Boris Godunov is an opera steeped in Russian history. Originally inspired at the suggestion of historian V. V. Nikolsky, Mussorgsky used Pushkin’s 1825 drama of the same name as the starting point, returning to Pushkin’s source text Karamzin’s History of the Russian State for more detail. The story is centered on the reign of Boris Godunov, who was tsar of Russia in the late 16th century, and rose to the throne in unusual circumstances.
Under the rule of Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov had risen to a powerful position in the court in Moscow. When Ivan died, he was succeeded by his second
Boris Godunov guide sections