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Carl Theodor Dreyer
Emil Hass Christensen,
Preben Lerdorff Rye
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Boris Godunov is an opera that I was introduced to with Boris Christoff singing and performing the death scene on the 1956 broadcast. Having been riveted and moved, I really wanted to see the whole opera. Regardless of what version it's in, the opera is a masterpiece, some of the music in the death scene really haunts and speaks to me in particular.
This production is brilliant, and the only video I can think of at the moment that uses Mussorgsky's own orchestration. A big part of the success of the production other than the superb music is Valery Gergiev's conducting, which brings out the emotion of the score and the characteristics of the opera's composer Modest Mussorgsky superlatively.
The costumes and sets are ornate and evocative, the orchestra are superb and the chorus are solid in the singing if not quite so good in the acting. I loved the staging, perhaps it is not quite what you expect, but I loved it, particularly the idea for actors to portray sculptures in the Polish Garden scene and the psychological quality it has.
The performances from the principals can't be faulted, right down from Robert Lloyd's exceptionally well sung and acted performance in the title role to the tour-de-force that is Olga Borodina's Marina. All in all, brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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