The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006–…): Season 8, Episode 6 - Borodin: Prince Igor - full transcript

Alexander Borodin
was a respected chemist,

doctor, women's rights advocate,

and in his spare time,
a remarkable composer.

For nearly 18 years
he worked periodically

on his only opera,
"Prince Igor."

It's based on a medieval poem

about one of Russia's real life
conquering heroes

from the 12th century.

Hello, I'm Eric Owens.

When Borodin died suddenly
in 1887,

his epic was still unfinished
and existed only in excerpts.

His famous composer colleagues,

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
and Alexander Glazunov,

picked up the pieces
and stitched together

a performing edition that
emphasized pageantry over drama.

100 years later,
while growing up in Moscow,

the brilliant Russian director
and musical scholar,

Dmitri Tcherniakov,
encountered the opera

and made it his mission to
someday bring a new

and dramatically fulfilling
version to the stage,

and it is the fruits
of his labors

that we are going to be
experiencing today

for the first time in cinemas.

Together with Italian
maestro Gianandrea Noseda,

Techerniakov has created a new
performance edition

of "Prince Igor" that lives up
to its heroic subject.

In this prod...

In this production,
the waging of war

and its subsequent consequences

provide a grand dramatic arc,

from the first bad omen
of a solar eclipse

to post-traumatic stress
in a hallucinatory poppy field,

and finally, to what is left of
a shattered nation.

To enact this epic we have an
outstanding cast of Slavic stars

led by Russian bass-baritone
Ildar Abdrazakov

in the title role.

Maestro Noseda
is really to go into the pit.

Here is "Prince Igor."

Glory to the sun!

Glory to the heavens above!

Glory to Prince Igor, and to Russia!

Praise to Prince Trubchevsky,
and the Knight Vsevolod!

Glory! Glory!

Praise young Vladimir of Putivl...

and Duke Svyatoslav of Rilsk!

From the Don River to the sea,
their names resound across the steppes.

They echo in foreign lands.

Glory! Glory!

Glory to our princes!

Glory to their soldiers!

The Dnieper River echoes
with their praises.

Beautiful maidens sing of
them from Kiev to the sea.

Glory! Glory!

Glory to our great princes!

Glory to their troops!

To all Russian princes, glory!

To their soldiers, glory!

We shall march against
the enemies of Russia.

May God grant you victory!


We shall fight the Polovtsian khans.

Their blood shall wash away
their crimes against Russia.


Destroy the enemy,
as you did at Oltava and Varla.

Drive them out, as you did at Merl.
Destroy the Polovtsians!

We fight for our faith,
for Russia, and her people.

May God grant you victory
over all Russia's foes!

I would gladly die in the distant steppes
for the glory of Russia!

We shall die bravely,
or return home in triumph.

You will win new glory!

Princes, we must depart.

The sky grows dark.
What does it mean?

It's a sign from heaven!

The sun is a crescent, like the moon!

A bad omen!

The stars are shining... and it's day!

Darkness covers the earth.

Night has fallen!

Do not go, Prince!

Do not go!

It's a sign from God.
We'll see whether for good or ill.

No one can escape fate.
What, then, do we have to fear?

We fight for our faith and our land...
for our Russia!

How can we not fight?
We cannot leave a path for our enemy.

That may be true, Prince,
but it would be wise not to go.

To your horses, my brothers!

Let them carry us to the sea!


Let them go. We'll stay here.

But they'll kill us!

Come on! We can get better work.

Let's go to Prince Vladimir Galitsky!

That's it! We'll have plenty to
eat and drink, and we'll be safe.

Let the boyars' wives
and the princesses come...

that we may say our farewells.

Beloved one, stay here.
Don't leave me!

The time is not right.
Don't go, I beg of you!

That omen means misfortune for both of us.

Beloved Yaroslavna, your tears are in vain.

Believe me, we cannot turn back.

I listen to my heart,
and I'm filled with anguish.

What is troubling you?
We have often said farewell...

but you've never shown fear.

Duty and honor demand
that we go to meet the enemy.

The prince is right. We must go!

I understand your words.
Yet I can't suppress the dread in my heart.

Goodbye, beloved!

May God be with you.

Pray for us, my dove.

I leave your sister in your care, Vladimir.

Watch over her and ease her sorrow
with your gentle counsel.

I ask this of you as a brother.

Your kindness deserves recompense.

I owe you a great deal.

When my father and brothers banished me...

you pitied me and
sheltered me as a brother.

Then you reconciled me with my father.

I was welcomed home with
honor, thanks to you.

Enough! I'm glad that I could help you.

Now it's time to go.

Bless us, Holy Father.

Bless us in our struggle against the enemy.

Bless the princes and the army.

Glory to the princes and their soldiers!

Glory to the stars...
glory to heaven on high!

Glory to our princes and to Russia!

Glory to Russia!

