Kashchei Bessmertniy

(Kaschei the Immortal)

The beautiful Tsarevna is held captive and spellbound in the magic kingdom of the monster Kashchei, where she hourly awaits deliverance at the hands of Ivan Korolevich, her lover. The latter, seeking Kashchei's ``death'' (which according to tradition is an object that, once found, will end the ogre's existence), is waylaid by Kascheievna, Kashchei's daughter. She prevails upon him to drink a potion, promising him that by this means he will find the sought-for ``death.'' His enslaver is about to kill him when the benevolent Burya Bogatyr awakens the hero, and transports him on a magic carpet to Kashchei's kingdom. Kashcheievna makes a further effort to secure Ivan for herself, promising him the release of his betrothed; and when the latter gives expression to a feeling of pity for her, she weeps. It is in the tears of his daughter that Kashchei's ``death'' is hidden, and at their flow his kingdom crumbles and the monster dies. The lovers regain their freedom, and Kashcheievna is transformed into a weeping willow.

synopsis by M. Montagu Nathan, Rimsky-Korsakof, Duffield & Co., New York, 1917.

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