The Met Presents the Original, One-Act Version of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Beginning September 28
Bass René Pape returns to the Met to sing the title role
New York, NY (September 21, 2021)—For the first time, the Metropolitan Opera presents the original 1869 version of Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, which runs two-and-a-quarter hours without intermission, with six performances conducted by Sebastian Wiegle beginning September 28. Bass René Pape returns to the Met to sing the title role of the tortured tsar, who is caught between grasping ambition and crippling paranoia. Many singers in the production make their Met debuts, including tenor David Butt Philip as Grigory, tenor Maxim Paster as Shuisky, baritone Aleksey Bogdanov as Shchelkalov, and bass Ain Anger as Pimen. Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green makes his Met role debut as Varlaam. Stephen Wadsworth’s affecting production poignantly captures the hope and suffering of the Russian people as well as the tsar himself.
Boris Godunov Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio, and Online
The performance of Boris Godunov on Saturday, October 9, will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the globe as part of the Met’s Live in HD series.
The September 28 and October 5 performances of Boris Godunov will be broadcast live on Met Opera Radio on Sirius XM Channel 355. Audio from the September 28 will also be streamed live on the Met’s website, metopera.org. The October 9 performance will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers—Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network on Saturday, February 19, 2022.
Boris Godunov Artist Biographies
German bass René Pape reprises his portrayal of Boris, a role he previously performed at the Met during the 2010–11 season. He made his company debut in 1995 as the Speaker in Die Zauberflöte, and since then has sung more than 200 performances of 22 roles with the company. His other roles at the Met include Gurnemanz in Parsifal, King Marke in the 2016–17 season’s new production of Tristan und Isolde, Banquo in Macbeth, Méphistophélès in Faust, and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, a role he has sung during the Met’s 2006–07, 2014–15, and 2017–18 seasons. Other performances this season include singing Mozart’s Requiem and excerpts from the Ring cycle with the Staatskapelle Dresden; Gurnemanz and King Marke at the Vienna State Opera; Sarastro, King Henry in Lohengrin, Sir John Falstaff in Nicolai’s Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Orest in Elektra, and Timur in Turandot at Staatsoper Berlin; Verdi’s Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic; and King Marke in Wiesbaden.
British tenor David Butt Philip makes his Met debut as Grigory. Recent performances include Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos in concert at the Edinburgh International Festival; Boris in Káťa Kabanová at the Glyndebourne Festival; Florestan in Fidelio and Grigory at Covent Garden; the Prince in Rusalka, Froh in Das Rheingold, and Essex in Britten’s Gloriana in Madrid; Rodolfo in La Bohème as part of English National Opera’s Drive & Live; Don José in Carmen at English National Opera; Florestan in Prague; and the title role of Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg at Deutsche Oper Berlin. He created the role of Laertes in the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Glyndebourne Festival and has also sung the opera’s title role on tour with the company and in Cologne. Later this season, he sing Laertes in the Met-premiere production of Hamlet and appears in Come Home: A Celebration of Return at Washington National Opera and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in Rouen, France.
Ukrainian tenor Maxim Paster makes his Met debut as Shuisky, a role he has previously sung at Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bavarian State Opera, and in Paris and Samara, Russia. He appears frequently at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, where his roles have included the Second Jew in Salome, Sopiel in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadko, the First Ship Owner in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Shuisky, Chekalinsky in The Queen of Spades, Tsar Berendey in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden, and Mephistopheles in Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel. He has also sung the Moderator in Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery at Staatsoper Berlin, the Public Scribe in Khovanshchina at La Scala, Tsar Berendey at the Paris Opera, Mephistopheles in Rome, and Zinovy in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in Naples and at the Salzburg Festival.
Ukrainian baritone Aleksey Bogdanov makes his Met debut as Shchelkalov. Recent performances include the title role of Rigoletto at Central City Opera; Scarpia in Tosca at Austin Opera and Hawaii Opera Theatre; Crespel and Luther in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Barcelona; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at Austin Opera; Amonasro in Aida with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras; Beck Weathers in Joby Talbot’s Everest, the title role of Rachmaninoff’s Aleko, and Starbuck in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick at Chicago Opera Theater; and Rance in La Fanciulla del West at Maryland Lyric Opera. He is an alumnus of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera, where he appeared in more than 100 performances, including as Lieutenant Horstmayer in Kevin Puts’s Silent Night, Escamillo in Carmen, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, and General John A. Rawlins and Governor George Wallace in the premiere of the revised version of Philip Glass’s Appomattox. He has also appeared at the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Atlanta Opera, and with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Columbus Symphony Orchestra, among others. Later this season, he will sing Plutone in L’Orfeo with Europa Galante in Hamburg, Barcelona, and Vienna, and Rigoletto at Nashville Opera.
Estonian bass Ain Anger makes his Met debut as Pimen, before returning as Prince Gremin in a revival of Eugene Onegin in the spring. He has performed more than forty roles in Vienna State Opera, including Dosifei in Khovanshchina, King Henry in Lohengrin, Philippe II in Don Carlos, Zaccaria in Nabucco, and Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra. Recent performances include Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer and Fafner in Das Rheingold at the Bavarian State Opera; Hunding in Tokyo and in concert with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Daland at Estonian National Opera, Latvian National Opera, and in Madrid; Hagen in Götterdämmerung at the Edinburgh International Festival; and the Commendatore at the Paris Opera. He has also sung Prince Gremin, Hunding, and Fafner in Das Rheingold and Siegfried at the Bavarian State Opera; Hunding at Covent Garden; Pimen in Paris; King Marke in Tristan und Isolde in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra; and Daland at La Scala. Later this season, he sings the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Philip II in Don Carlo at the Vienna State Opera, and Méphistophélès in Faust at Estonian National Opera.
A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and a recipient of a 2021 Beverly Sills Artist Award, American bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green made his Met debut in 2012 as the Mandarin in Turandot, followed by performances as the Second Knight in Parsifal, the Jailer in Tosca, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Rambo in John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, Colline in La Bohème, the High Priest Oroe in Semiramide, the King in Aida, and most recently, Jake in the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Also this season at the Met he will reprise his portrayals of Jake and Colline and make his Met role debut as Truffaldin in Ariadne auf Naxos.
German conductor Sebastian Weigle made his Met debut conducting Die Zauberflöte in 2000, returning to lead performances of Fidelio and Der Rosenkavalier in the 2016–17 season. He has served as music director of Oper Frankfurt since 2008, and in 2019, he became chief conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. He held tenures as music director of Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu from 2004 to 2009 and as music director of Staatsoper Berlin between 1997 and 2002. He has also taken the podium at Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bayreuth Festival, the Bavarian State Opera, Budapest’s Wagner Festival, the Salzburg Festival, Opera Australia, and with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, NHK Symphony Orchestra, and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, among many other leading opera companies and orchestras. This season, he will conduct Boris Godunov at the Vienna State Opera; Humperdinck’s Königskinder, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve, The Merry Widow, Carmina Burana, Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Lohengrin in Frankfurt; Elektra in concert with Tokyo’s Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra; and concerts with the Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester.