Prince Igor

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Prince Igor (Russian: Князь Игорь, Knyaz' Igor' ) is an opera in four acts with a prologue. It was composed by Alexander Borodin. The composer adapted the libretto from the East Slavic epic The Lay of Igor's Host, which recounts the campaign of Russian prince Igor Svyatoslavich against the invading Polovtsian tribes in 1185. The opera was left unfinished upon the composer's death in 1887 and was edited and completed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov. It was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1890.


Composition history

Original Composition: 1869 - 1887

After briefly considering Lev Mey's The Tsar's Bride as a subject (later taken up in 1898 by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, his 9th opera), Borodin began looking for a new project for his first opera. Vladimir Stasov, critic and advisor to The Mighty Handful, suggested The Lay of Igor's Host, a 12th century epic prose poem, and sent Borodin a scenario for a 3 Act opera on 30 April 1869.[1] Initially, Borodin found the proposition intriguing, but daunting:

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