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Evgeny Akimov

Borodin Prince Igor

The 22 January 2020
Mariinsky Theatre - Sankt-Peterburg

Borodin : Prince Igor

3 h 45
  • Performers
    Igor Sviatoslavich: Roman Burdenko
    Yaroslavna: Anna Markova
    Vladimir Igorevich: Evgeny Akimov
    Khan Konchak: Mikhail Kolelishvili
    Konchakovna: Olga Borodina
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Mariinsky Theatre


Prince Igor


Alexander Borodin wrote only one opera during his lifetime, this was left unfinished at the death of the Russian composer and was later completed, largely, by Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. First performed in St. Petersburg in 1890, the opera was also premiered around Europe and the US during the early years of the 20th century, and rediscovered in 2014 for a Metropolitan Opera performance. The music and a number of other compositions by Borodin were later used for the musical Kismet, the Polovtsian Dances from act two of the opera are often performed as a stand alone concert as they are seen as the most thrilling portion of the entire operatic performance.


Based on the Slavic epic known as The Tale of Igor's Campaign, the opera follows a simple story of Igor Svyatoslavich and his son Vladimir, Russian princes who are captured by the invading army of the Polovtsian leader. the opera details the capture of Igor and Vladimir and their time held captive in the lavish Polovtsian camp, where a lavish lifestyle and entertainment is laid on at all times.

Act 1

During a short prologue the details of the Polovtsian invasion of southern Russia is explained to Prince Igor, who tells his wife, Yaroslavna, he must maintain his honour by going to war. A solar eclipse is seen as a bad omen for the forthcoming war and scares off some members of Igor's army. The brother of Yaroslavna drunkenly declares himself prince after Igor and his men have gone to fight the Polovtsian army. Cut off from the surrounding towns and regions, Yaroslavna weeps for the loss of her husband, who has disappeared. The princess is then informed that her brother, Galitsky has abducted a woman and holds her in his chambers, Galitsky arrives and declares he could seize the throne from Igor at any time.

Act 2

Held prisoner by the Polovtsian army, Prince Vladimir reveals he has fallen in love with the daughter of his captor, Konchakovna. Vladimir and Konchakovna declare their love, but know Igor will never allow them to marry. Khan Konchak and Igor sing about their respect for each other and wish they could have been born to be allies, Konchak explains to Igor that he is classed as a guest of the ruling Khan leaders of the Polovtsians.

Act 3

The Polovtsian army have advanced through Russia and are soon confident they will hold the throne of all Russia in the coming months. A host of new captives arrive and encourage Igor to escape, after much encouragement Igor escapes alone as Konchakovna threatens to wake the camp if Vladimir escapes. Konchak arrives and agrees to allow Vladimir marry his daughter.

Act 4

All seems lost in the Kingdom of Igor, with the followers of Galitsky worried about the advance of the Polovtsian army. After spotting Igor arriving in the distance the people of his kingdom gather and celebrate his return, Galitsky is removed from any position of power as Igor arrives.


Igor, Russian Prince, Baritone
Yaroslavna, Igor's wife, Soprano
Vladimir, Igor's son, Tenor
Galitsky, Brother of Yaroslavna, Bass
Konchak, Polovtsian Khan, Bass
Konchakovna, Daughter of Konchak, contralto

Mariinsky Theatre

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