Alexander Borodin
Prince Igor

Opera in two acts with a prologue and an epilogue

Sunday | 23 April 2023|18:00

Age 12+

Дирижер – Юрий Караваев


Libretto: Alexander Borodin based on the poem The Lay of Igor's Campaign
Musical director: People’s Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Anissimov
Director: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Galina Galkovskaya
Sets and costumes: People's Artist of Russia, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Vyacheslav Okunev
Chorus master: People's Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Nina Lomanovich
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Ballet master: People's Artist of Belarus Yury Trayan
Conductor: Yuri Karavaev
Lighting designer: Irina Vtornikova
Computer graphics: Elena Akhremenko
Adviser on Alexander Borodin's manuscript heritage: PhD in History of Arts  Anna Bulycheva
Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes with one interval
Premiere: 15 September 2019


Князь Игорь – Владимир Громов
Ярославна – Мария Галкина
Владимир Игоревич – Андрей Матюшонок
Князь Владимир Галицкий – Станислав Трифонов
Кончак – Олег Мельников
Кончаковна – Дарья Горожанко
Скула – Андрей Клипо
Ерошка – Александр Гелах
Няня – Марина Лихошерст
Гзак – Дмитрий Капилов
Дружина Галицкого – Александр Гелах, Андрей Клипо, Александр Краснодубский, Сергей Лазаревич, Янош Нелепа, Дмитрий Трофимук, Денис Янцевич, Юрий Болотько, Руслан Маспанов, Иван Березин, Владислав Зозулько, Святослав Сахаров




The 12th century. Rus suffers from the attacks of the Polovtsians. The people pray that they will be saved from their travails. 



Act 1

Scene 1


Prince Igor is preparing for a campaign against the Polovtsians. The people sing praise to Igor. All of a sudden, it grows dark – a solar eclipse begins. The people see an ill omen in it and plead with Igor to postpone the campaign. But the Prince has no doubt about the righteousness of the cause, he will defend his country from enemies, he will struggle for faith and his homeland. It is his duty. 


Even the entreaties of Yaroslavna, the Prince’s faithful wife and partner, cannot change his mind. Igor consoles her, giving assurances that she need not worry about him and should await his victorious return. He entrusts his wife to the care of her brother, Prince Vladimir Galitsky.


Igor, his son Vladimir and their army set out on the campaign. Unnoticed, two soldiers, Skula and Yeroshka, decide to desert. They drop their armour, intending to join the service of Prince Galitsky, where ‘there is mead, and ale, and food in plenty.’



Scene 2   


Prince Galitsky’s courtyard. Drunken rabbles mock the abducted girl, another toy of the Prince, and sing praise to their master. Skula’s and Yeroshka’s buffoonery is entertaining and amusing. Prince Galitsky’s retinue is here, too, including all those dissatisfied with Igor’s rule. They support the power-seeking Galitsky in his lust for the throne. 


Searching for his abducted daughter, the maiden’s father appears, but Galitsky’s guards prevent him from approaching their master. Girls run in the courtyard and implore Galitsky to set their friend free. But their entreaties are vain: Galitsky roughly banishes them. His retinue keeps on revelling, while the retainers, roused to fury and encouraged by Skula and Yeroshka, rush to the town square to praise their well-doer. 



Scene 3


Princess Yaroslavna is tormented by alarm for her husband and his army: there has not been any news from Igor for a long time, so an unbearable sadness has gripped her heart. Her gloomy thoughts are interrupted by the abducted maiden’s girlfriends, joined by the rest of the women of Putivl. They beg the Princess to defend them from Galitsky’s high-handedness. 


Galitsky enters and witnesses their complaints. With characteristic rudeness, he starts the conversation with accusations and abasements and threatens to depose Igor. Quite unexpectedly for Galitsky, the Princess stands up to him.  


Boyars tell the Princess bad news that the Russian troop is defeated, and Igor and his son are taken prisoner. The Princess is appalled at what has happened. Forced to prompt recover, Yaroslavna leads the defence of Putivl. The boyars swear allegiance to her.  


Galitsky rushes in the hall, followed by his retinue: the rebels demand that Yaroslavna be deposed and Galitsky be enthroned.  


An alarm bell announces another tragedy: Gzak has approached Putivl, the suburbs are on fire, and the fields are ablaze. The critical moment forces everyone to face a challenge of fate and make their choice. The dwellers of Putivl thrust at the town walls. Galitsky leaves his retinue and attempts to flee. The boyars encircle Yaroslavna, ready to protect the Princess and the town.     



Act 2

Scene 1


In Konchak’s camp, the Polovtsians carouse and revel, celebrating another victorious campaign against the Slavs. Khan Gzak has brought a number of Russian captives with him. 


The khan’s daughter, Konchakovna, does not surrender to merriment: she is totally obsessed with the young prince Vladimir, Igor’s son. She craves a meeting with him, so she lets her maids go, hoping to see her beloved. The young man is consumed with the same desire. Night falls. The sweethearts meet at last. They tenderly and passionately vow love for each other. But the man’s confession that his father does not give his blessing to their marriage hurts Konchakovna and ruins her hopes for happiness. Hearing his father’s steps, Vladimir hurriedly bids farewell to his beloved. Konchakovna is intent on having him back.   


Prince Igor has no peace. Not only the shame of defeat and the death of the squad oppress him: the terrible sight of hundreds of new prisoners, who are driven by the Polovtsians, and the realization of the impossibility to fight the enemy back and defend his land tears his heart. He knows that there is only one person who continues to believe in the return of his good name – his faithful and loving wife Yaroslavna. 


Konchak, doing his best to make Igor his ally, holds him captive with honours. However, Igor remains adamant. To distract the Prince from his sobering thoughts, Konchak arranges a magnificent feast and Igor is designated a principal guest. Konchakovna, the khan’s dearest daughter, opens the celebration. 


Everyone gets their trophy in exuberant and passionate, whirlwind and fiery Polovtsian dances: Konchakovna entices Vladimir, Konchak is triumphant and intoxicated with his own power, Gzak revels in the power of the Polovtsians... In the thick of the merriment, unbeknownst to all, Igor leaves the Polovtsian feast, but it cannot dampen Konchak’s good mood: the Polovtsian khans set out on sharing the booty.


In the dead of night Igor decides to escape from captivity and takes his son with him. The Polovtsian encampment is asleep, but Konchakovna is not. Infatuated with Vladimir, she does not let her trophy go.



Scene 2


A square in Putivl. It’s been long since Igor set off on his campaign. Again and again, Yaroslavna returns to the place where she took her leave of her dearest husband. Her lamentation sounds like the lamentation of all women who have lost their husbands, sons, beloved ones on the battlefield. 


Wandering around the town, Skula and Yeroshka are first to notice a rider approaching and recognize him as Igor. Hearing their cry, the people come running and joyfully welcome the return of the Prince. Yaroslavna can’t believe her happiness; she runs to her husband through the noisy crowd. 


The people await the Prince’s word – it is the only thing that can raise their spirit and restore their faith in victory.





The people glorify Prince Igor and the unity of the defenders of Rus.