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The role of Boris Godunov will be performed by leading Russian singers Mikhail Kazakov and Vitaly Efanov at the National Theatre

16. 3. 2015

Two renowned Russian singers Mikhail Kazakov and Vitaly Efanov accepted the offer to perform the lead role in the newest opera premiere of the National Theatre Boris Godunov. The work by Modest P. Mussorgsky will be musically staged by artistic director of the National Theatre Opera Petr Kofroň and the director of the production is one of the most outstanding contemporary opera talents Linda Keprtová. Currently there are thirteen performances of the new production, which works with both Mussorgsky's authentic versions of the opera from 1869 and 1874, scheduled in the current and upcoming opera season . One of the most impressive works of Russian operatic literature will premiere in the National Theatre on Thursday 26 and Sunday 29 March 2015.

"On the one hand, it looks like Mussorgsky's work fell from the sky with its originality; on the other, in the context of Russian music, we can see many features that Mussorgsky had in common with other composers. In the 19th century, the entire Russian school of composition worked in one environment, helping one another - it was more like a community that was based a lot on traditional Russian religious, Orthodox and folk music," says conductor and artistic director of the National Theatre Opera Petr Kofroň. "What is unique about Boris Godunov is the fact that it has a very modern story outline. Furthermore, it works with time. There are passages in the opera where nothing happens for a very long time, which is associated with a certain Russian perception of time,” says Petr Kofroň.

Mikhail Kazakov, soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, will perform the lead role of Boris Godunov. In addition to performances of two versions of Mussorgsky's opera on his home scene, he has also performed this opera in numerous prestigious theatres including London's Covent Garden. "The role of Boris Godunov is one of the crucial ones for the bass singer, especially for a Russian. And I am no exception. For me personally, it is a favourite for its musical side, but also because of its ability to show dramatic acting talent," says bass Mikhail Kazakov, adding: "The love for this role eventually overcomes its complexity. It is a great pleasure for me to perform in the production of the National Theatre; I really enjoyed the rehearsal as well as the environment."The second representative of Boris Godunov is the Moscow New Opera soloist Vitaly Efanov.

Boris Godunov is Linda Keprtová´s debut on the stage of the National Theatre. Prague audiences have already had the opportunity of seeing two of her productions: Poulenc´s Dialogues of the Carmelites of State Theatre Košice and Foerster's Eva of Liberec F.X. Šalda Theatre, for which the company received this year's Festival Opera critics prize for the best performance. "I was personally a little frightened, and I'm not an avid follower of the political situation, in what kind of times we are staging Boris. At a time, when Russia is sending its tanks into a foreign country, where every day we receive different information, once pro-Ukraine, once pro-Russian, at a time when artists from countries that are in armed conflict meet onstage. This is really a very strange feeling," says Linda Keprtová. Her production should primarily ask questions about human values. "What is life like for a human being who is constantly worried about his being? Not only about political power, but also about purely human existence. Boris was illiterate for a lifetime; he himself could not verify any written information. Absolute dependence on his surroundings, in contrast to permanent distrust. I myself named the whole concept ´What is the value of a man?'. I stole this title, with respect, from a book by writer Jevfrosinija Kersnovskaja. Every person, at any time, at any place, has an equally significant value. What is then the difference between Boris and Jurodivý? The inner freedom of that we can envy of Jurodivy?" asks Linda Keprtová.

The next opera premiere of the National Theatre will be the family tale of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel in a new Czech translation and rhapsodised by Radek Malý, musical direction by Music Director of the State Opera Martin Leginus and will be directed by Matěj Forman. The dates of the new premiere at the State Opera are April 23 and 24, 2015.