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 Bulgarian Operas


Pipkov Yaninite Devet Bratya

Ruse Opera in Stara Zagora - 19 November 1984 - Vesselin Baichev (c)

Character    Artist
Maikata    Ana Angelova
Yana    Dimka Dimova
Georgi Groznika    Stefan Dimitrov
Angel    Tsvetan Mihailov
Chicho Dimitar    Ivan Dobrev
Dyado Gerdan, Skitnik    Anastas Anastasov
Ivanish, Grajdanin    Ivan Stoev
Tzigankata    Maria Ventzislavova
Mechkar, Tzar Yasen    Ivan Dobrev


In his tale "Yana's Nine Brothers", Nikola Veselinov collected characters and events from several folk songs to his tell the medieval story of Georgi Groznika, a renowned woodworker who is so overtaken by evil and jealousy that he cuts off his own brother's hands. The folk-music drama was written during 1929-32, the first theatrical music of Liubomir Pipkov and the work that best illustrates the composer's style and individual early signature.

Though this is is not a true story, similar plagues swept though Bulgaria repeatedly.

Premier 19 September 1937 - Sofia National Opera

The opera as playlist


Act 1 Scene 1

In a mountain village near Samokov in 1361, Yana and her mother wait for her brothers to return from their work in the coal mines. The old man, Dimitar, tells them of a mine accident. The youngest brother, Angel, saved the life of the elder, Georgi. The brothers happily return home and Angel gives his sister a needle as a present. Georgi, envious of the affection his sister shows Angel, throws the needle away and offers Yana a bracelet. Yana notices blood on the bracelet and refuses his gift in horror. The mother changes the subject and reminds them of Yana's proposal of marriage from Neno, the shepherd. Georgi angrily insists that she will marry a prince or no one. To improve his relationship with Yana, he promises to bring woodcarving masters to decorate her room.

At midnight, armed guards and farmers arrive looking for Georgi. He is accused of cutting the arm of a girl over the bracelet. As they take him off, his mother bemoans his loss.

Act 1 Scene 2

Three woodcarving masters have finished decorating Yana's room. As the brothers prepare to leave for work in the mines, Angel expresses his interest in woodcarving. The older woodcarver invites him to work with them, but the mother wants Angel to stay with her.

Act 2

As time passes, Angel becomes a master woodcarver. The people boast about his magic hands and the masterpieces he created. As a summer storm approaches, Georgi returns home and is amazed at Angel's work. He seems upset as he looks at his own ugly and rough hands which remind him of animal paws. Seized with envy he pretends to help Angel and purposely cuts off his hands.

Hearing the cries of pain, the other brothers rush into Angel's room and are horrified by Georgi's deed.

Act 3 Scene 1

In the forest near Samokov, the charcoal makers hear a bear handler speaking as they approach the fire. With them is Angel, who is now a beggar. Soon a gypsy woman arrives and frightens the men with her talk of a plague in Bosna. After she falls asleep the charcoal makers cover her with logs thinking she is infected, then run away. Georgi, who left home after wounding Angel, finds the Gypsy covered with logs. He, too, believes she is infected and frees her on a promise to kill his brothers.

Act 3 Scene 2

On a holiday morning in Sredetz, Angel appears with the citizens and beggars who gather before the cathedral. As the king and queen come out of the cathedral, Angel tells his story. The group cries for the death of the culprit, as Angel collapses and dies.

Act 4 Scene 1

Those people who have escaped the plague join the Turks gather in a section of Zagore. Yana and some of her brothers who are now working as harvesters have joined the group. The brothers leave to gather water at the spring but do not return. The gypsy woman reports that the brothers who drank from her pitcher have died. She describes her meeting with Georgi and of his desire for the death of his brothers.

Act 4 Scene 2 - 30:00

Nine years have passed and the mother is still waiting for the good son. Georgi stops at the home and tries to convince Yana to go with him to Vlashno where he will be able to earn money. Yana questions him about the Gypsy and after she is certain of his guilt she kills him with an arrow from her bow. Far away, Samokov is burned by the Turks.