Tchaikovsky: Cherevichki [The Tsarina’s Slippers]

Opera 100

Here we write a 100-word précis of numerous opera plots. This is an ongoing and serendipitous series, the idea being to present the storyline in an instant.

Tchaikovsky: Cherevichki [The Tsarina’s Slippers]

by: Alexander Campbell

The devil, humiliated by his depiction in a church mural, plots revenge on Vakula by ruining his secret tryst with the capricious Oxana. The witch Solokha, Vakula’s mother, simultaneously entertaining several admirers including Oxana’s father Chub and the devil, hurriedly hides them in sacks. As Vakula unknowingly carries the men from Solokha’s house Oxana taunts him, demanding he obtain the Empress’s shoes before she’ll marry him. Discovering the concealed devil Vakula demands he whisk him to St Petersburg where the Empress generously donates her footwear! Returning home Vakula wins the contrite Oxana’s heart, while Solokha partners Chub amidst general rejoicing.

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