Tarkovsky’s Godunov

Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1983 production of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov for Covent Garden was restaged in 1990 by the Kirov in St. Petersburg with, Tarkovsky by this time no more, Stephen Lawless directing.  It being Tarkovsky I had expectations of something really interesting (perhaps a four hour silent opera?) but it’s not really.  In fact Tarkovsky seems to have been intimidated by the form or foiled by its technical limitations into producing a lavish but ultimately not very consequential production.  The AMOP crowd would thoroughly approve I think.

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Queen of Spades

Yuri Temirkanov’s 1992 Kirov Opera production of Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades is extremely traditional but not dull.  It’s given the default Catherine the Great setting and there are opulent ball rooms, gold braid, wigs and crinolines aplenty.  There’s also careful direction of the action and some good acting so it’s far from a “park and bark” snoozefest, though it has nothing new or original to say.  The lighting for the supernatural bits is especially atmospheric.

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