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Boris Godunov

Musical Director and Conductor – laureate of International competitions Victor Kulikov;
Stage Director – laureate of the All-Russia competitions, laureate of the Russian theatrical awards "The Seagull", "Hit of the Season" Nina Chusova (Moscow);
Production Designer – Honoured Artist of Russia, laureate of the National Theatre Award "Golden Mask", laureate of the Russian theater award "The Seagull" Pavel Kaplevich (Moscow);
Lighting Designer – Sergey Martynov (Moscow);
Choreographer – laureate of the national and international competitions Elvira Pervova;
Choirmasters – Honoured Artist of Russia Valeria Navrotskaya, Olga Safronova, Svetlana Erastova;
Photographers – Dmitry Vinogradov, Elizaveta Sukhova.

The students of the Children's Central Choir School and the artists of the Elvira Pervova’ Theatre of Contemporary Dance "SCREAM" take part in the performance

Middle-Volga Regional Opera (Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre) opened its first season by the opera "Boris Godunov" in June 1, 1931. After eight decades, in its 81th season, the Theatre turned back to the masterpiece of Modest Musorgsky, focuses on the drama of Tsar Boris.

Act I

Scene One
Novodevichy Monastery.

… 1598. Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich has died without an heir. Boris Godunov had been the de facto ruler under Fyodor’s reign, having shown exceptional wisdom in the cause of the Russian State. He tried to claim the throne but the boyars – of more noble birth than Godunov – resisted him, spreading ill tales about him and that it was he who ordered the death of Tsarevich Dmitry in Uglich, the legal heir to the throne and the younger son of Ivan the Terrible.
In order to achieve his desired aims, Boris ostensibly removes himself and his family to the Novodevichy Monastery; Godunov’s adherents have assembled the people to “ask Boris to be Tsar”. The people reluctantly obey, expressing apathy and indifference to what is happening. Shchelkalov, the scribe of the Boyars’ Council, declares that Boris is adamant in his resolution. However, the Patriarch and the boyars close to Godunov nonetheless “beg” him to ascend the throne.
A bailiff announces the boyars’ decree: “Be in the Kremlin on the morrow and await orders.”

Scene Two
A square in the Kremlin.

Godunov is crowned Tsar. Boris has achieved everything he wanted but… “My heart laments, some kind of unbidden fear has filled my heart with a premonition of evil.” Tsar Boris yields before the “exultant people”. Can he be won over?

Scene Three
Pimen’s cell in the Chudov Monastery.

“One more tale and my manuscript is complete…” The young monk Grigory awakes from a troubled dream: for the third time he has seen himself ascending a steep staircase in his sleep, looking over Moscow and falling downwards: “I became both ashamed and frightened…”
Grigory is troubled that he does nothing at the monastery. He envies Pimen for the rich tapestry of events that occurred in his younger days. He is particularly interested in the death of the young Tsarevich in Uglich. “He was the same age as you and reigned,” Pimen answers. Pimen’s words about the murder of the Tsarevich on the orders of Boris Godunov open a fiendish plan to Grigory.

Scene Four
An inn near the Lithuanian frontier.

Three va¬gabond monks, Varlaam, Missail and Grigory, have dropped in on the sprightly, merry mistress of the establishment. Varlaam, a drunkard and glutton, singsa song about the capture of Kazan. Grigory, questions the mi-stress of the inn on the best route to Lithuania. A police officer comes into the inn: on the Tsar’s orders he is searching for therun¬away monk, Grigory Otrepiev. After an un¬successful attempt to deflect the suspicion from himself, Grigory leaps through the win¬dow and makes good his escape.

Scene Five
A terem in the Moscow Kremlin.

Tsarevna Xenia mourns her dead husband, while Tsarevich Fyodor examines the map of Russia.
With his family Boris Godunov is good and kind. But he cannot dismiss his gloomy thoughts: “I have supreme power. I have reigned in peace for six years. But my soul knows no rest…”
Informed by Prince Shuisky of the Pretender in Lithuania calling himself Dmitry, Godunov loses his self-control. He insists that Shuisky confirm the death of the young Dmitry in Uglich. The Prince’s detailed story is agony for Boris.

Act II

Scene One
Poland. Commander Mnishek’s Sandomir Castle.

Grigory Otrepiev, claiming to be the saved Tsarevich Dmitry, meets Marina Mnishek – a coquettish, calculating and spoiled young lady.
The Jesuit Rangoni must fulfil the wishes of the Pope in Rome as his secret emissary. In order to enter Russia and turn the nation into a Catholic land he needs a union between Marina Mnishek and the Pretender. However, Marina herself dreams of becoming Tsarina of Russia. She succeeds in inflaming the Pretender’s ambitions.

Scene Two
The square before St Basil’s in Moscow.

Prior to a service in the cathedral, where Grishka Otrepiev is being denounced and eternal prayers are being said for the Tsarevich Dmitry, the people are discussing the rumour that the Tsarevich was saved and his troops are close to Moscow.
The imperial procession begins. The people pray and demand “Bread! Bread! Bread for the hungry!”
The Simpleton interrupts the Tsar’s procession. Another wound to Godunov’s soul: “We must not pray for a tyrant Tsar!”

Scene Three
Night. The Chamber of Facets in the Kremlin.

An emergency meeting of the Boyars’ Council: the Pretender’s army is close to Moscow.
The boyars are worried at Shuisky’s account of the Tsar’s illness. Boris is overcome with superstition, suspicion and fear.
Shuisky tells the tortured and suffering Boris to listen to Pimen’s tale of how a blind monk was cured over the grave of St Dmitry.
Boris has lost his self-control. Sensing the end is nigh he calls his son and orders him to “Remain pure, Fyodor, purity is your strength and power, the fortress of your reason and your salvation…” Tsar Boris dies.
  • Передача "Действующие лица" на радио "Эхо Москвы в Самаре" - 04.05.12. Ведущая - Людмила Шидловская. Гость передачи - редактор литературно-музыкальной части театра Анна Лазанчина


Music by Modest Musorgsky
Libretto by the composer after the tragedy of the same name by Alexander Pushkin
World premiere: February 8, 1874
Version and orchestration by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Orchestration of “At St. Basil Cathedral” scene by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov
Genre: Opera
Language : Russian
Title: Boris Godunov
Duration: 2 часа 45 мин
Acts count: 2
Premiere date: 01 June 2012
Age restriction: 12+

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