The Gypsies

In December 1884 and January 1885 Tchaikovsky corresponded with Vasily Kandaurov about a projected opera called The Gypsies (Цыгане) (ČW 459) [1], derived from Aleksandr Pushkin's 1824 poem of the same name [2].

Writing to Tchaikovsky on 31 December 1884/12 January 1885, Kandaurov outlined the scenario,

Act I. Night. On a river bank. Gypsy camp
Act II. Scene 1: Before sunset. A village square. Scene 2: Evening. A prison from outside; a young Gypsy is behind iron bars
Act III. Scene 1: Noon. A valley among hills. Scene 2: Deep night. Steppe. A Gypsy camp in the distance; a burial mound in the background. Night, thunder, lightning [3].

Although Kandaurov had already begun work on the libretto, Tchaikovsky quickly decided not to pursue the project.

Notes and References

  1. Not included in TH.
  2. Pushkin's poem was also the inspiration for Sergei Rachmaninoff's opera Aleko (1893).
  3. Klin House-Museum Archive (a4, No. 1391. Quoted in ČW, p. 816.