Boris Godunov

It is important to clarify to readers, of the various versions of this opera, true "masterpiece" Modest Musorgski. The first or primitive version, from 1869, It included seven scenes and was not accepted -curiously a feminist stance in those years!- for not having any female role. It took nearly sixty years, so this version was represented on stage: specifically in the Opera and Ballet of Leningrad 16 February 1928. In 1871, Mussorgsky concluded a version that includes the two scenes of the Polish act and certain changes: added the two songs at the scene of the border, Clock situation and other minor at the scene of the tsar room, replacement of San Basilio box by Kromi forest. This revised by its author version premiered in 1874. In 1896 It was released the first Rimsky-Korsakov review what, despite harmonies dulcificar, reorchestration by more than three-fourths of the Opera, He contributed decisively to the recovery of the work. This release was comprised of nine scenes version 1871.
To the detriment of his own works, Rimsky-Korsakov made a new version at the end of his life, adding even own music. It is the version of 1908 made for the greater glory of the legendary Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin, and enshrine this opera in the repertoire.
In 1926 Ippolitov-Ivavov He reviewed the scene of San Basilio, who often stays near the forest Kromi. Pavel Lamm, to late twenties, He made a critical version of the original, which it premiered at the Kirov Theater in Leningrad 1928, in ten scenes, with the original instrumentation of Mussurgki 1871, and incorporating the scene of St. Basil's Cathedral, of the version of 1869, which is representing the Teatro Real in Madrid. Finally, must review the review by Shostakovich, which it premiered at the Kirov, in 1959. Shostakovich respects the most of the music of Mussorgsky, making certain cuts and revising the orchestration.
Another criticism of the original edition is David Lloyd Jones from 1975 what, precisely, which it was staged at Covent Garden in London in the production of filmmaker Andrei Tarskovsky in 1983, and is that shown in this function taken in video, in 1990, in St. Petersburg, still under the communist regime, in Kirov Theater, in which curtain may be the hammer and sickle. David Lloyd Jones reviewed the original voice and orchestral score, going further than any of the previous versions, in investigating the sources of the original manuscript of the composer.

Much has been written about the Boris Godunov, true jewel of opera of all time. It is a work full current, and he has not aged a bit since its creation, over one hundred and forty years ago. His three great originalities are: "Dramatic structure, the protagonist character of the people and the empowerment of the word as musical language ". The orchestral writing is rough and concise, corresponding with very specific vocal performance characteristics. Of the three major low is in the works, because the character of Rangoni, You can also sing a baritone: Tsar Boris Godunov is the most important, both from the point of view as dramatic vowel; Y, writing and features require a bass singer or a dramatic baritone, you can move easily between serious and acute if fa.
The monk Pimen must have a deep bass own vocalism, To access Notes between the severe and acute MI.
Vaarlan requires a voice flexible low, forceful and vigorous.
False Dmitri, It must be interpreted by a lyrical voice and wide breath, also attentive to a nuanced and full wording of intentionality.
Prince Shuski requires a light lyric, with good ability to show their own opportunism and falsity of a politician who fits any circumstances.
Marina's character requires a mezzo voice and suggestive timbrada, to express changing moods.
Xenia tsar's daughter is a role for soprano and has a remarkable intervention at the end of Act II. Tsar Feodor's son usually assigned to a mezzo, intervening both in the same scene, and the death of Boris.
The nurse is also a role for contralto or mezzo grave, It has a remarkable performance in the same scene.

