from Act II of the Russian opera Boris Godunov
by Modest Mussorgsky
Libretto: Modest Mussorgsky
Role: An Old Nurse
, the caretaker for the children of Boris Godunov
Voice Part: contralto
Setting: a room in the Tsar's chambers in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, 1603
Synopsis: The Nurse sings a song about a gnat that is killed by a marauding dragonfly. She sings the song to cheer up Xenia, whose fiance has recently died. It doesn't really make her feel any better though.