If you've got a hankerin' for one of the best Russian operas around--or the chance to swill vodka and indulge in all of those Boris jokes you've been saving up--go check out Boris Godunov, Modest Mussorgsky's work about the famed 16th century Russian tsar. Godunov would have been counted one of the best Russian rulers if a case of galloping paranoia hadn't caught up with him first. Alas, he had a lot of people killed and was big into secret police and informants before dying of a stroke in 1605. Mussorgsky's opera is based on a set of poems by the poet Pushkin--another dead, famous Russian. Mussorgsky actually composed two different versions of the work and the opera has usually been re-orchestrated or re-arranged in some way--in this case, as conceived by the late 20th Century Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. The Russian-ness (think Dr. Zhivago) of Mussorgsky's "People's Opera" still comes through no matter what version you see. In case the music, story and paranoia aren't Russian enough, the Dallas Opera production also features the American premiere of famed Russian bass Mikhail Kazakov in the title role. Godunov lives on at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets are $25 to $215. For tickets and showtimes call 214-443-1000 or visit dallasopera.org.
Fri., April 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., April 3, 2 p.m.; Wed., April 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., April 9, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., April 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., April 17, 2 p.m., 2011