Magnificent in every aspect this dramatization in St. Petersburg, Mariinsky Theater in, with the production of the great Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarskosvsky, which as already it pointed, It premiered in London in 1983, although Tarskosvsky had died prematurely in 1986. As also it indicated it is critical version of David Lloyd Jones, published by Oxford University. The scenery is of great brilliance. But, maybe, most significant is the magnificent orchestral direction of the then young Valery Gergiev, who already showed great ways, that they have been aupando over the last twenty years the top in the orchestral direction, oporística both as symphonic. Gergiev address, the head of the Kirov Theater Orchestra, very it contrasted and intense, showing all the nuances of this monumental musical score.
Years later, in 1997, Gergiev conducted for the Philips label filed an extraordinary recording 5 CD, with both versions made Mussurgski, with the participation of the fascinating mezzo-for vocalism and great beauty- Olga Borodina, who becomes the ideal Marina entire discography and videography, and it is also involved in the filming in St. Petersburg, and the director of the video takes Humphrey Burton, It revels in first and close-ups, showing the beauty of this mezzo. Its role is all in Act III, “Polish subtitles act”, definitely, the most accomplished of this production.
Marina's monologue, where he shows his boredom and ennui, that reminds us, somehow, the initial intervention by Katerina Izmailova, en la Lady Macbeth de Shostakovich: It is superbly resolved by Borodina, who delights us with a voice of great beauty timbre, yet it is emanating erotic and high doses of sensuality, and this is reflected in the long and intense duet with the false Dmitri, one of the most beautiful in the entire history of opera.
Borodina and tenor Alexei Steblianko pasted well, he shows a resounding voice, sings very well, but it lacks musicality and modulation capability, for example, the young man Nicolaï Gedda, in his extraordinary creation of the false Dmitri, in the Parisian recording (the first we held in the Boris) directed by Issay Dobrowen, in 1952, there, junto a Gedda, I could hear the great Russian mezzo Eugenia Zareska, both they sing a duet of dream, that only he could have -jugando to music fiction- being overtaken by Gedda singing with Olga Borodina.
Polish excel in this act, execution by the dance ensemble of the Kirov, of polonaises, and the great performance of the baritone Sergei Leiferkus, in the role of the sinister cleric Rangoni. Boris is under British Robert Lloyd, who has stage presence for this character and good theatrical performance, sometimes the voice is muffled and throaty, and it can not be compared with other great Boris in the past as Ezio Pinza, Boris Christoff O Nicolai Ghiaurov. Anyway, the performance of Robert Lloyd, It is of great packaging at the scene of the coronation, moving in the final scene of Act II; Y, truly awe at the scene of his death.

Good interventions Alexander Morosov as Pimen and Yevgeny Boitsov in the role of the false and twisted Shuisky. Highlight the magnificent performance as the mezzo Feodor Larissa Diatkova (intended for a later career major), with important interventions at the end of Act II, Boris and Shusky. As well, from Yevgenia Perlassova as the nurse, who with Diatkova, sings in the final scene of this act, an attractive Russian song. Outstanding performance so important in this opera chorus.

BORIS GODUNOV de MODEST MUSSORGSKY (full version of 1872)
2 DVD DECCA 075 089-9
Robert Lloyd, Olga Borodina, Alexei Steblianko, Sergei Leiferkus, Larissa Dytkova, Olga Kondina, Yevgenia Perlassova, Alexander Morosov
Production for The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden de: Andrei Tarkovsky
stage direction: Stephen Lawless
TV address: Humphrey Burton
Orchestra and Chorus of the Kirov opera in St. Petersburg
Director: Valery Gergiev
English subtitles, German, French, Español, Italian and Chinese
duration 221mn
Good image and excellent sound

this expanded version expected in the Real Boris Godunov from Musorgski. But since the decision of its programming by the artistic direction, until its premiere this season, three years have elapsed, and in all this time, some issues have gone to more and others, inevitably, unless…

Boris Godunov is based on the eponymous historical drama Aleksands Pushkin and the book Nikolai Karamzín, History of the Russian Empire (1829). Mussorgsky tells us in this opera, not just the story of a character, but a story about Russia and the Russian people.

This time, and unlike the same theater production offered in 2007, They have had the good sense to offer the most complete version of 1872 including, Besides, the Scene St. Basil's Cathedral and of the Kromi forest. The result is a much rounder work.
The second version, that of 72, more political, It is based on three main reflections: oppression that can be exercised from power, whose referent is Boris, populism and propaganda, representing the false Dimitri, and the town.
The same people that the beginning of the work calls for the appointment of Boris as Tsar and the conclusion is asked to kill the same Zar. This is coupled with the psychological analysis version 1869, Boris featuring a haunted by their ghosts of the past. Ghosts appear represented by children in their delusions.

