The peasant’s daughter Joan, following a sign from God, goes into battle for France against the English occupying forces. Charles, the war-weary young heir to the French throne, hears of the victory gained by the army under Joan’s leadership. In a further battle, she spares the life of the enemy knight Lionel out of pity and love, and feels that this will change her fate. At Charles’s coronation, Joan is celebrated as a saviour, but then her father appears and accuses her of witchcraft. Abandoned by all, she is captured by enemy troops and condemned to be burned at the stake.
Tchaikovsky wrote the libretto for his opera himself, based on a Russian translation of the Schiller drama. The opera’s conception was strongly influenced by French grand opera and with it, Tchaikovsky demonstrates his skill with musical drama from a European viewpoint, rather than expressing his native Russian style.
Première 9. July 2021
Further performances 10. July – 1. August 2021