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It is clear soon enough, with corpses dangling from nooses on Red Square, that this staging is to be no picnic. A tiny model Kremlin hints at our location.
Watch and listen -- 'I will go, I will go to Ivangorod' (Act 1)
(DVD1 chapter 3, 7:34-8:42) © 2007 Opus Arte/Gran Teatre del Liceu
Apart from the admirable Barcelona chorus and orchestra under Michael Boder, most of the cast is authentically Russian, a notable exception being the much abused but endlessly resourceful scribe of Graham Clark. It is a constant joy to watch his cunning contortions, as he grapples with bullying Streltsy or the more personal onslaught of Nikolai Putilin's Shaklovity, a character curiously enlarged by the director.
Watch and listen -- 'And we are living now in hiding places' (Act 1)
(DVD1 chapter 4, 16:22-17:14) © 2007 Opus Arte/Gran Teatre del Liceu
Copyright © 1 June 2008
Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt