Historical Psychological Thriller Presented by Hungarian State Opera

  • 24 Apr 2024 6:56 AM
Historical Psychological Thriller Presented by Hungarian State Opera
On 27 April 2024, the Hungarian State Opera will present Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov with Kossuth Prize recipient Gábor Bretz in the title role. The new production staged by András Almási-Tóth is to be performed in the original (1869) version, for the first time in Hungary, under the baton of Alan Buribayev.

Boris Godunov, a former confidant of Ivan the Terrible, rises to the rank of tsar after the child tsarevich Dmitry dies under his tutelage under mysterious circumstances. Although Boris had proven to be a talented leader in the past, the responsibility he feels for what happened takes its toll on him, while the tsar's opponents suspect a political murder behind the suspicious death.

Taking advantage of the events, the former monk Grigory decides to pretend to be Dmitry and overthrow the tsar with the help of the Polish.

Instead of political intrigues, the guilt that overwhelms the title character is in the focus of the new production by András Almási-Tóth, artistic director of the Hungarian State Opera. For his staging, the director chose the original (1869) version of Boris Godunov – also focusing on the tsar's mental struggle – has not been performed in its entirety in Hungary yet.

The visuals of the productions were designed by the director's long-term creative partners: the costumes spanning different historical eras of Russia were designed by Krisztina Lisztopád, the minimalist sets and lighting were designed by Sebastian Hannak, the films featured in the performance were produced by Zsombor Czeglédi.

The title role is performed by Gábor Bretz, who was awarded the Kossuth Prize in March. The bass-baritone, also active in the international opera scene, is predestined for the role: in addition to his vocal abilities, he is the same age as the historical figure he portrays.

The star's children are played by Laura Topolánszky (Fyodor) and Andrea Brassói-Jőrös (Kseniya), his rivals by István Kovácsházi (Shuysky) and Botond Ódor / Botond Pál (Grigory).

Further cast includes András Palerdi (Pimen), Aleksei Kulagin (Varlaam), Tivadar Kiss (Misail), Bernadett Wiedemann (Nurse), Zsolt Haja (Shchelkalov), Andrea Szántó (Innkeeper), Bence Pataki (Officer), and Boldizsár Zajkás (Mityukha).

The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, Chorus (chorus director: Gábor Csiki) and Children's Chorus (conductor: Nikolett Hajzer) are conducted by Alan Buribayev.

The chief conductor of Astana Opera House in Kazakhstan conducts the classics of Russian opera throughout Europe and Asia, and he made his debut in Budapest last year in Prokofiev's War and Peace to critical acclaim.

Opera House Budapest

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