At the Hvorostovsky Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, the rehearsals of the stage version of the Modest Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov are in full swing. The premiere shows will take place on November 24, 25, 26. The title role will be performed by stars of the opera stage: Honoured Artist of Russia Dmitri Ulyanov and Garry Agadzhanyan.
Soloist of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre Dmitri Ulyanov nowadays is one of the most popular Russian singers in the world. His rich bass voice combined with his consummate acting skills allows Dmitri Ulyanov to perform on the best theatre stages of the world in collaboration with the most recognized conductors (including Teodor Currentzis, Mikhail Tatarnikov, Mariss Jansons, Ivor Bolton, etc.). Such outstanding directors as Dmitri Chernyakov, Barrie Kosky, David Pountney, Peter Sellars, Krzysztof Warlikowski invited him to take part in their productions. The artist’s repertoire comprises brilliant parts in operas by European and Russian composers including Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina and Boris Godunov.
Dmitri Ulyanov is already known to Krasnoyarsk opera fans: in 2021 and 2022, he took part in the Dmitry Hvorostovsky Festival (a concert performance of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and the gala concert Musical Olympus). Garry Agadzhanyan, a soloist of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, also performed in Krasnoyarsk more than once. In September 2023, Garry performed Boris Godunov’s monologue My Soul Grieves at the gala concert dedicated to the opening of the 46th season of the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Music director of the stage version is Chief Conductor of the Theatre Dmitri Yurovsky, the stage director is Chief Director Irina Lychagina, and the set design is created by Theater's Chief Artist Maria Vysotskaya. The musical basis was taken from the first author's edition (the production didn’t include the Polish Act and the Kromï Scene, which were added in the score editions later). The production will be presented to Krasnoyarsk spectators in a semi-stage format, with laconic set design that will nevertheless immerse both the artists and the audience in the era of the Russian Time of Troubles.
The costumes of the characters have a complicated history. In 2014, they were given to the Siberians by the Bolshoi Theatre for three years. Unique costumes were made for Boris Godunov according to the sketches of the theatrical artist Pavel Kaplevich by the world-famous film director Alexander Sokurov who staged the opera at the Bolshoi in 2007. However, the lease period ended: in 2018, the costumes were sent back to the Bolshoi Theatre; only the bells stayed in Krasnoyarsk.
And in 2023, on the eve of the 185th birthday of Modest Mussorgsky, these costumes are back to Siberia. They were restored in the Theatre’s workshops, and the artists will again don them on the Krasnoyarsk stage - at the new premiere of Boris Godunov.
In January 2024 (the year of the anniversary), Krasnoyarsk residents will once again meet Mussorgsky’s music at the festival Slovtsov. Postscriptum. It’ll be the concert of the composer’s chamber works orchestrated by Dmitri Yurovsky. The soloists of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre Natalia Petrozhitskaya and Dmitri Zuev will perform them.