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Mazeppa[1] is the name of a narrative poem by Lord Byron (1788–1824)[2], often dramatized and performed.

The original text

A dramatic narrative poem based on the legend about an incident in the early life of Ivan Mazepa (1639–1709), who later became the Commander of the Ukrainian Cossacks.

Adaptations and translations

It has been dramatized in various ways over the years, including an opera in three acts and six scenes written by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)[3].

A show called Mazeppa, or the Tartar Horse premiered at the Cirque Olympique in Paris in 1825. This was copied and performed in both the USA and England.

Mazepa is a drama by Juliusz Słowacki (1809-1849)[4]. Written in 1839, published 1840, performed in Hungarian 1847, performed in Polish 1851.

A burlesque version of the story, called simply Mazeppa , "transposed and arranged as an Equestrian Burlesque in Two Acts by Charles White (1821-1891)" was published in New York: F. A. Brady, ca. 1856

Performance history in South Africa

1861: A "Grand Ethiopian Burlesque" called Mazeppa was performed by the Amateur Coloured Troupe in the New Lyceum Theatre, Cape Town, along with The Two Polts.


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p.280