Opera The National Theatre

Boris Godunov

Modest Petrovich Musorgsky


Musical preparation: Petr Kofroň
Conductor: Petr Kofroň
Stage director: Linda Keprtová
Sets: Jan Štěpánek
Costumes: Eva Jiřikovská
Chorus master: Pavel Vaněk, Lukáš Vasilek, Jiří Chvála
Dramaturgy: Ondřej Hučín
Motion cooperation: Marcela Benoni

Even though one of the most celebrated historical operas of all time bears the name of a prominent Russian Tsar, Boris Godunov is not the one and only lead character in Mussorgsky’s fresco. Similarly to A. S. Pushkin’s eponymous drama, the opera is a Shakespearean, multivalent and multilayered study of human society on the threshold of a crisis – a crisis of authority, traditions and law, a crisis of morals. Pushkin ironically referred to his play as “a comedy about the real misery of the Moscow state, about Tsar Boris and Grishka Otrepyev”. Yet it is a comedy that chills. Following the death of the last Rurik dynasty members Ivan the Terrible and his sons Fyodor and little Dimitry, the Russian throne is vacated. At the time when there is no heir apparent, legitimate is the one who does the most to make himself legitimate and knows that the ends justify the means. Who will win over the ignorant common people believing in tall stories? Who will better cope with the mean tricks of the Boyars participating in the country’s administration? Who will be able to resist the pangs of conscience in himself? Welcome to the time of Griskhas, the time of self-appointed usurpers.

Approximate running time, including intermission: 3 hours, 15 minutes, one 20-minute intermission

The opera are Czech and English subtitles.


This production is not performed at the present time.