Yuri Alexandrov created a metaphoric performance where he mixed different eras focusing on how history repeats itself. He draws parallels between the Time of Troubles and the today’s Russia of today, raising the eternal issues of loneliness in power and irreconcilable conflict between the people and the rulers.
In Alexandrov’s performance you won’t see this pseudo-Russian 16th century images, with processions of colorfully-dressed bearded boyars, monks wearing their monastic robes and so on. Whatever this motley "electorate" crowd is wearing, it is still deprived and downtrodden, subject to vile human passions. The crowd scenes, that are so important for this drama, become especially dynamic in the small space of a chamber theater. The characters clearly resemble those of our recent history: Mstislav Rostropovich with a cello as a clerk in the Boyars' Council, drunk Boris Yeltsin as Boris Godunov. We can also see one of the ambitious modern "nominees" of the permanent political struggle as the Pretender. The poignant metaphor of the whole performance is the cramped and dirty train of the Russian history rushing to nowhere, into the darkness, uncontrolled, and leaving behind Boris with his children at one of the little stations ...
Music: Modest Mussorgsky (the first author's edition; the episodes of the third part and monologue of Boris are from the second author's version of the opera)
Libretto: Modest Mussorgsky after the tragedy by Alexander Pushkin