What a powerful piece Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov is! Too bad it is so expensive to put on. A lot of roles and a big chorus. And if you do the Polish Act which Mussorgsky added when he revised the piece, there's also a lot of overtime. We had wanted to present the piece at the COC in a few years from now, but had to abandon our plans. It didn't quite fit in the overall financial picture of the season.
Therefore, I felt very lucky to see the Met's new production, conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Stephen Wadsworth. You might have heard that Wadsworth took over the production from the famous German director Peter Stein on fairly short notice and working with Stein's original designs, rather minimalistic sets and sumptuous period costumes.
Of course, it is always special to hear Gergiev conduct one of the great Russian operas. I vividly remember his Onegin at the Met a few years ago with a dream cast including Renée Fleming, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ramón Vargas. And he certainly had a dream cast for Boris as well, with René Pape (as the tsar), Mikhail Petrenko, Aleksanders Antonenko, Ekaterina Semenchuk and Evgeny Niktin in leading roles. As in Rheingold, there wasn't a weak link in the cast and Donald Palumbo's (next to our Sandra Horst the greatest chorus master in the world) Met chorus was overwhelming. The Met seems to be off for a great season.
I am writing this on the plane back home. Tonight we will open our production of Death in Venice.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (1) / permalink
Follow Alexander Neef on
Follow the COC on Twitter