from Act II of the Russian opera Boris Godunov
by Modest Mussorgsky
Libretto: Modest Mussorgsky
Role: Boris Godunov
, current Tsar of Russia, father of Fyodor and Xenia
Voice Part: bass Fach: dramatic bass
Setting: a room in the Tsar's chambers in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, 1603
Synopsis: Boris is told by Prince Shuisky that a rival to his throne has appeared and it seems that it is a man pretending to be Dmitri, the half-brother of the previous Tsar who was killed in order to facilitate Boris's rise to the throne. Although Shuisky assures Boris that the real Dmitri is dead, Boris is overcome with the possibility that Dmitri has come back from the dead to haunt him. As the chimes of a clock are struck, Boris imagines that he sees the ghost of Dmitri. In horror he falls to the floor and prays for forgiveness.