BORIS GODUNOV AT Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

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by Opera Charm Team
February 23, 2024

CAST

Andris Poga | conductor
Olivier Py | director
Pierre-André Weitz | scenography and costumes
Bertrand Killy | lighting

Matthias Goerne is replaced by bass Alexander Roslavets, who played the role of Boris during the performances at the Capitole de Toulouse last November.

Alexander Roslavets | Boris Godounov
Victoire Bunel | Fiodor
Lila Dufy | Xenia
Svetlana Lifar | The Nanny
Marius Brenciu | Prince Chouïski
Mikhail Timoshenko | Andrei Shchelkalov
Roberto Scandiuzzi | Pimene
Airam Hernández | Grigori Otrepiev
Yuri Kissin | Varlaam
Fabien Hyon | Missaïl
Sarah Laulan | The Innkeeper
Kristofer Lundin | The Innocent
Barnaby Rea | Mitioukha
Sulkhan Jaiani | Nikititch

Orchestre National de France
Chœur de l'Opéra National du Capitole | conductor Gabriel Bourgoin
Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine | conductor Gaël Darchen

DATES

FEB 23 | MAR 1,3,5,7

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

“After the ‘Poulenc trilogy’ – Dialogues des Carmélites, Voix Humaine & Mamelles de Tirésias – Olivier Py tackles Boris Godounov, a monument of lyrical literature. In today’s geopolitical landscape, the evocation of this bloodthirsty, tyrannical tsar and the power of the Russian people takes on very special resonances…Presented in its first version, extremely condensed into 7 scenes, this masterpiece by Mussorgsky will be performed by a flamboyant cast of Russian singers, the Orchestre National de France and the Toulouse Opera Chorus, all brilliantly conducted by Andris Poga. It promises to be a great evening, full of emotion”. Michel Franck, General Manager, said.

About the opera

Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, based on a play by Pushkin, went through several versions: the first, composed between 1868 and 1869, was rejected by the censors because it was forbidden to depict the Tsar on an opera stage and, above all, because it lacked a female lead, a love story and ballet scenes. A second version saw the light of day in 1872, and after a series of twists and turns and the insistence of the star singers of the day, it was finally premiered in 1872. Then came the re-orchestrations, by Rimsky-Korsakov at the turn of the century and later by Shostakovich. Whatever the version, it is above all a reflection on the solitude of power and its excesses. In the original 1869 version, the one chosen for this new production, the drama is compact and highly concentrated. The darkness of the subject is underlined by an orchestration that is both wild and flamboyant, laying bare the psychology of the title role.

“I want the sound to express the idea, I want the truth” wrote Mussorgsky. His dark tale of the greatness and decadence of Boris is a fascinating and disturbing theatrical as well as musical experience. A historical drama and political fable, Boris is a lyrical titan within the corpus of Russian opera. But above all, it is a reflection on the solitude of power and its excesses. It takes a titan to carry this colossal role, embodied here by Alexander Roslavets. At his side is a team of singers experienced in this demanding repertoire, the Orchestre National de France and the seasoned baton of Andris Poga.

Coproduction Opéra National du Capitole and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. With the support of Aline Foriel-Destezet, Grand Mécène of the artistic season of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

France Musique will broadcast this opera on 23 March at 8 pm. In partnership with france.tv

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Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.

BIANCA L. NICA

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