Ivan Bilibin: Volga and Mikula

Prince Igor: Sabin Markov
Yaroslavna: Ghena Dimitrova
Vladimir: Petko Marinov
Prince Galitsky: Stoyan Popov
Konchak: Petar Petrov
Konshakovna: Neli Bojkova
Lovlur: Liubomir Bodurov
Skula: Boyan Katzarski
Polovetsian Maiden: Rumiana Bareva

Conductor: Ivan Marinov

Sofia, 15 November 1977, sung in Russian

Prologue    A Square in front of the Cathedral in the Russian city of Putivl - Prince Igor is mobilizing his army against the Polovtsians who have been attacking and raiding the Russians' territory.
5:00   The people ask God to bless them.
10:40   There is an eclipse of the sun and the sky grows dark. The people see this as a bad omen and plead with Prince Igor to abandon his mission. Igor sees it as an omen - but whether good or bad is to be seen.
17:10   His wife, Yaroslavna, begs him to stay home but he is not persuaded. He must defend his and Russia's honor. The prince bids farewell to his wife and tells her not to worry and to wait for news of his victory. Prince Galitski, Yaroslavna's brother, is left to look after her and as governor of Putivl. After a blessing, the army departs with Prince Igor and his son Vladimir.
Act I    Scene 1 Prince Galitski's court.
Prince Galitski is reveling at a extravagant feast with his unruly retainers, headed by Skula and Yeroshka; they are gudok players who have deserted from Igor's army and vie for Galitski's favor.
02:05   Galitski dreams of sending Yaroslavna to a convent, deposing Igor, setting himself up as ruler of Putivl, and leading a life of debauchery. A band of distressed women enter into the court. They ask Galitski to release a friend, who has been forcibly taken away and into the court for Galitski's men's pleasure. Galitski throws the women out to the laughter of the drunken rabble.
09:40   The depravity has reached its pinnacle. With their increasingly boisterous fellow revelers, Skula and Yerosha sing the praises of Prince Galitski and plot treason: "We will oust Igor and enthrone Galitski! What have we to fear?"
14:05   Scene 2 A room in Yaroslavna's palace
Yaroslavna is desolate. She is haunted day and night -- it has been a long time since she has received news of her husband and son. She is surrounded by feuds and intrigues and Galitski is inciting unrest.
21:55   Yaroslavna is distracted by the unexpected appearance of the women who had been driven out of court. They want the Princess to protect them from their tormentors and ask for Yaroslavna's help as they seek their friend who has been abducted.
26:15   Although she is adamant, she is unable to make her brother see reason. His attitude is rebellious, and when she demands an answer from Galitski he is crudely evasive and makes threats against her and Igor.
35:20   Boyars enter with the news that Igor's army has been defeated and the Prince and his son are captives. The Russian princes are at odds and the Polovtsian hordes are invading Russia. Deeply disturbed, the Princess wishes to question the messengers herself about everything in detail, but Galitski and his retainers are using the opportunity to hatch a revolt. Alarm bells warn of danger -- the Polovtsians are already attacking Putivl.

Act II    Polovtsian camp - evening
Polovtsian girls sing and dance attempting to entertain Konchakovna, daughter of the Khan Konchak. Konchakovna is deep in thought and does not respond. She is waiting impatiently to see once again the imprisoned Vladimir, and plans to confess her love to him.
04:45   Dance of the Polovtsian Maidens Russian Prisoners enter after a day of slave labor and the Maidens offer them food for which they are thankful. Gradually, night falls.
15:05   Vladimir enters and the reunited lovers make pledges of love, happiness, and marriage.
23:00   Konchakovna and Vladimir are interrupted by the entry of Igor. It is hard for the Prince to bear the disgrace of the Russian defeat, the shame of his own imprisonment and the idea that his homeland has been enslaved. He longs passionately for freedom, so he may liberate Russia. He thinks with great tenderness of his wife Yaroslavna.
30:15   Ovlur, a Polovtsian who is friendly to the Russians, unexpectedly approaches the Prince and offers to help him escape. Igor declines, on the grounds that a secret escape is unbecoming to a Russian prince. The Polovtsian Khan Konchak treats Prince Igor with the deference due to an honored guest, and promises him freedom if he agrees to never take up his sword against the Polovtsians again. But Igor rejects Konchak's proposal and makes no secret of his intention to raise a new army immediately and fight against the Polovtsians the moment he is freed. Konchak is impressed by the Russian prince's pride and valor.
44:15   In order to dispel the gloomy spirits of his prisoner, Konchak orders his retainers to sing and dance for Igor.

Act III    The City Wall of Putivl
Yaroslavna, who has given up any hope that Igor will return, weeps for her husband and for the fate of her country. She addresses her pleas to the wind, the sun, and the River Dnieper, hoping to learn where Igor is and what has happened to him. Yaroslavna's laments are accompanied by the sorrowful song of the passing peasants, who mourn for their devastated country. Suddenly the Princess notices two riders in the distance. They are Igor and Ovlur. Yaroslavna and Igor recognize each other and embrace.
12:50   Skula and Yeroshka, unaware of Igor's homecoming, mock the Prince. They are surprised by their encounter with Igor and, in order to escape punishment, suggest they be the first to announce Igor's return. The people enter and pay homage to Igor.