New Collected Works Compositions for the Stage

Orango. Sans op. Unfinished Satirical Opera (Political Lampoon). Piano score. Score.

Volume 57

Unfinished Satirical Opera (Political Lampoon). Sans. Op. (1932). Libretto by Alexei Tolstoy and Alexander Starchakov. Piano score. Score.

Article and Transcript of the Author’s Music Manuscript by Olga Digonskaya. Instrumentation by Gerard McBurney. Edited by Viсtor Ekimovsky. Publishing for the first time.

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  An opera commissioned by the Bolshoi Theatre in the early 1930s, about a half-man/half-ape, was discovered by Olga Digonskaya in the Shostakovich Family Archive in 2006.

  In 2009, Irina Shostakovich commissioned British composer Gerard McBurney to orchestrate the fragment of the opera Orango that has survived for full symphony orchestra (accompanied by soloists and a mixed chorus). In December 2011, the semi-staged world premiere of the opera was performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, USA (directed by Peter Sellars, lighting design by Ben Zamora).

Cast of Characters:

  • Susanna, foreigner, soprano
  • Renée, Armand Fleury’s daughter, contralto
  • Armand Fleury, embryologist, tenor
  • Paul Mâche, journalist, tenor
  • 1st Foreigner, tenor
  • 2nd Foreigner, tenor
  • Zoologist, tenor
  • Orango, human-like ape, baritone
  • Voice from the crowd, bass
  • Veselchak (Cheery Fellow-Master of Ceremonies), bass
  • Nastya Terpsikhorova, ballerina


Piccolo, 2 Flauti, 2 Oboi, Corno inglese, Clarinetto piccolo (Es), 2 Clarinetti (B), 2 Sassofoni: Soprani (B), Alto (Es), 2 Fagotti, Contrafagotto
6 Corni (F), 3 Trombe (B), 3 Tromboni, Tuba
Timpani, Triangolo, Sonagli, Legno, Castagnetti, Raganella, Tamburino, Tamburo, Piatti, Cassa, Tam-tam, Fischio di milizia, Claxon
Jazz batteria
Flauto a coulisse, Flessatono, Campanelli, Silofono, Banjo
Baritono (B), Basso solo
Coro: S.A.T.B.
Violini I, Violini II, Viole, Violoncelli, Contrabassi

  This edition is based on the piano score of Orango, published in 2010 (Dmitri Shostakovich’s Archive) in accordance with the author’s manuscript (Glinka All-Russia Museum Association of Musical Culture, rec. gr. 32, f. 2164) as deciphered by Olga Digonskaya and edited by Victor Ekimovsky. The piano score has been brought into compliance with the score of Orango orchestrated by Gerard McBurney (published in this volume).
  With rare exceptions, there are no tempo, dynamic, or bowing designations in the author’s manuscript of the piano score. They have been added in keeping with the score and no special mention is made of them. All the differences between the author’s manuscript of the piano score and the score, are specified in the bar-by-bar comments.