Glory to the valiant Vsevolod
and to the young falcon, Prince Vladimir!

To their brave soldiers, glory!

Hail, Princes!

Without water, a poor flower withers
under the midday sun.

The flower droops toward the ground,
and its leaves are wilted.

The sun sets, night falls,
the heat passes, the dew forms...

wetting the ground,
and watering the little flower.

Beneath the cool dew
the flower will be born anew.

Our sad hearts are like
flowers without water.

They wither and pine away,
awaiting a tender caress.

The sun sets, night falls,
the lover comes to a rendezvous...

bringing warmth and happiness
to the sorrowing heart.

Like a flower beneath the dew,
the heart is born anew.

The light of day is fading.

Let us cease our singing and dancing.

Night begins to spread its dark mantle.

Fall quickly, night!

Enfold me in darkness.

Conceal me... clothe me in mist.

My love, it is the hour of our joy!

Will my beloved ever return?

Can't he feel my longing for him?

Where are you, my love?

Answer me! Where are you?

Beloved, answer me! I'm waiting.

Waiting for you, my love.

Oh, my beloved, the hour has come...

the hour of our happiness.

Fall quickly, night!

Enfold me in darkness,
and conceal me in fog and mist.

My love, it is the hour of our bliss.

The time is here!

The sun goes to rest
behind the mountains...

and takes the daylight with it.

Heaven sends us the moon...

which guards the night,
giving us light and protection.

The sun goes to rest
behind the mountains...

and takes the daylight with it.

It is time for sleep.

The day faded slowly,
the sun set behind the forest.

The twilight grew dim
and night fell upon the earth.

Its shadows spread
a dark cloak over the steppes.

O warm southern night!

It gives rise to dreams of love,
calling me to a rendezvous.

Are you waiting for me, my love?

I know in my heart that you are.

Where are you?
Answer love's call!

Will you soon be here?

Come to me!

Answer love's call!

How I burn with love!

I am waiting for you!

I love you more than my life!

Why do you wait, my love?

Come to me!

Have no fear.

Everyone is sound asleep.

Answer the call of love!

When will I feel your caress?

Come to me!

Answer the call of love!

Let the night hide you,
as the forest and the waters sleep...

while only the stars
gaze down upon us alone.

Everyone is sound asleep.

Come to me!

Is it you, Vladimir, my love?

How I've longed for you!

Do you love me?

Do I love you?

My happiness!

Yes, I love you passionately,
with all my soul.

The world has no meaning without you.

Will you soon be mine?

Will I soon call you my wife?

Will I call you mine?

My beloved... my joy!

Let me hear those words of love again.

Yes, I love you.

I love you passionately, with all my soul.

I love you with all my soul.

Will you soon be my wife?

Beloved one, I am yours!

But will your father
consent to our marriage?

No! He'll never give his consent
while we are prisoners.

My father is more generous.
Even now he'd give you my hand.

Go! Someone's coming.

There's no one there.

No, I hear footsteps. It's my father.

Don't be afraid. Stay here.

Don't go!

Forgive me.

There is no sleep,
no peace for my tormented soul.

Darkness brings no comfort, no forgetting.

I relive the past,
alone here in the silence of the night.

The warning from heaven...

our glorious victories over the enemy...

then defeat, and capture...

and the death of my soldiers,
killed on the field of honor.

My honor and glory are gone.
I have disgraced my country!

Wretched captivity is my fate,
and I alone am to blame.

Set me free,
and I shall atone for my shame.

I shall restore my honor and glory,
and save Russia from her foes!

You alone, my love, will not blame me.

Your tender heart will
forgive me for everything.

Your eyes have grown dim,
watching from your tower.

Day and night you wait for me,
weeping bitter tears.

How can I stand day
after day in captivity...

knowing the enemy is preying on Russia?
They're like wild beasts.

Russia groans in their
grip, and I am to blame.

Set me free, and I'll atone for my shame.

There is no sleep,
no peace for my tormented soul.

Night brings no hope of escape.

I relive the past,
alone here in the silence of the night.

There is no escape for me.

How wretched I am!

Wretched, and powerless!

If you please, Prince, a word–
I've been waiting to speak to you.

What do you want?

Look! It's light in the east.
Dawn has chased away the night.

Dawn is at hand for you,
too – and for Russia.

I can help you.

I will get you horses.
You must escape!

A prince, escape in secret?

Think of what you're saying.

Prince, forgive me.

Just think about what I've said.

It is not for your sake,
but for Russia's that you must escape.

You'll save your country...

your faith, and your people.
Think, Prince!


Perhaps you're right, Ovlur.

I must save my people.

There is no other way.

Perhaps this is the dawn after all.
For me, and for Russia!

The sun will shine once more!

Is escape possible?

I'm the khan's prisoner, after all.

Leave me!

You haven't sworn an oath to him.

