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Friday, July 23, 2010

Director Shakeup Rocks Met's "Boris"

Reposted from my page at Examiner.com
Rene Pape as Boris Godunov.
Photo by Nick Heavican © 2010 Metro

Director Peter Stein has withdrawn from the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Boris Godunov, according to a report in today's Wall Street Journal.

The announcement comes just ten weeks before Boris is scheduled to open on Oct. 11. Technical rehearsals are scheduled to begin in late August, the Journal reported.

Mr. Stein will be replaced by Stephen Wadsworth, an acclaimed American director. Mr. Wadsworth is an experienced artist who is currently head of the Met's Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. In recent seasons, he has directed the company's acclaimed production of Gluck's Iphegénie en Tauride, which is due for a revival next spring.

The production stars German bass Rene Pape in the title role. Valery Gergiev conducts. According to the Wall Street Journal Online, Mr. Wadsworth will use the same sets and costumes as envisioned by Mr. Stein.

With its muscular, naturalistic music by Modest Mussorgsky and grand choral scenes, Boris Godunov is one of the most popular Russian operas in the repertory. The libretto is based on a play by Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin's drama accuses Boris, a real historical figure, of murdering Dmitri, the tsarevitch, or heir to the throne. When a "false Dmitri" leads a revolutionary march on Moscow, Boris goes mad and dies.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.