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Prince Igor

The Metropolitan Opera

Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 12:00pm

Composer:

Alexander Borodin

Conductor:

Gianandrea Noseda

Cast:

Oksana Dyka (Yaroslavna), Anita Rachvelishvili (Konchakovna), Sergey Semishkur (Vladimir Igorevich), Ildar Abdrazakov (Prince Igor), Mikhail Petrenko (Prince Galitsky), Štefan Kocán (Khan Konchak)

 

Prologue
A square in Putivl, Russia. Prince Igor is preparing to lead an army against the Polovtsians. The people ask for God’s blessing, but when the sky suddenly darkens in a solar eclipse, they are worried by the bad omen and urge Igor to abandon his campaign. Igor’s wife Yaroslavna also begs him not to go to war but he reassures her, leaving her and the command of the city in the keeping of Prince Galitsky, Yaroslavna’s brother.

Act I
The Russians have been defeated and Igor and his son, Vladimir, are being held prisoner in the Polovtsian camp by their leader, Khan Konchak. The Khan’s daughter, Konchakovna, has fallen in love with Vladimir and anxiously awaits their next meeting. Vladimir appears and both declare their love. They are interrupted by the arrival of Igor, who is tormented by the Russian defeat and longingly thinks of his wife. Ovlur, a Polovtsian who has been baptized and is a friend of the Russians, approaches Igor and offers to help him escape. Igor at first rejects the idea as dishonorable but then ponders it. Konchak enters and assures Igor that he has been treating him as a guest, not a prisoner. He offers to grant him freedom if Igor will promise never to take up arms against the Polovtsians again. Igor explains that he cannot agree to this. Impressed with Igor’s pride, Konchak orders his slave girls to entertain his guest.

Act II
Yaroslavna, who has been suffering from bad dreams, is waiting for news of her husband and stepson. Some of her maidens enter and complain about Galitsky, who has abducted one of their number. When Galitsky unexpectedly appears, he tries to laugh off his sister’s accusations but then agrees to give up the girl.

Galitsky’s men, among them the officers Skula and Yeroshka, sing the Prince’s praises. Galitsky celebrates his hedonistic philosophy and mocks Yaroslavna’s disapproval of his life. A group of maidens rushes in to protest against the abduction, but the men laugh at them and Galitsky sends them away. The crowd resumes their praises of the Prince, demanding that he should lead them, not Igor.

A party of boyars arrives at Yaroslavna’s apartment with news of Igor’s defeat and imprisonment. Galitsky and his men use the confusion to hatch a revolt, urging the boyars to elect a new Prince. Alarm bells sound, announcing that the Polovtsians are already attacking the city. The people are resolved to defend their freedom.

Act III
Putivl has fallen. Yaroslavna, who has given up hope that Igor will return, laments the loss of her husband, while peasants mourn for their devastated country.

Skula and Yeroshka mock the imprisoned Igor, unaware of his escape from the Polovtsian camp. When they notice him approaching from afar, they decide to save their skins by announcing his arrival to the people and declaring their loyalty. Yaroslavna and Igor are reunited. Wracked by guilt, the Prince laments that he didn’t die in battle like his predecessors. The people greet Igor on his return.
 

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