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New Production Boris Godunov Continues Met Live Series

Photo Credit: Staller Center

200 people, 600 costumes, 73 orchestra members and 120 chorus members all worked together for the production of Modest Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov,” conducted by Valery Gergiev and produced by Stephen Wadsworth.

Satellite streamed the Russian opera live from The Metropolitan Opera to the Staller Center on Oct. 23, and “Boris Gudunov,” was the second production of The Met Live in HD series.

The opera began as Boris Godunov, played by German actor René Pape, refuses to become czar of Russia, but eventually takes on the title.  Following Godunov’s crowning, the monk Pipen, played by Mikhail Petrenko, tells Grigory, played by Aleksandrs Antonenko, of the death of Czar Dimitry, who was murdered by Boris.  Grigory decides to pretend that he is Dimitry and tell of what Boris did.  He flees to Lithuania to gain support.

In the following act, viewers see the guilt Boris endures from his actions.  Grigory is pretending to be the rightful czar by claiming to be Dimitry, and wins over Marina Mnishek, played by Ekaterina Semenchuk.

In the last act, the people of Russia are debating over whether or not Dimitry is still alive.  Boris pleads to the Holy Fool, played by Andrey Popov,  for prayers, but the Holy Fool refuses because Boris is a murderer.  Boris dies, and Grigory, pretending to be Dimitry, comes and leads a crowd to Moscow. The Holy Fool is left wondering of Russia’s destiny.

Lee Reycraft, a retired teacher residing in Northport, said he thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

“The production was very, very innovative in keeping with the original score,” Reycraft said. “It was a very eye-opening kind of production.  [It was] also interesting to see how he worked the production around the Holy Fool as sort of a commentator on the plight of the Russian people and also the fact that he could almost like see the future, see what was coming up.”

The next Met Live in HD screening at the Staller Center will be “Don Pasquale” screened on Saturday Nov. 13 at 1 p.m.

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