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Prince Igor

Prince Igor is an opera in four acts and a prologue by Alexander Borodin. Produced at Metropolitan Opera House, New York, December 30, 1915.

The Prologue. Prince Igor, who is about to start on a campaign against the Khan of the Polovsy, refuses to heed the warnings of his wife and his people who interpret a recent eclipse as a bad omen. Prince Galitsky bribes Skoula and Eroshka to encourage Prince Igor in his determination to depart as he himself wants to usurp Igor's place. Igor unsuspectingly entrusts his wife to his care.

ACT I. Scene I is laid in the courtyard of Galitsky's house, where the people are welcoming him as their prince. A group of young women beg the prince to restore one of their friends whom he has carried off; but he frightens them away. Scene II. The young women appeal to Yaroslavna, who is lamenting Igor's absence, and while they are relating the story, Galitsky enters. Yaroslavna questions him as to the truth of their story and he only laughs. Word is brought that Igor and his son have been taken captive, and that an attack upon them is imminent.

ACT II. The Polovtsy Camp: Vladimir has fallen in love with Kontchakovna. She is sure her father will consent to the marriage, but Vladimir is doubtful if his father, Prince Igor, will. Kontchak offers Igor freedom if he will promise not to wage war on him again, but he refuses.

ACT III. Igor learns that an attack is to be made on his city. He escapes. He tries to persuade his son to accompany him, but Kontchakovna clings to him, and the father leaves alone. When the Khan learns of Igor's escape, he refuses to pursue, retains Vladimir as a hostage, and marries him to his daughter.

ACT IV. Igor arrives safely at the Kremlin, and is welcomed with great rejoicing.

References and external links: Plot taken from The Opera Goer's Complete Guide by Leo Melitz, 1921 version.

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