Prince Igor from Yakutia

The Tale of the Yakut Opera

On 19 November the Belarusian Bolshoi will present a performance by the State Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Critics prognosticate that this production will be nominated for the most prestigious Russian theatre award, the Golden Mask.

49 dancers, 52 chorus artists, 22 singers and 44 musicians of the Sakha Theatre will come to Minsk to present one of their large-scale productions which have already won the hearts not only of their spectators, but also of the Beijing opera admirers.

The audience of the Bolshoi Theatre will see a different interpretation of the legendary piece: the idea of repentance permeates the story. ‘It took Alexander Borodin 18 years to compose his opera. During this period the composer tried to fully comprehend its source, The Tale of Igor’s Campaign,’ the director Andrey Borisov says. ‘If we speak about the historical truth, Prince Igor sallied out alone to fight for glory and honour. He did not summon the princes’ reinforcements. So he lost and ruined his army. And this is his fault. Nevertheless, people sang him praises in the finale and followed him. Why? The only reason was that Prince Igor repented, and the people trusted him… That’s what the story is about.’

A special colour will be added by a new character introduced by the Sakha Theatre, a beautiful Yakut shaman performed by the unique folk singer and virtuoso khomus (jew’s harp) player Yuliana Krivoshapkina.

The 19 November performance will feature the Honoured Artists of the Republic of Sakha Anegina Dyakonova as Yaroslavna, Alexander Yemelyanov as Prince Igor, Grigory Petrov as Yeroshka, Nikolai Popov as Vladimir, Marina Silina as the Polovtsian girl, and the People’s Artist of the Republic of Sakha Aytalina Afanasieva-Adamova as Konchakovna.   

But we would like to highlight two basses. The terrible Khan Konchak part will be performed by the wonderful Askar Abdrazakov, the People’s Artist of Bashkortostan, a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. The singer has appeared at the world-famous opera venues, such as the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Teatro Real in Madrid, Staatsoper Berlin and Hamburg. He has worked with a number of eminent conductors, including Valery Gergiev, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez, Michel Plasson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Plácido Domingo, as well as singers, namely Anna Netrebko, José Carreras, Dmitry Khvorostovsky. It’s a pleasure that he will perform opposite our brilliant singer: the role of the Prince of Galich will be sung by winner of international competitions, recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal, Andrey Valenty, whose voice is widely referred to as the royal bass.