[Met Tour] CID:101860

Boris Godunov
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tue, March 12, 1929

In Italian

Boris Godunov (86)
Modest Mussorgsky | Modest Mussorgsky
Boris Godunov
Fyodor Chaliapin

Prince Shuisky
Angelo Badà

Léon Rothier

Armand Tokatyan

Marion Telva

Paolo Ananian

Alfio Tedesco

Louis D'Angelo

George Cehanovsky

Ina Bourskaya

Giordano Paltrinieri

Charlotte Ryan

Ellen Dalossy

Dorothea Flexer

Vincenzo Reschiglian

Vincenzo Bellezza

Orchestration by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Translation by M.Delines, E. Palermi, G. Pardo
Synopsis of Scenes
Act I, Scene 1: The wall of Novodievitchi Convent, in the Great Environs of Moscow
Act I, Scene 2: A cell in the Convent of Miracles
Act I, Scene 3: The square between the two Cathedrals of the Assumption and of the Archangels
Act II, Scene 1: An inn on the frontier of Lithuania
Act II, Scene 2: Apartments of the Czar in the Kremlin at Moscow
Act II, Scene 3: Garden of the Castle of Michek
Act III, Scene 1: The forest of Kromy
Act III, Scene 2: Hall of the Duma in the Kremlin
Chaliapin always sang Boris in Russian.

Review 1:

Review of Samuel L. Laciar in the Philadelphia Public Ledger


Dramatic and Vocal Art of Russian outstanding in Metropolitan Opera Production

Feodor Chaliapin, greatest of Russian operatic artists, last evening gave another astounding exhibition of his art in Moussorgsky's 'Boris Godunoff," greatest of Russian operas, presented at the Academy of Music by the Metropolitan Opera Company. "Boris" is really not an opera in the usually accepted sense; it is a series of "pictures," as the composer himself has termed them, illustrating events in the life of Boris Godunoff, regicide and remorse-torn Czar. There is in it a certain lack of dramatic continuity, although there is no lack of drama in the incidents themselves, especially as interpreted by Mr. Chaliapin.

Chaliapin Monopolizes Opera

Boris is a one-character opera - as indeed any stage work in which Mr. Chaliapin appears is apt to be - and the essential characteristic of the work. In it Moussorgsky broke as completely with the dominant Italian opera of the period in which "Boris" was composed as did Wagner in the German opera written in the same period. There were no set arias, and much of the vocal writing is recitative or semi-recitative. At the same time there is plenty of melody based, usually, upon Russian folk song.

Mr. Chaliapin's work last evening was superb, especially in the scene in which he imagines the spirit of the murdered Tsarevitch returns to haunt him and, to an even greater extent, in that depicting the death of Boris. In this scene Miss Dalossy (who very capably enacted the role of Theodor, young son of Boris), was herself manifestly overcome, as was shown in her appearance before the curtain with Mr. Chaliapin and other members of the cast.

Mr. Chaliapin was in excellent voice and used the vocal part of the role chiefly to supplement the dramatic action, although there was no lack of fine and expressive singing, especially in the last act, where Boris has almost the only sustained melodic passages of the opera. He received prolonged applause at the close of each scene.

Moussorgsky's opera requires a huge cast, no fewer than sixteen being demanded. Of the other members of the cast special mention should be made of Mr. Ananian's splendid performance of Vaarlam, the renegade monk. His singing of "When I Was in Kazan" and his acting were of an exceedingly high order. Armand Tokatyan as the false Dimitri and Leon Rothier as the monk Pimen were excellent in every respect.

Ina Bourskaya as the Lithuanian innkeeper gave a rare touch of Slavic atmosphere and Marion Telva was a charming and entirely competent Marina, singing very finely the beautiful music of the last scene of the second act. The remainder of the large cast was adequate and the chorus was magnificent, especially in the "Coronation" scene and that in the forest of Kromy, which opens the last act.

Mr. Bellezza conducted and generally did well, although there were some passages where all the sections of the orchestra were not together. The performance grew continually better as it progressed, the rough spots of the [first] scenes smoothing out until the last two acts left little to be desired from any standpoint

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