At the Novaya Opera, two performances of Prince Igor were staged one after the other, both with great success. And I once again thought: despite the fact that not everyone agrees with the concept of this production, the audience willingly comes to watch it for the second, third, and fifth time, and the artists obviously like to play and sing in this performance. The premiere of the opera took place quite a long time ago - on April 16, 2011, and on August 23 it was already its 60th performance!
As for the audience, I remember how I first went to see "Prince Igor" - about four years ago we went to this performance with our work colleagues as many as eight. That trip was very revealing. The theater then opened the season with this performance, the performance was bright, and everyone's impressions were very bright. I was then amazed that no one paid any attention to the main points of the concept: and in our company there were people of all ages and levels of musical education. Well, neophytes - it is understandable, some are for the first time in the opera, a lot of impressions, they are not up to the concept, they then gasped: "Oh, how beautiful Konchak rode out in a chariot, what costumes, what scenery, how everything sparkled!" And experienced listeners, as it turned out, saw what they wanted and what they remembered from their youth. And on the way they recalled: “Oh, how great Igor sang an aria, oh, what a voice Yaroslavna has, oh, what a touching scene of the meeting at the end! " And when I asked them if a controversial concept seemed to them, they simply did not understand what I was talking about. Then I cautiously hinted at the contrast between the depiction of Putivl and the Polovtsian camp, and the contrast was by no means in favor of the first, I was told that "there was nothing terrible there." When I pointed out that the image of Igor in this performance is rather negative, my older comrades explained to me in a popular way that this could not be, because Igor's music is “purely positive”, and in order for him to become a negative hero, you need to write other music for him (by the way, absolutely fair remark!). Well, when I explained that Yaroslavna meets Igor at the end ... as if “not in this life anymore,” everyone waved their hands at me and said, so that I don't spoil their good mood after a wonderful performance with my stupid concepts, and in general - they themselves saw - everything ended well! What do they, "Prince Igor" perhaps do not know? :) And on this we then parted, humming in unison the attached tune from the duet "Again I see dear, again I see dear ..."
So, to what I have led this historical digression here - to say that the performance in no case has lost either its brightness or the power of influence on the audience. Yes, and I myself have watched it six times over the years! And the point is not only that, alas, there is nowhere else to listen to "Prince Igor" in Moscow - the Bolshoi Theater performance practically does not go, and even if it did ... when you remember the "local" banknotes, you will shudder (although there are singers too often save the day) ... And here, although, of course, compared to the favorite set of five records (with the most complete version of the opera), heard before the holes in his youth, there are losses, but all the main arias and duets are preserved. And musical drama is also present. And the genius of Borodin still wins! But, of course, above all, the play lives on thanks to wonderful singers and artists,
As for these two performances, I listened to them and watched them with great pleasure, missed the artists, it’s even hard to find the words, so I’ll be brief, and I don’t want to dwell on any shortcomings or just not really liked moments, so I’ll tell you only about what made the most powerful impression.
Of course, each introduction to the title role in this performance is an event, And if we are talking about such a charismatic performer as Boris Statsenko - even more so. The singer struck me most of all with an unexpectedly dark and rich sound. Perhaps for the first time I listened to the prologue of the opera, just holding my breath. And, of course, the image turned out to be interesting. Moreover, it is so interesting that I still think about it all the time, scrolling through the separate scenes of the play in my head. And absolutely everything is taking shape in a new way ... The strongest impression ... I, unfortunately, for the first time heard Olga Terentyeva in this performance. Yaroslavna she turned out to be very soft and feminine. A wonderful image. And it also seemed to me that this is Olga's best role in the theater. And, perhaps, generally one of her best performances. Vitaly EfanovKonchak sang brilliantly. At the same time, he also played it splendidly, how great he played, sang with Prince Igor! Best scene ever! This is not the first time I would like to note Anton Bochkarev in the small role of Ovlur (clearly, distinctly, artistically) and the Polovtsian girl performed by Victoria Shevtsova (silk, mesmerizing cantilena). As always, expressive and bright in the role of Eroshka Veniamin Egorov . I caught myself thinking that in my presentation everything is somehow lost behind banal phrases, but this is due to the fact that it is not immediately possible to comprehend such vivid impressions. I will only say that those who, for whatever reason, could not see this performance, lost a lot. Not everything can be described in words.
And the next day, Prince Igor was completely different! Although I had heard Andrzej Bielecki in this part before, I still found many new interesting shades and intonations, the end of the famous aria and the final duet with Yaroslavna made a particularly vivid impression. I never cease to admire the extraordinary voice of Elena Popovskaya - dense and flexible! And her Yaroslavna is distinguished by a special firmness of character and self-esteem. Georgy Vasiliev sang the part of Vladimir Igorevich loudly, beautifully and expressively , this is the second time I have heard such a successful performance of this part. And here is Alexei Tikhomirovin the part of Galitsky I heard for the first time! He performed brilliantly! I really like his timbre, overtones, and the role certainly turned out - bright, convex, but not vulgar and with a sense of proportion and taste. As always, Vladimir Kudashev was at his best in the part of Khan Konchak - magnificent vocals and a gorgeous image! I remember Anatoly Grigoriev in the role of Skula - he sang everything expressively and clearly. But, perhaps, he was still a little "overshadowed" by Maxim Ostroukhov , who, as always, sang incomparably and played Eroshka. In this role, the artist simply "bathes". It's a pleasure to watch!
In general, I watched both performances with great interest and once again became convinced that the main thing in opera is the singers. Especially when they create such different, but convincing images, so different performances are obtained, which are so curious to watch even one after another. So many thanks to everyone for an unforgettable experience!