You haven't kissed the cross.

You're right, Ovlur, thank you.
I must not run.

What's the matter, Prince?

What weighs on your mind?

Are you having trouble with your hawks?

Are they too meek to catch their prey?

Take mine!

My hawks fly straight and true,
but the falcon won't live as a captive.

Why do you think you're a prisoner
when you've been treated as a guest?

You were wounded in battle and captured,
along with your army.

You were delivered to me as a hostage,
but you are my guest.

You enjoy the respect reserved for a khan.

Everything that I own is at your disposal.

Your son is here, and your army as well.

Here, you live like a khan.
You live as I do.

Are prisoners treated like this?

Like this?

No, Prince, you are not my prisoner.

You are my honored guest.

My friend, I admire you...

for your valor in battle.

I respect you.

Rest assured that you've
always been dear to me.

I am not your enemy, but rather your host.

Tell me what displeases you.

Take any of my horses.

Take my cherished sword,
the sword of my ancestors.

I have shed much enemy
blood with that sword.

It has spread fear and death among my foes.

Yes, Prince, all here obey the khan.

I have long been feared by everyone.

I am bold and fearless.

All tremble before me, but you did not.

You did not ask for mercy.

It is not your enemy
I wish to be, but your ally...

your faithful friend and brother.

Believe me.

Do you want a slave woman
from beyond the Caspian Sea?

If you do, just say so,
and I shall give you one.

I have beauties whose hair falls
like snakes about their shoulders.

Their black eyes gaze passionately
from beneath dark brows.

Why are you silent?

Choose any one you want!

Bring the captives!

Let them cheer us with songs and dances...

and chase away all gloomy thoughts.

Thank you for your kind words.
I bear you no ill will.

I'd be happy if I could show my gratitude!

Yet a prisoner has no life.

You know what it is to be a prisoner.

Do you want me to let you return home?

Just give me your word that you
won't raise your sword against me...

that you won't stand in my way.

A prince does not lie.
I'll be honest with you.

I can't make such a promise.

Set me free, and I'll
marshal my forces once more...

and attack you.

I will oppose you!

I'll try to capture the River Don again!

I like a brave man.
You don't fear the truth, and neither do I.

If we were allies,
we could conquer all of Russia.

Roaming like two wild beasts,
we'd drink our fill of enemy blood.

We would be the terror of one and all.

The least offense,
and off with their heads!

You're stubborn.

Fly home on the wings of the
wind, sweet song.

Home, where we sang to you so freely,
for you made us so free.

There, beneath a burning sky,
the air fills with bliss.

The mountains sleep in the clouds
to the ocean's lullaby.

How brightly the sun shines there...

bathing the mountains in light.

Roses bloom in the valleys,
and nightingales sing in the forests.

There you are free, sweet song... fly home!

Sing the praises of the khan!

Sing of his strength and valor!

Sing to our glorious khan!

He alone is the equal of the sun!

No one can rival his glory!

The slave maidens sing the khan's praises.

Look at these beauties from
beyond the Caspian's shores!

Just say the word,
and any one of them is yours!

Sing to our glorious khan!

Sing of his generosity and his mercy...

but he is merciless with his enemies.

Who is his equal in glory?

He alone is the equal of the sun!

The equal of his forebears... our khan!

Our glorious Konchak is
the equal of his forebears!

Glory to Khan Konchak!

Fly home on the wings of the
wind, sweet song.

Home, where we sang to you so freely,
for you made us so free.

There, beneath a burning sky,
the air fills with bliss.

The mountains sleep in the clouds
to the ocean's lullaby.

How brightly the sun shines there...

bathing the mountains in light.

Roses bloom in the valleys...

and nightingales sing in the forests.

There you are free, sweet song... fly home!

Our khan equals his forebears in glory!

Our khan equals his forebears in glory!

Glory to Khan Konchak!

Dance, for the pleasure of your khan!

At the end of the previous act,

Igor's army has been destroyed

and Igor is left wandering
in a poppy field.

But that's not the last
we'll hear of him.

when the next act begins,

Igor's faithful wife,

is tormented by Igor's absence
and by her scheming brother.

Here is Act II.

It has been a long time...

since my Igor, our son Vladimir,
and brother Vsevolod departed.

Now they lead their armies
against the Polovtsians.

I do not know what to think.

I should have had word
from the prince by now.

If only someone would
bring me news of Igor.

I sense some misfortune.

My heart is filled with fear.

Sorrow weighs upon my soul!

Where have they gone,
those happy days at my beloved's side?

Those days are past.
I weep alone from morning till night.

Then I weep all night
out of longing for him...

breathlessly awaiting news.

But he does not come.
There is no news, and I go on waiting.

My sleep is plagued by nightmares.

I often dream that my beloved is with me.

He beckons to me to follow him.

But then he vanishes,
and I am alone once more!

