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Borodin's 'Prince Igor' Comes to Great Performances at the Met

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Borodin's operatic masterpiece Prince Igor, which had its first Met performances since 1917 earlier this year, will be broadcast on Great Performances at the Met Sunday, June 22 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings). (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera at 12:30 p.m.)

The acclaimed new production by director Dmitri Tcherniakov, in his Met debut, stars Ildar Abdrazakov as the heroic title character, a 12th-century ruler who defended Russia against invading Polovtsian forces. Gianandrea Noseda, a specialist in Russian music, conducts a new edition of the opera -- left unfinished by Borodin at the time of his death in 1887 -- which has been specially created for this Met production.

The cast also includes Ukrainian soprano Oksana Dyka in her Met debut as Igor's wife, Yaroslavna; Anita Rachvelishvili as the fiery Polovtsian princess Konchakovna; Russian tenor Sergey Semishkur in his Met debut as Igor's son, Vladimir Igorevich; Mikhail Petrenko as Yaroslavna's brother, Prince Galitsky; and Stefan Kocan as Khan Konchak, leader of the Polovtsian forces.
Prince Igor was performed at the Met just 10 times between 1915 and 1917, always in an Italian translation.

The opera then fell out of the company's repertory, though it continues to be performed regularly elsewhere, particularly in Russia, where it is part of the standard operatic repertory. In 1953, Robert Wright and George Forrest adapted parts of the score, as well as other Borodin compositions, into the Broadway musical Kismet, best-known for the standard "Stranger in Paradise" which is set to the music of one of Prince Igor's Polovtsian Dances.

For the Met production, Noseda and Tcherniakov have constructed a new edition of the opera using recent research that incorporates all the known music and orchestration by Borodin. This edition also makes significant changes to the order of scenes in the opera and includes three pieces of newly orchestrated material by Pavel Smelkov, the Russian composer and conductor.

Borodin's Historic Russian Epic Prince Igor,
Great Performances at the Met
Sunday, June 22 at 12 p.m. on PBS