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Metropolitan Opera Radio: Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina

Airs Saturday, March 17 at 12:00 noon. The 2011-12 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina, conducted by Kirill Petrenko and featuring an acclaimed Russian, Georgian, and Ukrainian cast. Anatoli Kotscherga makes his network debut as Ivan Khovansky, the leader of a conspiracy against Peter the Great, with Misha Didyk as his son, Andrei. Olga Borodina is Marfa, a passionate member of the “Old Believers” religious sect; Ildar Abdrazakov is Dosifei, the sect’s leader; Vladimir Galouzine is Golitsin, a liberal-minded aristocrat; and George Gagnidze is Shaklovity, a boyar loyal to the tsar. Benjamin Millepied makes his Met debut with new choreography for the opera’s “Dance of the Persian Slaves.” This season’s performances are the first time Khovanshchina has been performed at the Met since 1999. Khovanshchina will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 12 pm CT on Saturday, March 17.

Petrenko made his Met debut in 2003 leading Lehár’s The Merry Widow. He conducted Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos in both 2005 and 2010, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte in 2007. The Russian-born conductor, a former Music Director of the Komische Oper in Berlin, will become the Music Director of Munich’s Bavarian State Opera in 2013.

Borodina made her Met debut as Marina in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov in 1997. Marfa will be her twelfth Met role, joining Amneris in Verdi’s Aida, the title character in Bizet’s Carmen, Dalila in Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, Isabella in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, and Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, among others. Abdrazakov sang Enrico in the Met premiere of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena that opened the season this fall. In 2010, he sang the title role in the Met premiere of Verdi’s Attila. Other recent Met appearances include Raimondo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor during the company’s 2011 tour of Japan. Galouzine made his Met debut as Sergei in the company premiere of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Other roles with the Met include Grigory in Boris Godunov, Alexei in Prokofiev’s The Gambler, Calàf in Puccini’s Turandot, the title role in Verdi’s Otello, and Hermann in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades.

Both Kotscherga and Didyk make their Met debuts with this run of Khovanshchina.  Kotscherga’s recent engagements include Ramfis in Aida at the Bavarian State Opera, the Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Bolshoi in Moscow, and Kochubey in Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa at the Lyon Opera, conducted by Petrenko. Didyk recently sang Andrei in Mazeppa, Hermann in The Queen of Spades, and Alexei in The Gambler at Lyon Opera, and Kuzmich in Janáček’s From the House of the Dead and Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at the Vienna State Opera. Shaklovity is Gagnidze’s second Met appearance this season, following a reprise of his acclaimed portrayal of Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca. Later this month, he will make his Met role debut as the title character in Verdi’s Macbeth.

The intermissions will include backstage interviews and a special Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Singers’ Roundtable.