Boris Godunov (2010)

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8 March 2013 | TheLittleSongbird
| A gloomier Boris than usual but still intriguing and very well sung
Boris Godunov to me is the masterwork of Russian opera, and no matter whatever version it's in when performed it is one of my personal favourites. This Regio Di Torino performance may be the best available of Boris Godunov on DVD, I find the Lloyd, Raimondi and Nesterenko productions superior(the 1954 film is not perfect but is still a must watch), however it's very well done. The sets are sparse and not as refined as other productions of the opera, but they do reflect the raw violent nature that the production was trying to convey very well. The costumes are well designed and appropriate though, Boris is regal and I did like the idea of the nobles being in fur coats and the peasants in rags, giving a clear if perhaps too obvious to some class difference. A nd the technical values of the DVD, especially the sound, are top-notch. There are a fair few close-ups which did give us some intimacy with the characters and to genuinely see what they were feeling. The staging is vivid and compelling, never dulling the drama or making us care less for the characters. The orchestral playing is powerful and affecting when needed, setting the moods for each scene perfectly, while the rousing and beautifully balanced chorus singing is a contender for the stars of the performance. The conducting is swift and expertly, not as authentic as that of Valery Gergiev but never does it hit a false note. Orlin Anastassov gives a vivid and moving account of the title role, complete with a warm beautiful voice. I will be honest though and say that I do prefer his Procida(I Vespri Siciliani) and Zaccaria(Nabucco) in his other performances on DVD. Pavel Zubov is an appealing Fyodor, Peter Bronder is authoritative and chilling as Shiusky and Vladimir Matorin's Varlaam is a riot. There is a noble and sonorous Pimen in Vladimir Vaneef with Ian Storey's strongly sung Grigory and Evgeny Akimov's sympathetic Simpleton(the only one who is in the opera actually) rounding things off very nicely. Overall, very intriguing and well sung and performed, gloomier than usual but excellent. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

13 October 2010



Country of Origin


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