Mussorgsky’s other great Russian epic features an ideal Russian and Georgian cast: Olga Borodina, Vladimir Galouzine, Ildar Abdrazakov, Anatoli Kotscherga, and George Gagnidze. Kirill Petrenko conducts.
Khovanshchina is an opera in five acts by Modest Mussorgsky. The work was written between 1872 and 1880 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The composer wrote the libretto based on historical sources.
While not as well known as Boris Godunov, this opera is, in some ways, more accessible. The pace of the action is slow, but there is more in the way of traditional vocal lines as compared to the earlier opera’s use of a more speech-like style. The plot of Khovanshchina is difficult to follow, but the story is grittier and the characters are more believable. There are also some fiery set-pieces, in particular the “Dance of the Persian Slaves” and the spectacular mass suicide of the Old Believers in the final scene.

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