsky-Korsakov's first opera, The Maid of Pskov (1873).[1]

The work was first performed in Moscow in 1898. It was later used as a prologue to The Maid of Pskov in a 1901 performance. [2]

Performance history[edit]

The premiere performance took place in Moscow on 27 December 1898 at the Solodovnikov Theater. As a one-act opera, it was first given in the US on 9 May 1922 in New York.[3]


Role Voice type Premiere cast
Moscow, 27 December 1898
(Conductor: Iosif Truffi)
Boyar Ivan Semyonovich Sheloga basso Nikolay Mutin
Vera Dmitriyevna, his wife soprano Sofiya Gladkaya
Nadezhda Nasonova, Vera's sister mezzo-soprano Yevdokiya Stefanovich
Prince Yuriy Ivanovich Tokmakov baritone or bass Anton Bedlevich
Vlasyevna, Nadezhda's nurse contralto Varvara Strakhova


Place: Pskov, Russia
Time: 1555

Vera's husband has been away on a campaign. In the meantime, she has given birth to Olga.

She confesses to her unmarried sister, Nadezhda, of having been wooed by a man who passed through earlier (the man turns out to have been Ivan the Terrible), and that the baby is not her husband's.

As this conversation ends, Vera's husband finally returns, surprised by the presence of the baby. Upon his demand to know where the baby came from, Nadezhda saves her sister by claiming to be the mother.


Audio Recordings (Mainly studio recordings)


  • 1945, Sakharov - Bolshoi
  • 1980, Stoyan Angelov (conductor), Bulgarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stefka Evstatieva (Vera Sheloga), Alexandrina Milcheva-Nonova (Nadezhda), Stefka Mineva (Vlasevna), Peter Bakardzhiev (Boyar Sheloga), Dimiter Stanchev (Prince Tokmakov)
  • 1985, Mark Ermler (conductor), Bolshoy Theatre Orchestra, Tamara Milashkina (Vera Sheloga), Olga Teruchnova (Nadezhda), Nina Grigorieva (Vlasevna), V. Karimov (Prince Tokmakov)


  1. ^ Abraham, Gerald (1986). "Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov". In Stanley Sadie. The New Grove: Russian Masters 2. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 19. ISBN 0-393-30103-6. 
  2. ^ L. Macy (editor) (2007). "Boyarïnya Vera Sheloga". New Grove Dictionary of Opera / Grove Music Online. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  3. ^ Holden, p. 753
  4. ^ Opera Glass, Source: Stanford University