Authors Note: This opera has been subject to many revisions and scenes have been added and removed over its lifetime. Although more recent practice has been to return to the original version of the opera, directors are still able to select any of the scenes available in their preferred combination. All of the scenes from all versions are presented below, with later additions italicised.
Scene One: The Courtyard of the Novodevichy Monastery
The crowds have gathered in the courtyard outside the monastery. They have been shouting for news as to who will be their new leader. They want to hear that there is a Tsar in Moscow who is going to protect them (‘Ну, что ж вы?’/ ‘Nu, shtozh vy?’) They are provoked to more shouting by the Constable, and eventually Shchelkalov addresses the people (‘Православные! не умолим боярин!’ / ‘Pravoslavnye! nye umolim boyarin!’). He tells them that the Duma and the Patriarch are full of sorrow, as is the whole of Russia, but there is still no news about who
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