The source for its libretto, which was written by the author himself in co-operation with V. Stasov, was the monument of Russian ancient literature called “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign”, which tells us about the unsuccessful military campaign of the Russian Prince Igor against the Polovtsians.
The opera’s premiere took place on the 23rd of October (4th of November), 1890 in St Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre.
It took 18 years to create this opera, but in 1887 the composer died, and the work remained unfinished. Basing on A. Borodin’s notes, it was completed by Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The scene is laid in the Russian town of Putivl and in the Polovtsian camp in 1185.
Production Director – People’s Artist of Russia Yuri Alexandrov (St Petersburg)
Conductor Director – Honored Artist of Russia Vladimir Kovalenko
Art Director – Distinguished Artist of Russia Viacheslav Okunev (St Petersburg)
Ballet-Master - Director – Distinguished Artist of Russia, awardee of the international ballet-masters contests, awardee of the Maurice Béjart’s prize Kirill Shmorgoner
Stage Production Director – Irina Sharonova (St Petersburg)
Conductor: People’s Artist of Republic of Belarus, Honored Artist of Russia, awardee of the State Prize of Republic of Belarus, awardee of the national theatre prize Alexander Anisimov
Choirmasters – Honored Artist of Russia Valeria Navrotskaya, Olga Safronova
Choir Director – Marina Monastyrskaya
Ballet Dancers’ Trainers and Coaches: Distinguished Artist of Russia Gennady Akachenok, Alexander Petrov
Russian city of Putivl, 1185. Prince Igor is about to start his campaign against the Polovtsians. Suddenly the sun goes out: it’s an eclipse. People plead Igor to stay, but he is determined to start out. Two gudok-players, Skula and Yeroshka, are afraid of fighting in battle and decide to desert and serve Prince Galitsky instead. Yaroslavna begs Igor to reconsider, but his honour and duty oblige him to go. He entrusts Yaroslavna to her brother, Prince Galitsky. The priest blesses Igor’s army. Without Igor, Putivl sinks into debauchery. The rouse at Prince Galitsky’s court never ceases, he even plans to make Yaroslavna take the veil. A crowd of women pleads him to release a girl he has abducted, but he drives them away. In her rooms, Yaroslavna is haunted by premonitions: there hasn’t been any news of Igor. Women come to her to complain about Prince Galitsky. His coming scares them away. Yaroslavna does her best to bring him to reason. The Boyars bring news of Igor’s defeat and captivity, and the Polovtsians’ advance. They prepare to defend the city.
At the Polovtsian camp, Konchakovna, the Khan’s daughter awaits her beloved Vladimir, Igor’s son. She has her father’s consent to their wedding, but he has none from Igor. Igor’s coming interrupts the lovers’ tryst. Ovlur, a Christian Polovtsian, suggests that Igor should escape. Igor is torn between his word to Konchak and his desire to defend his country. Konchak is exceptionally hospitable, but won’t let Igor go. Instead, he offers him a union and treats him to the Polovtsian dances. Back in Putivl, Yaroslavna grieves Igor’s absence. Presently Igor approaches, accompanied by Ovlur. He has escaped from captivity and is ready to lead the Russian army once again. People gather on the city square and sing Igor’s praises.
Composer Alexander Borodin (1833-1887). Libretto by A. Borodin.
Choreography by K. Goleizovski
“Prince Igor” is an opera by a Russian composer A. Borodin.