"Based on the anonymous late twelfth / early thirteenth century epic prose poem, The Lay of Igor’s Campaign (Slovo o Polku Igoreve), which Russian students had to study in its original, Prince Igor is full of lyricism, paeans to nature, laments over feudal princes’ discord, and forebodings for the future.
All this and more (folk melodies and chastushki) Borodin attempted to incorporate into his opera (libretto by Vladimir Stasov), over which he struggled for eighteen years and left unfinished. It was left to his executors Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov to finish and arrange.
Presented in an edited two-act form, in a new version by stage director Yuri Alexandrov, who says he wants it to reflect Russia today, its faith, endurance, and its need to atone (“we have forgotten how to repent and acknowledge our mistakes”), Prince Igor opens with gloriously sung praise from the tremendous chorus of townsfolk, rich boyars and their wives, restless ragged peasants, warriors, Orthodox priests and holy fool, in spine-tingling harmony, glory to the princes, glory to Rus."
( from Vera Liber review at http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/prince-igor-london-coliseum-10013)
" Sergey Artamonov sang splendidly in the title role, his dark bass-baritone impressively navigating the long lines of Igor’s aria as he sings of his disgrace at being captured. Elena Popovskaya’s soprano had a few shrill moments in Act I, but her sorrowful final aria, lamenting Igor’s absence, was nobly dispatched. Of the basses, Evgeny Stavinsky’s Galitsky, Yaroslavna’s carousing, predatory brother, was splendid, while Vladimir Kudashev’s Khan Konchak was vocally less imposing than ideal. Tenor Aleksey Tatarintsev had an ideal sweetness of tone as Vladimir (Igor’s son, also captured), although he was vocally mismatched with Agunda Kulaeva’s imposing Konchakovna (the Khan’s daughter). The gear changes in Kulaeva’s mezzo were a little too obvious, but her smoky lower notes were impressively dark.
Under British conductor Jan Latham-Koenig, the Novaya Opera Orchestra offered a lively account of the score, the overture, placed after the Prologue, brought off with panache. The three hours performance time simply flew by, while that final unaccompanied chorus is still haunting my mind now."
( from review By Mark Pullinger, 02 April 2014 at http://bachtrack.com/review-novaya-prince-igor-apr-2014)
As for myself, I loved it all , but regret the cut the Polovitsian dances ballet part (