Saturday, April pm — pm Nationaltheater. Duration est. Child murder, scheming monks and a tsar lapsing into madness — Modest Mussorgsky spread the thematic arc wide in his choral opera, which he began to work on from , and with which he attempted to awaken an awareness of his own time through the indirect route of a historic story. As an artist of the 19th century, he was driven by the psychology of the masses.

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This banner text can have markup. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. English text by John Gutman. Shchelkalov, the secretary of the Duma, arrives with a message that Boris has not relented and refuses to become Tsar.

After his departure, pilgrims arrive with images of saints and amulets. The people greet them with reverence and pray again to the Lord that He may deliver Russia from its misery and its unending feuds. The guard orders the people to appear the next morning at the Kremlin and the people, wearily, retire.

He arrives amidst the general jubilation accompanied by Prince Shuiski and by Xenia and Fyodor, Boris's children. Boris is sad and brooding. A fearful omen fills his heart with dark thoughts. He enters the church and reappears with the crown on his head as the bells chime and the people greet their new Tsar with wild cries of "Glory, glory. Grigori, a younger member of the monastery, lies asleep. As he awakens he tells Pimen of the disturbing dreams he had and he asks Pimen a question that has long been on his mind; who killed young Dimitri, the Tsarevich.

Pimen tells him what happened in Uglich that day, when young Dimitri was murdered by three men who admitted that they killed him by order of Boris Godunov. Asked by Grigori how old the Tsarevich was when he died, Pimen tells him that he must have been the same age as Grigori himself. As Pimen leaves the cell to attend the morning prayers, Grigori is left deep in thought about what he has heard. Scene 4 An Inn near the Lithuanian border The innkeeper is discovered singing a folk-song which is interrupted by the arrival of Missail and Varlaam, two wandering monks who are heartily welcomed by the lonely innkeeper and who are soon followed by a younger companion, Grigori, who has escaped from the monastery.

Varlaam, inspired by the wine which the hostess offers him, sings a song about the famous battle at Kazan and then slowly goes to sleep. Grigori uses this opportunity to inquire from the innkeeper how far the border of Lithuania might be.

The innkeeper tells him that the border is quite near and that he could get there this very evening if the police didn't stop him. It seems that a man has escaped and that the police have been ordered to get him. Soon thereafter an officer of the frontier guard appears with a warrant which, unfortunately, neither he nor his assistant can read. He inquires whether anybody in the room is able to read and as Grigori admits to being educated, the officer hands him the warrant and orders him to read it aloud.

This Grigori does and it seems that the details of the warrant fit Varlaam, the older of the two monks, to perfection. The officer wants to arrest Varlaam but Varlaam smells a rat and decides to read the warrant himself, although he confesses that he is not much of a reader.

As read by Varlaam, it turns out that the warrant rather describes Grigori. As the officer prepares to arrest him, Grigori draws a knife and jumps out of the window. Fyodor, her brother, and their nurse try to cheer her up by singing old folk-songs. Suddenly, Boris appears. He begs his daughter to forget her grief and tells his son to continue with his studies since the day may not be far when he, Fyodor, will be the mighty Tsar of Russia.

After Fyodor takes leave from his father, Boris expresses the deep tragedy of his soul. Boris confesses that the bloody head of the dead Dimitri appears to him in his nightmares. Shouts are heard from an adjoin- ing room and when the Tsar asks his son to find out what happened, Fyodor returns with an amusing story about a parrot that upset all the nurses by his weird behavior.

Shuiski demands an audience with his Tsar and being admitted tells the Tsar that a usurper is gathering partisans and finds many people willing to believe his claim that he is Tsarevich Dimitri.

Boris orders Shuiski to tell him whether he is sure that the boy who was murdered in Uglich was Dimitri. Shuiski is sure of that, and is dismissed by the Tsar who in a fit of hallucination sees the ghost of the dead child approaching him in the dark corner of his room and raises his hand to his God begging for forgiveness. She has met Grigori and she believes him to be or wants to believe him to be the rightful Tsar of Russia.

Rangoni, a Jesuit, demands of Marina that she must use all her feminine wiles to enslave Grigori and to use his love for her as a stepping-stone for her to become the Tsarina.

Marina at first is shocked by this intrigue but as Dimitri comes to her to declare his love and beg her not to reject him she coldly informs him that she will belong to him only if he conquers Moscow as the rightful Tsar.

A simpleton appears followed by a group of boys who tease him and take his only coin away from him. The simpleton cries and when Boris enters the simpleton runs up to him and asks him to murder those boys the way he once murdered the young Tsarevich. Prince Shuiski orders the simpleton arrested but Boris forbids it, and asks the simpleton instead to pray for him.