There are several aspects that draw attention to this work. The first shows the genius of its composer. Not easy to imagine that an official coming home, sick of working, is dedicated to the composition of such an important operatic work. And it is, Besides, reference and influence for composers like Debussy, Messiaen o Berg. And nobody like Mussorgsky set, after
Monteverdi, so well the relationship between music and the story told, creating a universe completely different sound to that of his contemporaries.

The scenic aspect is one of the first disappointments with which we. Budget shortage, poor excuse for a wardrobe, It does not justify itself a mammoth building of the former Soviet Union. Stage director Johan Simons He has created an open stage, Grey, cold and decadent. On it a gateway where the characters parading in power while the people observe or participate from a lower step unfolds.
The scenery is full of common elements in modern productions that are beginning to be a bit boring for excess use. Filming and simultaneous projection, the current dress or coldness and ugliness of the scene.
Simons transmits an oppressive atmosphere, the suffering of the Russian people and the tormented Boris.
Neither it was successful this time the dressing room with some of the main characters remain descontextualizados, something that in a work like this is unforgivable.

In the attempt to establish a clear parallel between Russia described by Mussorgsky, and the current, Simons has covered in balaclavas face of some members of the choir, making an allusion explicit to the Russian punk group Pussy Riot. Remember that some members of this group were recently convicted of issuing a video at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, on charges of "undermining the social order”.
The message is clear, Then and now, explains Simons, “anonymous individuals, here by a balaclava as Pussy Riot, They may be condemned and destroyed, but the ideas remain in other. Theory that also serves the political sphere and religious”.

But let's talk about the characters, and let's start with the most important, the village, he Choir, accompanied by Little ones (big) Singers JORCAM. With a volume of sound and expressiveness so overwhelming that get really breathtaking scenes, as the Polish scene. The choir is one of the elements that this theater can be very proud, and this time they have been extraordinarily led by Haenchen.

The other protagonist of the opera, Boris, interpreted by Günther Groissböck, It is another disappointment of the night. Boris has a personality that makes her absences are almost more important than his appearances on stage, why he is blurred to the not respond to such excitement. It is a lustrous voice, but of little size and organization. Godunov debora a Groissböck.

Not so with Pimen, the voice of Dmitry Ulyanov. The old monk unctuous voice and extensive and severe severe, that they give the character the authority to reveal, through its chronicle of Russian history, Boris hatched the plot to assassinate the small Dimitri, son of his predecessor Ivan the Terrible and true heir.

Prince Shuisky, from Marguita, It has a sharp bright, a clear and well-tempered metal for an intriguing character in the Duma. Pity the poor direction of actors not ubicase you more properly on stage. The charcoal gray suit also gave him the deserved packaging.
Grigori, the false Dimitri, interpreted by Michael King, It was another disappointment. His sharp were in some unpleasant moment and their corpulence, inappropriate for the character, She hampered his movements among employees of the Real that circulated around the stage, to the astonishment of many, carrying tables and chairs.

Anatoli Koscherga He created a histrionic aptly Varlaam. julia Gertseva, Marina, brighter midtones that at some acute that failed to hit, but his voice is compact and smooth.
The duality of the "idiot", which it allows through innocence, I tell the truth without fear of being taken into account, and deep understanding of their observations. Often the idiot is the one who is right. You can not say the same for the people. It comes up a phrase of Stuart Mill, “society will be overwhelmed by the weight of collective mediocrity”.

Hartmut Haenchen, who last season led in this Theater a huge Lady Macbeth of Shostakovich, He has offered here a sober and efficient direction. You may be required a little more refinement in the nuances,but it sounded a resounding score that was probably very pleased to composer. Perhaps the coincidence of both in totalitarian experiences, Haenchen comes from East Germany, encourage greater attention to elements more frugal than pyrotechnic. His address the choir, there may be overtaken orchestra.

The enthusiasm of the public to the term of representation, It was rather content. Awaken those sleeping! Opera is very large, listening, s and, it feels, you enjoy and, at times like this, you think…

Boris Godunov
Modest Musorgski (1839-1881)
D. musical: Hartmut Haenchen
D. scene: Johan Simons
D. choir: Andrés Máspero
Headlines Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real
Small Singers JORCAM
Groissböck, Kadurina, Yarovaya, Margita, king, Gertseva,
Nikitin, Kotscherga, Vazquez, Popov, Nekrasova