2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-31 00:17
The opera "Boris Godunov" was created by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky as a folk musical drama. This is recognized throughout the world as the greatest achievement of the Russian opera school, a brilliant example of a democratic direction in our classics. It combines the depth of realistic depiction of Russian history with the amazing innovation that has been shown in the creation of this piece of music.
It is generally accepted world opinion that the opera "Boris Godunov" is difficult to stage in foreign opera houses, as it can be difficult for foreign conductors, directors, performers to deeply imbue the ideas of Mussorgsky's musical drama. Interestingly, the world's star opera scenes invited Russian directors to stage "Boris Godunov", for example, La Scala - A. Konchalovsky.
The primary source for the idea of creating an opera was the tragedy of the same name by A. S. Pushkin. "BorisGodunov", the biography of this outstanding Russian politician, his tragic fate, the conflict between the craving for autocratic power and the discontent of the people during the period of unrest that reigned during his reign. In general, the conflict between the people and the authorities is an echo of the ideas of the Decembrists in Pushkin's drama.
Mussorgsky picked up and developed it, since the opera "Boris Godunov" was created in the midst of reforms in Russia after the abolition of serfdom, between 1868 and 1872, when the seemingly unshakable autocracy staggered, made concessions to society. The composer himself worked on the libretto, additionally referring to the "History of the Russian State".
Mussorgsky understands what intensity of passion boils in the soul of the hero. In essence, he is a good person - Boris Godunov. The opera, step by step, scene by scene, shows how the thirst for power draws in a person who at first is not particularly striving for this power. If in the prologue of the opera Boris categorically renounces the throne, then later, having agreed to accept the crown, he is tormented by doubts (the monologue “Soul Sorrows”).
At the same time, the storyline of the fugitive monk Grishka Otrepiev, who learned from the elder Pimen the story of the death of Tsarevich Dmitry, develops. It is Pimen who involuntarily pushes Gregory to flee from the monastery and to the bold idea of declaring himself a saved prince.
The story of infanticide hovers over Boris's family. The death of the fiance of the tsar's daughter Xenia, the pangs of conscience of Godunov himself (the famous monologue "I have reached the highest power"). And the ghost of the murdered prince,who imagines the king. It seems that Boris doesn't care anymore what news of the impostor brings him.
In the original version of the opera "Boris Godunov" ended with the scene of his death. Subsequently, in the early 70s, the composer completed the opera, adding a whole scene of the uprising near Kromy - the beginning of the Time of Troubles.
There are several editions of the opera, at different times it was edited and instrumented by N. Rimsky-Korsakov, D. Shostakovich, M. Ippolitov-Ivanov. The author's edition is also used, more complex and detailed, voluminous in time. Although most often theaters perform opera in Rimsky-Korsakov's adaptation.
It should be noted that famous basses of different times shone in the opera - it's impossible to list them all, but F. Chaliapin, A. Pirogov, B. Shtokolov and many others created unforgettable interpretations of the image of Boris. The tenor part of the Yurodivy became a masterpiece performed by I. Kozlovsky. The main female role of Marina Mniszek was written for mezzo-soprano, but it was also performed by soprano, for example, Galina Vishnevskaya sang it in 1970.
The artistic means used by the composer are complex and multifaceted, the cross-cutting action is combined with memorable individual episodes - monologues, arias. The choirs are especially powerful in the opera.
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