Notes & Reviews:
Melodiya presents a unique recording of Sergei Prokofiev's last opera The Story of a Real Man, arguably the least known work in Prokofiev's musical theatre legacy. Finished in 1948, it was never staged in the composer's lifetime; only after many years did it manage to see the spotlight, but none of its productions lasted long. The work, adopted from a novel by Boris Polevoy, tells the story of pilot Alexei Meresiev who, as a result from a severe injury lost his legs but at the cost of unbelievable efforts and exercising he returns to the battle ranks. This man of enormous fortitude who did something seemingly impossible was an incentive for the composer's creative imagination. The only recording that now exists was made by the company of the USSR Bolshoi Theatre in 1961 and conducted by young maestro Mark Ermler. The character of Alexei Meresiev became one of the high watermark achievements of prominent singer Evgeny Kibkalo. The recording also features other celebrated soloists of the theatre at that time.
BBC Music Magazine, January 2016
In Prokofiev's last opera, extensively cut in this sole commercial recording, Yevgeny Kibkalo is superb as the WWII Soviet pilot who learns to fly again after his legs are amputated.
Recording information: 1961.
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Works DetailsProkofiev, Sergei : The Story of a Real Man, opera, Op. 117
- Conductor: Mark Ermler
- Ensemble: USSR State Academic Bolshoi Theatre
- Running Time: 101 min. 13 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Written: 1947-1948