I am tortured by fear and sorrow.

I awake weeping, and cannot stop.

When my beloved was with me,
I did not know sorrow.

Those happy days are gone,
and my heart knows only grief.

I have only one thought in mind.

Only one thing weighs upon my soul.

He does not come, and sends no word.
It has been so long!

Will he return soon?

Will I be alive to welcome him?

Where is he... my prince... my beloved!

Princess, some young women are here
to plead for justice.

Shall I admit them?

Show them in.

Princess, we have come to implore you.

Do not abandon us!

We plead for justice.
Do not let us be dishonored. Help us!

Last night an intruder abducted a maiden...

and carried her off to his house.

We went there and begged
him to release her.

He refused and cursed us,
then had us thrown out.

That is why we beg you to see
that justice is done. Help us!

We plead for justice.
Do not abandon us!

Do not let us be dishonored. Help us!

Who did this?
Who abducted the maiden?

Who was it?

Go on, tell her!
Why are you silent?

Tell me who it was.

We dare not speak.

We're afraid.

Why should we remain silent?
We must tell her everything!

Do not be angry with us.
It was Prince Vladimir!

He has outraged Putivl for too long.

Things have gotten worse
since Prince Igor left.

Vladimir and his men carouse day and night.

They abuse and insult us.
They're worse than the Polovtsians.

They are fearless. No one can stop them,
since Prince Igor is not here.

Only you can stop Vladimir.
Hear our plea!

The prince! Oh my!

Get out!


Last night you and your
ruffians abducted a maiden.

You disgraced her,
keeping her against her will.

Is this true?

Tell me who she is!

Whoever she is, she doesn't concern you.

I'll keep what I stole.
I stole what I wanted.

I don't know who I stole,
and I don't want to know.

There are many maidens in the world.
I can't know them all!

Whether you're happy or sad,
however you feel about me...

you should welcome me
as your honored guest.

You should curtsy as you offer me wine.

Or have I disturbed the princess
in a meeting with her advisors?

Did I interrupt you and your council?

Is there no end to your insults?

When Igor returns,
I'll tell him everything.

Then you'll answer for all you have done!

Why should I care
whether your Igor returns or not?

Why should it matter?

Here, I am prince... here, I alone rule.

One word to the people,
and they'll put me on the throne.

All Putivl stands behind me.

Then it will be your turn to answer.

Remember this, and don't anger me further!

You dare to threaten me?

Never mind... it was only in jest.

I only wanted to see you angry.

Your anger becomes you.

The knitted brow,
flashing eyes, flushed features....

You're young and beautiful...

left alone by your husband, and bored.

Are you as harsh with
others as you are with me?

Isn't there anyone you love in secret?

Can you really be true to Igor?

I don't believe it. It's impossible!

Have you forgotten I am the princess,
vested with the prince's power?

I'll have you sent back to Galich
under guard, to Father.

He'll deal with you.

Free the girl at once!

Now go... leave me!

So that's it!

All right, I'll free the girl...

and take another!

Hail, Vladimir!


The water didn't rise...

the river didn't flood,
washing its banks away.

Some lads were having fun,
and stole a maiden for their prince.

They laughed, danced,
and praised the prince all night.

"Long live Prince Vladimir Galitsky!"

The lovely maiden begged for mercy
at the prince's feet.

"O Prince, let me go home!"

"Let me return to Mother and Father."

"O Prince, do not dishonor me!"

They laughed, danced,
and praised the prince all night.

"Long live Prince Vladimir Galitsky!"

–Are you enjoying yourself, Prince?
–I admit it. I hate being bored.

I wouldn't want to live a
single day as Prince Igor.

I love to soothe my soul with amusements.

I love a life of pleasure!

If I were Prince of Putivl...

how splendidly I'd live!

If I were Prince of Putivl,
I would never know sorrow.

I'd sit at the banquet table all day...

governing wisely,
and solving every problem.

I'd dispense justice according to my mood.

Each gets what he deserves,
and everyone gets wine!

At night, the fairest maidens
would be brought to me...

to sing the praises of their prince.

The fairest of the fair I
would keep for myself...

to delight me the whole night through.

I'd eat and drink, and never be bored.

I wouldn't waste a moment.

The first thing I'd do is reorganize
the realm and seize the treasury.

What else is power for?

All would get what they deserved,
and so would I.

My name would not be forgotten!

Hail, Prince Galitsky!

What of the princess?

My sister...

the nun... the saint?

Let her join a convent
and beg forgiveness for my sins.

Let her pray for my soul's salvation.

I'd rather go to the palace
and drink the prince's brandy.

And to the people,
as reward, bring out the alcohol!

Look! A horde of wenches!

Help us!

One of you wicked men
has abducted a maiden.

We must look for her!

What are you crying about?

The girl is with the prince.

Why all the fuss?

