Rising Alternative

Opéra de Paris

Boris Godounov

Modeste Moussorgski

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“Living power is unbearable for the people. They can love only the dead.” – Boris, Boris Godounov, Alexandre Pushkin

In 1824, when Pushkin turned to Boris Godunov for his first historical drama, he knew well the colossus he was tackling. Armed with his reading of Shakespeare, Pushkin retold the epic history of the dazzling reign of the Tzar of Russia (1598-1605). Indeed, elements of Macbeth appear throughout this political fable, in which an imposter with ambitions for the throne haunts Boris, pretending to return as the child that Boris had once killed in order to seize power. Adapting this epic poem, Mussorgsky composed a meditation on the solitude of power, a populist drama in which the real protagonist is the Russian people with its burden of eternal suffering.

Ivo Van Hove is no stranger to grand political frescos, having previously staged Tragédies Romaines and Kings of War, both based on plays by Shakespeare. This is his first production for the Paris Opera.

The production stars Ildar Abdrazakov, “one of the most sought-after young basses in the operatic world” (Vanity Fair) and “one of the most exciting Russian singers to emerge on the international scene in the past decade” (Opera News).


ConductorVladimir Jurowski

DirectorIvo Van Hove

CastIldar Abdrazakov | Evdokia Malevskaya | Ruzan Mantashyan | Alexandra Durseneva | Maxim Paster

Number of actsOpera in 3 Acts

Total running time2h10

Sung inRussian

SubtitlesEnglish | French | Spanish | Italian | German

Date of performance2018-06-07

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