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Paul Pelkonen
Superconductor, March 2012

MUSSORGSKY, M.: Boris Godunov (Teatro Regio Torino, 2010) (NTSC) OA1053D
MUSSORGSKY, M.: Boris Godunov (Teatro Regio Torino, 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7087D

Orlin Anastassov is a youthful, convincing Boris, giving the impression from the get-go of being in over his political head. His Mad Scene is something to behold, acted with wide, staring eyes, the camera unforgiving and in his face.

Of the three “main” bass parts in Boris, Varlaam is the shortest. Vladimir Matorin steals the show with his Song of Kazan, making even home viewers want to lift a glass in tribute. Tenor Peter Bronder is effective as the scheming Shuisky, conducting the rabble in their hymn of praise during the Coronation Scene.

Mr. Konchalovsky offers a spare production, on a tilted stage. The angles get even more extreme as Boris descends into madness, until finally, his throne falls straight down a steep incline, crashing onto the stage. Close camera-work on the faces of Russian peasants and boyars depicts the suffering of the people under Boris’ illegitimate regime. The lighting is minimal, reflecting the dark world of Russia during Boris’ seven-year reign. © 2012 Superconductor Read complete review

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