Lost under Stalin, 'Boris Godonuv' with Prokofiev music, Meyerhold staging, being produced

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PRINCETON, N.J. -— In 1936, two of the Soviet Union’s greatest artists decided to work on a new theatrical production of Pushkin’s “Boris Godunov” for its author’s coming jubilee. Sergei Prokofiev wrote 24 musical pieces while the visionary stage director Vsevolod Meyerhold mapped out scenes and started rehearsals. The following year, Stalin’s terror fixed its gaze on Meyerhold and he abandoned the project. Three years later, he was dead, shot by a firing squad.

Now, thanks to the recent discovery of Meyerhold’s original notes and Prokofiev’s handwritten score and comments, their collaboration is finally having its world premiere on Thursday night at the Berlind Theater at Princeton University, 70 years after its planned opening.

This mammoth undertaking by Princeton, in conjunction with the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art in Moscow, rescues a production that artists and scholars thought was lost forever.

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