The prince will have his fun with her,
and then give her back.

She'll live like the prince's wife.

Why are you still here?

You're not getting the girl!

If Prince Igor were here, he'd help us!

He wouldn't let her be harmed.
He'd put the thief to death!

Leave us alone!
You're not getting the girl!

Be quiet! The prince will hear us...

and you'll all be in trouble!

All of you, go home!

Don't make us laugh!

What do we care if they find her?

What could happen?

Let them have their fun!

But wait, what if the princess hears us?

She'll have us put in chains!

Why should we care about her?
She has no troops to command.

They've all gone off to war.
We have nothing to fear!

Besides, who'll serve a ruler
who's stingy with wine?

No one, that's for sure.

Not like Prince Vladimir!

He's a real father to us.
He cares about his people.

He gives us alcohol!

At the palace of Prince Vladimir...

all his fine courtiers have gathered–
every one a drunkard!

The courtiers are moaning,
"We lost souls drank everything up..."

"toasting your health..."

"benefactor, Father, and Prince!"

"Give us bitter beer and strong liquor."

"Give us new wine and a barrel of brandy!"

"We are yours, Prince..."

"your faithful servants!"

"We'd lay down our lives for you!
Have pity on us!"

And this is what our father,
Prince Vladimir, says.

"Drunkards and faithful servants,
how could I not feel pity?"

"Your lives are so hard,
your labors such a burden."

"You work on weekdays and holidays,
from morning till night..."

"day in and day out."

Work isn't easy... the hardship is great.

Sing, raise hell,
and drink to our prince's health!

He's the one who should rule Putivl.

Why not crown him right away?

There are no soldiers,
and Igor is far away. Here's our chance!

All of us are for the new prince.

Prince Igor and his army
have gone off to war.

Remember the revolt in Posemye?
The princes were all killed!

Get a crowd together and
let's hurry to the square!

We'll oust Igor and crown Vladimir!
What have we to fear?

Summon the people to the square.
We'll depose Igor and crown Vladimir!

Some lads had some fun
and crowned a new prince of Russia!

How they caroused,
toasting the prince's health until dawn!

So come on, let's all gather in the square!

The prince's boys raised holy hell
and crowned the prince of Russia!

Hail, Vladimir!

"Oh please, don't dishonor me."

"Let me return to Mother and Father!"

Welcome, boyars.

How happy I am to see you.

You are my faithful counselors,
the mainstay of the prince's rule...

loyal in times of both joy and sorrow.

How happy I am to see you.

What is the purpose of
this unexpected visit?

I fear some misfortune.

Take courage, Princess,
we bring you ill tidings.

What we have to say will
not be welcome news.

What is it? Speak!

The enemy has invaded Russia
and draws ever nearer.

The Polovtsian horde
that threatens Putivl...

is led by the dread Khan Gzak.

Are we to suffer yet more?

Where is our army?

Where is our Prince Igor?

Tell me, boyars, where is the prince?

Has the army been defeated?
Has the prince been killed?

They were vastly outnumbered,
and utterly defeated.

The prince was wounded and taken prisoner
with his brother and son.

My beloved, wounded and captured? No!

I don't believe it!

So, what you have told me is true.

And the enemy is near?

Boyars, what are we to do?

No prince and no army–
who will defend the city?

Princess, it isn't the first time
we have faced the enemy at our gates.

The city is secure,
with strong walls and deep moats.

Have no fear. God will help us.

Putivl is safe not only
because of its walls and moats.

Our fortress is our faith in
God, our loyalty...

and our love for our country.

I thank you, boyars.
Your words are most gratifying.

I trust you and believe what you tell me.

My soul was sick with grief and worry...

but you have given me new strength.

Once again there is a
ray of hope in my soul!

The army has been defeated,
and Igor taken prisoner.

The khan threatens to destroy us.

What will you do now?

How can you manage without your prince?

You can't save the old prince,
you've got to choose a new one.

A bold and experienced new prince...

one who can save us from the khan.

He must defend Putivl against the
Polovtsians and rule with justice.

You must choose a new prince.


It's not for the princess
to defeat the enemy...

rule the kingdom,
govern the council, and make treaties.

Choose Vladimir, son of Yaroslav...

Prince Galitsky, Igor's brother-in-law.

The army has been defeated,
and Igor taken prisoner.

The khan threatens to destroy us.

What will you do now?

How can you manage without your prince?

You can't save the old prince,
you've got to choose a new one.

A bold and experienced new prince...

one who can save us from the khan.

He must defend Putivl against the
Polovtsians and rule with justice.

You must choose a new prince.


Choose Vladimir, son of Yaroslav.

This is not the place for such talk.

We have sworn upon the prince's cross.

We have sworn to God to be loyal
to the prince, and we shall do so.

Duty demands loyalty to the princess.
She rules by the will of the prince.

