San Francisco Symphony’s “Boris Godunov,” with projections, sculptural set, full orchestra onstage

Posted on: June 13, 2018

“When Michael Tilson Thomas met with director James Darrah to lay plans for their San Francisco Symphony staging of Mussorgsky’s epic 1869 opera ‘Boris Godunov,’ Thomas talked about his favorite film, ‘Andrei Rublev,’ Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1966 masterpiece about … 15th century Russian painter of icons,” writes Jesse Hamlin in Tuesday’s (6/12) San Francisco Chronicle. “The film’s stark black-and-white imagery and penetrating portrayal of the spectrum of Russian society inform the production of ‘Boris’ … playing at Davies Hall June 14, 15 and 17…. Darrah is in Berkeley, where the theater’s wardrobe crew is sewing the ‘Boris’ costumes designed by Emily Anne MacDonald and husband Cameron Jaye Mock [who] also designed the sculptural set that curves behind the orchestra and holds the screen … onto which projection designer Adam Larsen will beam inky, abstracted images alluding to things Russian…. In addition to [Russian bass] Stanislav Trofimov [in the title role] the big cast includes three actor-dancers. Up in the terrace, the Symphony Chorus plays a big role as the cowed, manipulated populace that later becomes a rabid mob…. Unlike some contemporary ‘Boris’ productions, this one doesn’t try to suggest Putin’s Russia. … ‘It’s about a period of political disunity, in which all sorts of people are grasping for power,’ Thomas says.”

Posted June 13, 2018