Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Maid of Orleans Opera

Cover for Joan of Arc Opera by Tchaikovsky
by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

The famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote an opera about Joan of Arc in 1878-1879. The opera was titled Maid of Orleans and was based loosely upon Friedrich Schiller's play by the same name Maid of Orleans.

Joan of Arc's aria from first act of Tchaikovsky's 'The Maid of Orleans': "Farewell, you native hills and fields".

Tchaikovsky's Maid of Orleans was first performed on February 25, 1881 in St. Petersburg at the Mariinsky Theatre. The opera contains four acts and six scenes:

Time: Beginning of the 15th century
Place: France


Act 1
Chorus of Maidens (No. 1)
Scena & Terzetto (No. 2)
Scena (No. 3)
Chorus of Peasants & Scena (No. 4)
Scena (No. 5)
Hymn King of the heavenly host (No. 6)
Joan's Aria Farewell, you native hills and fields(No. 7)
Finale (No. 8)
Joan's Aria & Chorus of Angels (No. 8a)

Act 2
Entr'acte (No. 9)
Chorus of Minstrels (No. 10)
Gypsy Dance (No. 11a)
Dance of the Pages & Dwarves (No. 11b)
Dance of the Clowns & Tumblers (No. 11c)
Scena & Duet (No. 12)
Agnes's Arioso & Duettino (No. 13)
Scena & Archbishop's Narration (No. 14)
Joan's Narration (No. 15)
Finale (No. 16).

Act 3
Tableau 1 and Tableau 2

Scena & Duet (No. 17)
March (No. 18)
Scena & Duettino (No. 19)
Finale (No. 20)

Act 4
Introduction & Scena (No. 21)
Duet & Scena (No. 22)
Final Scena (No. 23)

King Charles VII - tenor
The Archbishop - bass
Dunois, a French knight - baritone
Lionel, a Burgundian knight - baritone
Thibaut d'Arc, Joan's father - bass
Raymond, Joan's betrothed - tenor
Bertrand, a peasant - bass
Soldier - bass
Joan of Arc - soprano or mezzo-soprano
Agnès Sorel - soprano
Angel, solo voice in the choir of angels - soprano

Chorus, silent roles: Courtiers and ladies, French and English soldiers, knights, monks, Gypsies, pages, buffoons, dwarfs, minstrels, executioners, people

To read a synopsis of Maid of Orleans visit NPR'sWorld of Opera

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