Speak to the people in the square.
They will see your treachery.

The alarm!

Boyars, the alarm!
What a frightening sound!

Princess, it signals disaster!

The enemy is attacking!

Who's with us?

Blessed Virgin, help us!

This is God's punishment!

This is God's retribution, and His wrath!

There is no escape from divine judgment!

At the end of the previous act,

Igor's home city of Putivl
was under attack

and all seems lost.

But that is not
how the story ends.

Here's the conclusion of
"Prince Igor."

I weep such bitter tears!

I weep, and send my tears at dawn
to my husband, who is far away.

I will fly like a bird
to the Dnieper River.

I will dip my sleeve in the River Kayala.

I will wash the wounds
on the prince's body.

Wind, why did you blow
on the field of battle?

You turned the enemy's arrows
toward the prince's army.

Why did you not blow toward heaven...

and rock the ships on the sea?

Wind, why did you blow
on the field of battle?

You scattered my happiness
over the grasses!

I weep bitter tears.

I send them to my beloved each morning.

O wide, mighty Dnieper,
you carved your way...

through mountains to
the Polovtsian lands.

You once carried my Svyatoslav
to Khan Kobyak's camp.

Dear, glorious river!

Carry my beloved to me now...

so that I needn't shed
any more bitter tears.

I send my tears at dawn to my
beloved, far away.

Red sun, how brightly you
shine in the clear sky!

You caress us all, and are dear to us.

Yet why did you scorch
the prince's army with your fire?

Why did you harden their
bows on the arid field?

Why did you fill the soldiers
with sorrow and exhaustion?

It was not the wind that
brought us misfortune.

We were conquered by Khan Gzak.

He swooped down like a raven
and brought us sorrow.

Khan Gzak attacked us...

springing like a wolf.

A wolf killing sheep.

Vladimir! Is it true?

Stay! I'm begging you!

I heard that you intend to escape
and return to Russia.

Is it possible that
you're going to leave me?

I don't believe it, my darling...
it can't be!

Goodbye, my love...
it is my duty to escape.

Don't leave me here.
Take me with you!

I'll do anything for you,
give you all my love.

I'll be your slave,
if only I can stay with you!

Vladimir, what's the meaning of this?

Have you, the Polovtsians' prisoner,
become one of them?

Have you forgotten your homeland?

Goodbye, Princess!

Stay, I beg you!

I'm a child of freedom, the beauty of
the steppes... pride of my country.

I'm the daughter of the khan of khans,
and I'm begging you!

My son, you've got to go with me.

Take me with you!

I can't resist love's fire!

We must save our homeland!

There's the signal!

What shall I do?

Come with me, or everything's lost!

I won't let him go!

One last embrace!

Then I'll wake the camp!

They'll all come running!


Play on and on, and praise the prince!

Prince Igor, a prisoner,
sits gazing toward the steppes.

He fell to the khan,
losing his honor and his army.

Against all reason, he led his army
into battle at the wrong time.

He destroyed his men on the steppes
and left them in quicksand.

He built dams and paved bridges
with Russian gold and silver.

He drowned his men and lost
his honor in the River Kayala.

And so in all of Russia,
and all the world...

they curse Igor, Prince of Seversky!

They curse him in Posemye, in Posulye...

in Kiev, along the Dnieper River,
and in Pomorye.

Play on, gudok player!

Prince Igor, Prince of Seversky!


The prince.

The prince!

So what?

Oh, it looks very bad for us!

What shall we do?

We're finished!

They'll kill us for sure!

They won't go that far, brother.

With the help of our wits and our wine,
we'll escape death.

Let's think hard.



We'll run away.

From the frying pan into the fire?

There's nowhere to go.

Into the forest.

Eat crusts, after the prince's bread?

Drink water, after his mead?

No, brother, that's over and done with.

You've got to think of something better.

Wait a moment.

Give me time... I've got it!

Do you see that?

The bell?

Don't you see?

Ring the bell? Why?

To stay alive, to have bread...

and if we're clever, to have wine!

Ring the bell! Summon the people!

Come here, everyone!

Hurry, all of you!

What is it? Are the Polovtsians attacking?

Rejoice, brethren!

These drunks have caused an uproar!

They're scaring everyone!

Hey, what are you doing? Stop!

Rejoice, Christians!

Why so happy? Are you drunk?

You'll all be drunk with joy
when you hear the news.

The prince has returned!

The traitor Galitsky?

Let him burn in hell!

Not the traitor Galitsky.

Our own Prince Igor!

Curse those lying drunks!

If you don't believe us, look!

He's over there, do you see?

There he is, returned from the Polovtsians.

The prince!

Hurry and ring the bells!

Has the prince really returned?

He has really returned!
Our father has returned!

What joy... we are saved!

It can't be! This must be a dream.

Yet it is Igor!

I recognize my beloved.

