Verdi's Aida

The refrain "O gods, gods..." runs through Master and Margarita like a leitmotif. It is probably taken from Verdi's opera Aida, which Bulgakov knew and loved and quoted in other works.

At right is a program for a performance from Aida at the Kiev Conservatory in 1915. (from Kiev Mikhaila Bulgakova, p. 175)

Numi, pietà (Act 1, Scene 1 and repeated)


Performed by the NBC Symphony Orchestra, dir. Arturo Toscanini.
The role of Aida is sung by Herva Nelli.

"Gods, have pity on my suffering,
there is no hope for my pain"