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Libretto by M.Ordubadi,
Translated by L.Zorin
Premiere took place on April, 30, 1937 in Baku.

Ńast of characters

Ali - an old man, Hasan khan's horse-holder     bass
Rovshan, afterwards Koroghlu - his son     tenor
Nigar - Rovshan's loved one     soprano
Eyvaz - her brother     tenor
Hasan-khan     barytone
Ibrahim-khan   Hasan-khan's henchmen bass
Hamza-bey tenor
Ehsan-pasha     tenor
Polad - Hasan-khan's servant     tenor
1-st warlord     tenor
2-nd warlord     tenor
3-nd warlord     tenor
Hasan-khan's clown     tenor
Court singer-girl     soprano
Nadir   peasants tenor
Veli tenor
Criers - 1-st, 2-nd, 3-rd     tenors
Peasants, Koroghlu's soldiers, Hasan-khan's soldiers, guests, noblemen, dancers, retinue.

Action occurs in Azerbaijan in XVI-XVII centuries.

Action 1

It is picturesque nook of Azerbaijan. Peasants work in fields. They complain about their destiny: Hasan-khan severely oppresses them taking cattle and bread away. There is Hasan -khan with retinue. Servants drive peasants with whips clearing away the road for the khan. Hasan -khan orders to Ibrahim-khan to choose for him the best horse in herd. Ibrahim -khan leaves. Hasan brags of the power, riches, and severe customs, which help him to hold peasants in obedience.

Excited Ibrahim-khan runs in. He says that the horse-holder has dispersed the entire herd having left only two stallions. Hasan calls the horse-holder to account. The old man Ali is brought. In anger Hasan -khan falls upon him. Ali explains that he wanted to do a favour only to the khan, having separated two best horses from the herd. But the khan does not believe in Ali's words and orders to blind him for impudence. Ali begs about mercy, but Hasan is unshakable. The old man is withdrawn. Hasan and his henchmen leave.

Excited Nigar appears. She is indignant at Hasan-khan's new malefaction. The girl with hopes looks towards the mountains whence her beloved Rovshan should come. Rovshan enters. Nigar tells him that his father became khan's victim. Young people swear to revenge Hasan -khan. Peasants bring blind Ali. He bitterly cries naming Rovshan the son of a blind man - Koroghlu. Rovshan calls for revolt against the severe tyrant and his henchmen. People support Koroghlu. Rovshan with friends leaves for mountains. He asks Nigar to stay in the valley in order to inform him through messengers about khan's intentions.

Action 2

Richly arranged apartments of Hasan -khan. The khan waits for Ehsan-pasha's arrival preparing a magnificent meeting for him. The pasha enters accompanied by retinue. The khan and his court welcome visitors. Hasan-khan and Ehsan-pasha conclude the friendly union in order to suppress peasants' revolt by joint efforts.

Dancers and clowns entertain visitors. Fun is interrupted by arrival of soldiers group. They tell about Koroghlu's attack that took away all their loot and ask for khan's help.

Hasan -khan and his commanders decide to send against Koroghlu an army for grasping him alive. The clown suggests another way to catch the rebels' leader: it is necessary for a brave man to get into opponent's camp and to withdraw Koroghlu's favourite horse. Then he will be here for his horse himself. Hasan -khan likes the offer of the fool, and he promises the rich award to the one who will manage to steal the horse. Hamza-bey is ready to execute the order, but he asks to give him Nigar as a wife instead. Hasan orders to lead Nigar in. He declares his decision to the girl. Nigar is in despair. She asks the servant Polad to find her brother Eyvaz.

Eyvaz appears. Nigar begs him to skip to Koroghlu's immediately so as to warn him about the danger. Her brother comforts her: he believes in a victory of the rebels.

Action 3. .

Koroghlu's military camp in mountains. Soldiers sing praises for the defender, brave Koroghlu. Koroghlu appears. He tells about a new victory over fight, promises to give peasants the ground and to return everything taken away by the khan.

Hamza-bey appears in clothes of a beggar. He tells that he was a horse-holder and ran from the village destroyed. Koroghlu sends him to work in a paddock. People condemn Koroghlu for hastiness: in fact the stranger may appear the spy. Koroghlu calms friends: Nigar would warn him beforehand about danger. With grief recollects he about the beloved he is separated from by enemies.

Grows dark. Everyone leaves. Hamza-bey appears. He saddles Koroghlu's favoured horse - Kyr-at, skips away and has time to disappear.

People damn the contemptible thief. Koroghlu having learned about the accident decides to return the horse.

Action 4.

Hasan-khan and his visitors settled down in a garden. Pleased with successful abduction of Kyr-at, they feast. Disguised Koroghlu comes in. He is accepted for an asig and order to sing a song. Koroghlu sings a song about the beloved who he is separated from. The khans have liked the song. Koroghlu sings a new song, in which glorifies well-known Kyr-at, Koroghlu's horse. Hasan-khan brags about the same horse kept in his paddock now. Koroghlu asserts that the khan has been deceived: Kyr-at's owner will never give his horse to anybody. The annoyed Hasan-khan orders to bring the horse, and if the ashyg says the truth Hamza-bey is doomed to death.

Entering imperceptibly Hamza-bey recognizes Koroghlu. He silently gives the order to servants. Servants snatch on Koroghlu, tie and disarm him. Khans welcome Hamza: now the beauty Nigar is going to become his wife.

Nigar comes in. Koroghlu thinks her to have betraid the rebles. Tied Eyvaz is brought. He was seized on the way to Koroghlu's camp. Eyvaz refuses to give out those who sent him.

Hasan calls the executioner. Then Nigar admits that is it she who has sent her brother, and she says about her hatred to khans, executioners of people. Hamza-bey rushes on the traitress with a knife. Koroghlu breaks hobble off and kills Hamza. Having used the general confusion, Koroghlu jumps on Kyr-at and disappears. Khans send in chase of him. Hasan orders to execute Nigar, Eyvaz and Polad.

Action 5.

On the area all is ready for execution. People gloomy listen to the heralds declaring a verdict. Hasan-khan and his henchmen threaten that similar fate waits for all the rebellious. People complain about their destiny and damn executioners. On the area khan's armies are drawn up. Nigar should be executed in the first place. Suddenly on the area Koroghlu rushes with his soldiers. In short fight the khan and his friends are stamped out. Nigar, Polad and Eyvaz are unfettered. Koroghlu is happy to see Nigar again. Together with people she welcomes her liberator.


   © Musigi Dunyasi, 2005