Lee Ann had the pleasure of playing the part of the Nurse of Ksenia in Boris Godunov by Aleksander Pushkin.  This full-cast production by The Online Stage has been released as a free audio via the Internet Archive.

Rendered into English verse by Alfred Hayes.

Presented by The Online Stage.

In January of 1598, Feodor (Fyodor) I, the heir to Ivan the Terrible, died at the age of 40 and with him ended the Rurik Dynasty in Russia. Feodor’s death came seven years after his half-brother Dmitry of Uglich died at the age of nine under mysterious circumstances from a stab wound to the throat.

During Feodor’s reign, Boris Godunov, Feodor’s brother-in-law, essentially ruled the country. After Feodor’s death Boris was crowned the tsar of all Russia. The country then plunged into what was later called “Time of Troubles”, marked by famine, plague, political intrigue, and general disorder and unrest.

Pushkin’s poetic drama takes us back to the beginning of Time of Troubles and the appearance of the first pretender to the throne, who claimed to be the miraculously surviving tsarevich Dmitry (Dmitry). The true identity of the “False Dimitry” is not clear.

This recording is of the English translation of “Boris Godunov” by Alfred Hayes. The text keeps to the rhythm of Pushkin’s original blank verse very closely. It also includes scenes (“Fence of the Monastery”, “Mnishek in Sambor”) that are usually omitted from the printed original editions.

Pushkin’s drama was later remodeled by Mussorgsky into a musical presentation, which is now considered one of the greatest of all Russian operas.

More information can be found here along with the free audio. 

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