Scene 2 The Duma The Duma is in session and discusses what ought to be done about the usurper Grigori who claims to be Dimitri.

Their discussions are interrupted by the arrival of Shuiski, who tells them the frightful story of how he discovered the Tsar a few days earlier in a state of complete frenzy, fleeing as it were from the murdered child that seemed to pursue him. As he describes the scene, Boris enters in a trance, shouting "Go, go, my child. The old monk enters; it is Pimen who tells the story of a blind man who had a vision in a dream that summoned him to go to Uglich and visit the grave of the slain Dimitri.

The blind man followed this summon and as he knelt before the grave of the Tsarevich he suddenly was able to see for the first time in his life. This story strikes Boris with terror and he feels that the hour of his death has come. He counsels his son to beware of the intriguing politicians that surround him, he begs him never to ask how he, Boris, became Tsar, and he beseeches him to be a brother and a father to his sister Xenia. Boris dies.

Scene 3 The Forest of Kromy The fires of the revolution are raging and a wild mob is threatening to do violence to a Boyar whom they have captured. Grigori, now recognized as Dimitri, the Tsar of Russia, appears and promises the people to right all the wrongs that Boris Godunov has inflicted on his subjects.

The crowds follow him in jubilation. Only the simpleton remains. Lonely, he sits on a stone in the wide, empty steppe, and staring at the flames of the revolution on the distant horizon he bewails the fate of his land. The curtain falls slowly. A Guard appears at the door. The peo- ple stand motionless.

Down there — on your knees! Go down! You're the devil's sons and daughters! Lord, we beseech You that You protect us, oh Father. We are all orphans without You — help Your children. And with tears we ask You, Lord in Heaven : hear our wailing — hear our bitter cries. Help, Father — Lord in the skies above. Oh Father, Benefactor, don't leave us — Help, Father! Men We must find a Tsar to govern Russia.

A Woman To hell with it! I'm hoarse from shout- ing. I ask you, my darling dove — have you a drop of water? Women Wait — I'll serve you in a moment. Just do not shout so much, so you won't be so thirsty.

Men Women, stop your silly chatter. Women And who are you to tell us? Don't think that you can bully us! Mityukh Oh, you witches, keep your mouths shut! Women Listen to that little devil. Various Groups of Women He's a fool — he's only boasting. He's a heathen — he'll be roasting. God have mercy on this sinner. Let us run and look for shelter. Men If this nickname does not please you, if you feel he shouldn't tease you, we regret it, we regret it.

Women If we stay, it won't be healthy, so we'd better run for shelter. Men See the witches — how they're running. I'll show you. I will teach you, you loafers. Women Don't be mad, Nikitich; don't be mad, beloved. Men Let us do some breathing — then we'll do some praying. Another Group He won't let us breathe, the bastard. Guard Shut up — use your voices as you're told. Men Ready. We are lost without You. Lord in Heaven: hear our wailing, hear our bitter cries. Help, Father! Hear what he has to say.

Boris has not relented. He pays no heed to his advisers, nor to the Duma. He does not want to hear of his accession. What sorrow and grief has come to this holy land, fellow-citizens.


Boris Godunov - English National Opera Guide 11 (includes libretto)

This banner text can have markup. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. English text by John Gutman. Shchelkalov, the secretary of the Duma, arrives with a message that Boris has not relented and refuses to become Tsar. After his departure, pilgrims arrive with images of saints and amulets. The people greet them with reverence and pray again to the Lord that He may deliver Russia from its misery and its unending feuds.



Boris Godunov is an opera by Modest Mussorgsky The work was composed between and in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is Mussorgsky's only completed opera and is considered his masterpiece. Its subjects are the Russian ruler Boris Godunov, who reigned as Tsar to during the Time of Troubles, and his nemesis, the False Dmitriy reigned to The Russian-language libretto was written by the composer, and is based on the "dramatic chronicle" Boris Godunov by Aleksandr Pushkin, and, in the Revised Version of , on Nikolay Karamzin's History of the Russian State. Convert currency.


Boris Godunov (Libretto)

Boris has but three of the seven scenes, and in one of them, the. Coronation Scene, he sings but a few notes. The False Dimitri occupies almost as important a role. But even more important is the sense of history in the opera—the sweep from scene to scene, in which characters come and go, in which the unseen figure of the murdered child throws his shadow over the entire work, in which there are set in motion forces involving peasants and kings, nobles and the clergy.

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