World premiere: 18 January 1930, State Academic Maly Opera Theatre, Leningrad
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 10 April 2004
Scene 1. Either in a dream or in reality, the barber Ivan Yakovlevich is doing his hateful job in a drunken stupor.
Scene 2. Ivan Yakovlevich and his wife Praskovia are taken aback to find a nose in a bread roll.
Scene 3. The panic-stricken barber tries to dispose of the evidence.
Scene 4. When he wakes up in the morning, Major Kovalev discovers his nose has disappeared.
Scene 5. Inside Kazan Cathedral, Major Kovalev unexpectedly meets his nose and tries to speak to it.
Scene 6. A newspaper advertisements department: Kovalev tries to submit an advertisement about the disappearance of his nose. Unsuccessfully.
Scene 7. Kovalev´s apartment. The major´s footman Ivan is relaxing quietly, and Kovalev´s despair increases.
Scene 8. A coaching-inn. The district constable is giving instructions to his men to capture the travelling Nose. A procession of travellers enters: a mother and father with their two sons, Ivan Ivanovich and Pyotr Fyodorovich, an elderly lady surrounded by hangers-on and a bread roll seller. Suddenly the nose appears. In the confusion, they manage to catch it.
Scene 9. Kovalev´s apartment. The district constable brings Kovalev his Nose and, on receiving his reward, disappears. In vain, the major tries to put the Nose back on his face. A doctor arrives but is unable to help Kovalev. Kovalev and his friend Yaryzhkin suspect the guilty party to be staff-officer Podtochina, acting in revenge for Kovalev´s contempt for her daughter. The friends write a letter to Podtochina, which Ivan the footman delivers. Ivan returns with an answer and Kovalev understands that the women are innocent.
Scene 10. A street. A rumour is spreading over the city that Kovalev´s Nose has run away. The horrific tale has captured the imagination of the whole city: Everyone, including the eminent merchant Khorzev-Mirza, is discussing the event in the most animated fashion. Unexpectedly Major Kovalev joins the mêlée: his nose is exactly where it should be.