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Met Opera to stage Borodin's Prince Igor in 2013

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Sarah Billinghurst Artistic Manager (read "casting director" ) of the Met Opera is interviewed by Mariinsky Media in St Petersburg at the closing of the Stars of the White Nights Festival.

She discusses her relationship and history with Valery Gergiev and when asked why she is in St Peterburg explains (@around 3min 21sec of the video) that she is in town to view Prince Igor. The MEt will stage it in three years with Gergiev conducting and she is discussing which version of the piece to use at the Met.

A little background; Prince Igor contains astonishingly striking music with an amazing sequence of arias in the Polovetsian Camp concluding with the famous "Dances", but the piece is very problematic. Borodin had a wonderful fountain of melodies which illuminate the piece but had little concept of dramatic structure. And to further complicate matters he died before completing the opera (really, "lyric scenes" is a more apt description) . Rimsky and Glazunov completed the numbers Borodin didn't finish and also provided the orchestration.

Others have continued to rearrange and revise the piece, Gergiev himself came up with his own version in 1998 which I saw on a MT tour to NYC shortly afterwards. Actually I've seen Prince Igor three times and each production had significantly different versions of the score.

Going back to the interview and things balletic, Billinghurst mentions that she is looking for Gergiev's input and also mentions that the Polovetsian Dance sequence will be staged by Ratmansky (after Fokine?????).

I'm already looking forward to this; in spite of the difficulties involved in staging the opera, the flow of the luminous score provides a very special experience.

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