I was at the dress rehearsal this afternoon of the Lyric Opera's must see production of Boris Godunov. I am no scholar but I believe what we saw and heard was essentially the 1869 original version - so not one of the later embellished versions, nor with revised orchestration by Rimsky or Shostakovitch. We had no Polish scenes, nor Kromy Forest. We owe a huge debt to David Lloyd-Jones for bringing us back to value 1869 following the publication by the Oxford University Press in 1974 of the fruits of his scholarly work on this opera.
Ferruccio Furlanetto's assumption of the title role is overwhelming - here is the finest interpreter of the role today at the height of his powers at the age of 62 - remarkable.
Stein Winge's clean simple clear production, revived in exemplary manner by Julia Pevzner, reveals the greatness of the composer's first thoughts. The huge cast has not a weak link - it is a privilege for Chicago opera lovers to have this opportunity - the Lyric Opera at its finest.
And Andrew Davis, conducting Boris for the first time, as usual gets to the heart and measure of the piece while drawing immaculate playing from the Lyric's fine orchestra.
So for me this is a hit and an indispensable experience!
And on Sunday afternoon there will be an expedition to Evanston for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Central Region finals, the first of the season I believe. There should be a strong turn out. Indiana and Ohio are part of the region now, and Bloomington and Cincinnati should produce quality candidates.
We are also in for some fine weather.........
Photo: Ferruccio Furlanetto as Boris Godunov, Vienna State Opera 2007