My prince has returned!

This all seems like a dream.
Have you really come back to me?

I can't believe my eyes.
I can't believe in dreams!

How often I've seen you
like this in my dreams.

This is no dream. I have returned.

I see the look in your eyes
and hear the sound of your voice.

I'm with my beloved once again!

Peace and happiness are mine again!

I see my beloved again!

Peace and happiness are mine again!

My long-desired love,
returned to me by heaven.

I am with you again!

My friend! My beloved!

Why didn't I die in battle?

Why didn't I die leading my army?

Death, why did you spare me?

I would gladly sleep in the sands
of Kayala, with my fallen army.

Nothing is more cruel
than to live in dishonor.

To live in captivity,
and to know I am the cause.

Captivity is worse than death.

I am the shame of my country.
Igor's name is cursed.

Princes of Russia, avenge me!

Save your native land.

You, great Vsevolod, can overflow
even the Volga with your boats.

With your helmets
you can empty even the River Don.

You have not strewn
Russian bones over Kayala.

You, Rurik and David...

like wounded bulls you
broke the enemy's spears.

You did not spill Russian blood at Kayala.

You, Mstislav and Roman...

fought the Polovtsians,
the Yotvingians and Lithuanians.

You did not drown the
Russians in Kayala's river.

You, Ingvar and Vsevolod...

defied the enemy like
eagles guarding their nest.

You did not drown your
armies in Kayala's river.

Princes, you must put
your quarrels behind you.

Fall upon the enemy and destroy them.

God will help you, for your cause is just.

You will save Russia,
because you are not Prince Igor.

Who was the first to
bring us the good news?

We were the first ones, Fathers.

The gudok players?

The gudok players, Fathers.

Servants of the scoundrel Galitsky?

We're not Galitsky's servants!

We're from here!

You joined the scoundrel Galitsky!

No, Fathers, we are Igor's servants.

We're from here!

Good for you, then.
We'll forgive the past.

Now we'll celebrate! Play the gudok!

Let everyone welcome the prince!

Our father, returned from captivity!

Let everyone greet our dear father...

and treat him with respect.

Happiness is ours again!

The prince has come home,
and misfortune is at an end!

Greetings to our father... our prince!

Bravo, bravo.

- Oh, sorry.
- This is fantastic.

Oh, that's all right.

Oh, my goodness.
That... just amazing.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Beautiful singing,
it is just wonderful.

Now, as a young Russian singer,

do you feel a sense of

playing one of Russia's
legendary heroes?

For the moment, yes.
For the moment.

Because I grew up...

My voice has grown up with me,
of course,

and now I start to sing
Russian repertoire.

Step by step.

So, this is my second role
in the Russian repertoire.

First it was Dosifey,
and now Prince Igor.

And I hope in the future
I will do Boris.

Excellent. There was...

You had an interesting
first experience with this...

With the character,
the opera, of Igor.

Tell us a little bit about that.

The first experience was

in my city where I'm born,
actually, in Ufa,

in Ufa, and, um,

I worked as super onstage
in Ufa.

That was my first experience.

I was like bodyguard, you know?

- Of Prince Igor!
- Excellent, excellent.

So, speaking of Boris
and you only having sung

two other Russian roles,
does this particular role

feel like you needed to be
ready for it?

Like a role like Boris, that you
have to wait and be careful?

Of course, of course, because,
also my teacher,

Milausha Murtasina,

my teacher told me, that role,

it will be in the future
your visiting card.

Ah. Well, that's quite apparent
this afternoon,

'cause it's just fantastic.

So, now I am here to try.

That's wonderful.

Now, this version of the opera
focuses on

the intensely psychological
nature of your character.

Tell us a little bit about
the work you've done

with director
Dmitri Tcherniakov.

Oh, yeah, of course,
Dmitri Tcherniakov.

So, I know from school
about "Prince Igor."

And Dmitri give me more...

More about this character.

Because he tries
lots of other things.

Lots of different things
to get you...

Yeah, lots of different things
on the theatres...

So, and he help me a lot
with this part.

Well, thank you so much

for spending some time
with us, Ildar.

- And bravo again.
- Thank you. See you later.

The field of poppies

was dreamt up by
the director and designer

of this production,
Dmitri Tcherniakov.

He and Maestro Gianandrea Noseda
sat down recently

with Met General Manager,
Peter Gelb,

to discuss this new version
of "Prince Igor."

Can you tell us specifically,

the audience has just seen

a fantastic scene
in a poppy field,

in fact the Metropolitan Opera
made 12,000 poppies

for that scene.

Can you describe
what was going on exactly?

It seemed to be partly true,
or in the mind of Igor?

Is that a hallucination
or for real?

In our production,
it's happening not in reality,

it's happening of his mind.

He was uh-concussion-?

He had a concussion.

He had concussion and during,
uh, military...

