The historical drama and political fable Boris Godunov is a giant of the Russian operatic corpus.
Andris Poga | direction
Olivier Py | staging
Pierre-André Weitz | scenography and costumes
Bertrand Killy | lighting
Matthias Goerne is replaced by bass Alexander Roslavets who played the role of Boris during performances at the Capitole in Toulouse last November.
Alexander Roslavets | Boris Godunov
Victoire Bunel | Fyodor
Lila Dufy | Xenia
Svetlana Lifar | The nurse
Marius Brenciu | Prince Shuysky
Mikhail Timoshenko | Andrey Shchelkalov
Roberto Scandiuzzi | Pimen
Airam Hernández | Grigoriy Otrepiev
Yuri Kissin | Varlaam
Fabien Hyon | Misail
Sarah Laulan | The Innkeeper
Kristofer Lundin | The Innocent
Barnaby Rea | Mityukha
Sulkhan Jaiani | Nikitich
Orchestre National de France
Chœur de l’Opéra National du Capitole | direction Gabriel Bourgoin
Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine | direction Gaël Darchen
There are several versions of Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky, inspired by Pushkin’s play. The first version, composed between 1868 and 1869, was banned by the censors as it was forbidden at the time to depict the Tsar on the opera stage, and in particular because it had no female lead, love plot or ballet scenes. A second version was produced in 1872 and was eventually premiered in 1872 after numerous setbacks and at the insistence of opera stars of the day. There were also reorchestrations by Rimsky-Korsakov at the turn of the century, followed at a later date by Shostakovich. In all of these versions, the focus is on the loneliness of power and its excesses. In the original 1869 version which has been chosen for this new production, the plot is compact and extremely dramatically condensed. The dark premise is underscored by a wild yet flamboyant orchestration which lays bare the psychology of the title role.
“I want the sound to express the idea, I want the truth,” wrote Mussorgsky. His sombre tale of the rise and fall of Boris is a fascinating and unsettling theatrical and musical experience. As a historical drama and political fable, Boris Godunov is a true titan of the Russian operatic corpus. But it is first and foremost a meditation on the isolation of power and its abuses. Another titan is required to play this colossal role and Alexander Roslavets perfectly embodies the necessary strength and interiority. He is supported by a team of singers experienced in this type of demanding repertoire and the Orchestre National de France under the baton of seasoned conductor Andris Poga.
Coproduction Opéra National du Capitole | Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
Avec le soutien d’Aline Foriel-Destezet,
Grand Mécène de la saison artistique du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
France Musique enregistre cet opéra.
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