[Met Performance] CID:87320
Boris Godunov {65} Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia: 04/23/1924.

(Review)


Atlanta, Georgia
Auditorium
April 23, 1924
In Italian


BORIS GODUNOV {65}
Mussorgsky--Mussorgsky

Boris Godunov...........Fyodor Chaliapin
Prince Shuisky..........Angelo Badà
Pimen...................José Mardones
Grigory.................Armand Tokatyan
Marina..................Marion Telva
Varlaam.................Paolo Ananian
Simpleton...............Giordano Paltrinieri
Nikitich................Louis D'Angelo
Shchelkalov.............Millo Picco
Innkeeper...............Henriette Wakefield
Missail.................Pietro Audisio
Xenia...................Ellen Dalossy
Feodor..................Louise Hunter
Nurse...................Kathleen Howard
Lavitsky................Lawrence Tibbett
Chernikovsky............Vincenzo Reschiglian
Boyar in Attendance.....Giordano Paltrinieri

Conductor...............Gennaro Papi

Orchestration by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Director................Armando Agnini
Set designer............Alexander Golovine
Set designer............Alexander Benois
Costume designer........Ivan Bilibine
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 of Enrico Leide in the Atlanta Constitution

Chaliapin is Hero of Hour at Wednesday Night Opera

Moussorgsky, another composer from Russia to step out of the army into grand opera, has given us one work only, but it is a work of immense proportions. On his "Boris" his reputation stands as one of the finest creative composers in the modern Russian school. His opera is founded on a Russian theme, written on Russian folk song, in a word, a work of realistic national type. It was written when Moussorgsky was at the zenith of his powers. The libretto, based upon Pushkin's famous historical drama which bears the same title, some scenes being kept intact as regards original text. It is full of stirring dramatic interest, for it deals with one of the most sensational episodes of Russian history. Moussorgsky discards the conventional divisions and ensemble pieces of Italian opera, while the chief interest is centered in the chorus and the dialogues. The heir of Ivan the Terrible was a weak intellect, consequently the real power passed into the hands of the regent, the capable and crafty Boris Godunoff. The only obstacle between the usurper and the crown was the czar's younger brother Dimitri. Boris Godunoff did away with him and ruled wisely and well for many years. The Nemesis came in the person of the False Dimitri, a young monk who declared himself to be the heir, rescued at the eleventh hour and concealed in a monastery. The remorse, agitation and sadness of Boris are finely depicted by Pushkin, who obviously had Macbeth in his mind.

Boris Godunoff and Toscanini are two names we are bound to link together and mention in the same breath, for in the annals of American grand opera, the production of "Boris" stands out as one of the milestones of a long list of achievements. Arturo Toscanini, the great conductor and the one who first produced "Boris" in Italy and at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York deserves the credit for the success and popularity of this masterpiece. I remember the premiere of 'Boris" at the Metropolitan distinctly and I can hear the deafening uproar of the gallery, the Russian as well as the Italian section, at the end of each act, demanding a repetition the finales or hoping at least for a glimpse of Toscanini before the footlights. But Toscanini would not show up - his modesty is always in proportion to` his success and that night his triumph was complete.

Mr. Papi, who is now the dean of the Metropolitan conductors and a descendent of Toscanini's operatic lineage, has given Atlanta another superb creation. Mr. Papi is so much inbued with the ideals, methods and interpretive powers of Toscanini that by a very simple effort of visualization last night one could see and hear Toscanini conduct the Russian score. Mr. Papi had served as assistant to Toscanini in Italy before coming to America - later becoming a leading conductor at the Metropolitan and finally entrusted with the enviable burden to carry out the work and traditions of Toscanini.

In spite of the construction of the opera, which gives Boris but three appearances on stage, Chaliapin dominates the stage. He was the hero of the occasion; all the plaudits were for him and it may be said in a word that he deserved them. His performance in the part remains one of the greatest things the operatic stage today can show. His voice has lost none of its mellowness in tranquil passages. He is still the commanding figure - he can still melt to tenderness and cut with the force of the emotional crises.



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