Military attack, military camp,

and he tried to imagine
what's happiness for him,

what is ideal life for him.

This is mixed of many
characters from his life.

Some characters exist
in his life

from his memory, from his past;

some characters
are completely new.

They are not exist in reality.

It's a special place,

an imagined place
for our production.

So, this was a turning point
in the story,

what the audiences just saw.

And what is the turning point,

Is that a turning point,
musically, as well?

When is writing, Borodin,
for Russians,

the Russian world
is completely different,

so in the opera you see
two different ways,

musical ways,
to treat the story.

When he's writing music
for the Polovtsian,

it's very much oriental

with a lot of southern
Russian elements.

When he's writing for Russia,
he's more orthodox

with these kind of choruses
and the way, more or less,

Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov
used to write music.

You say at the beginning
of the opera

you had a legend that appears
on the screen

which says that the hero is
trying to escape through war,

from himself.

So is that... is that the key
to this... to your production?

One of the keys.


That is the starting point,

and I will not
anticipate anything,

but the last moments
of this production,

in my personal experience,

are among the most moving
and touching moments

I've ever experienced.

I'm so happy to be
part of this production,

to cooperate, and to make
this story and this opera,

because we'll touch
the heart of the people.

Thank you both so very much.

Oksana, Mikhail...

So, you're okay,
as they take you away here!

So, you play sister and brother.

But there's no love lost
between you.

How did you develop these roles
with this warring of siblings?

Oh, how did we find
these characters?

We worked together a lot.

I especially like in this scene
that I beat him up

and he allows me to do so.

Well, it was difficult because
we never worked with Oksana,

and Oksana is definitely
so nice person.

So, it was...

a lot, a lot to do to...

It took a lot of effort.

I can attest to that, having
worked with her myself.

Absolutely. So, this is
your Met debut, Oksana.

- Welcome and...
- Thank you.

And how has it been for you
singing on the Met stage?

Oh, how it was!

It was...

It was amazing.

How can it be anything else?
It's indescribable.

Mikhail, you're a veteran,
so how does this...

How does this compare to some of
the other...

other, uh, roles that
you've sung here?

Well, nothing new because

this role is like one of...

one in the spate of villains
I just sung here.


And Hunding and Sparafucile,
and Marshal Davout,

and Pistola... not that bad,
but not that good!

Well, Oksana, Mikhail,
and Lidiya,

thank you so much for
joining us.

- Eric, thank you.
- Thank you very much.

- Hello, Anita.
- Hello, hello.

How does it feel to be playing
this fantasy woman

who lives in poppy fields
of Igor's imagination?

It actually feels fantastic

because the scene of
the Polovtsian act is beautiful.

We have all these flowers,

and the combination of
the flowers and my black hair,

and my white dress,
I think is just perfect.

I think, oh,
everybody's enjoying it

because it's really beautiful.

It's stunning.

And this character is very
strong and passionate.

- Oh, yes.
- Like one of your other
signature roles, Carmen.

Oh, yes.

Are you drawn to these strong
female characters?

I love the strong
female characters, you know?

It's something that fits
my character.

It's something that is in me,
always been in me.

And I love being
a strong woman onstage

like Carmen or Konchakovna.

Absolutely. And you throw
yourself into the acting.

And so, how's it been
working with Dmitri?

I mean, you must love
that attention to detail.

Yes. Actually, it's one of
my favorite directors.

He's an amazing director

because he's always working on
emotions onstage,

and to do something
really emotional,

real, with crying
and all that real things

that we want to see onstage.

I love working with him.

Well, Anita, this is such
a pleasure for me.

I mean, I got to see it
last Tuesday,

and you just sound
fantastic, so...

- Thank you so much.
- Thank you so much, indeed.

Now, I'm with the Met's
legendary Chorus Master,

Donald Palumbo.

- Hi, Eric.
- Donald, hello.

- How are you?
- Very good. Thank you.

The last time "Prince Igor"
was performed at the Met

was nearly 100 years ago.

There's so much choral music.

Tell us a little bit about that
process of teaching them this...

It is a lot of music
and it's a lot of text.

That's what the problem is.

'Cause there's so much text
and none of it seems to repeat.

So, every time
a group of choristers

is telling a story onstage,
they're not singing a verse

and then a refrain, and then
repeating the refrain, say...

It's constantly verse
after verse after verse.

So, uh, I think...

I think, from a text
point of view,

it's the most Russian we've ever
had to sing in any season.

Now, the music we just heard,
the Polovtsian Dances,

it's so familiar to everyone.

We love singing the piece.
It's fun.

But, of course,
there's a lot of that music

that is more not so lyric.

More aggressive, more warlike,

and that's where sort of
the men take over.

The women have the lyric music

and the men have the more
aggressive, rhythmic music.

Well, thank you so much
for joining us, Donald.

Thank you, Eric.