Alexander Borodin’s Other Operas Besides ‘Prince Igor’

By David Salazar

Alexander Borodin is one of the great Russian composers of the 19th century. His output is legendary, the maestro creating a number of symphonies, a famed string quartet, and the tone poem “In the Steppes of Central Asia.”

He also composed a number of operas, most famously “Prince Igor,” which he never finished. Born on Nov. 12, 1833, he would pass away in 1887, leaving his great opera unfinished. Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov would finish the opera and it would get its first performance in 1890.

But there were other operas by the composer. Here is a look at those works.

The Tsar’s Bride

The composer started sketches in 1867 and finished his work on it around 1868. However, the sketches for the opera are now lost to history.


This farce was started in 1878 with a libretto by Viktor Krylov that was based on music by Rossini, Meyerbeer, Offenbach, Serov, Verdi, and a number of other major composers.


The composer’s final opera was conceived in 1870 by Stepan Gedeonov and composition of it was divided into the four major Russian composers of the era, César Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, and, of course, Borodin, who was tasked with writing the fourth act of the opera. However, the project never came to fruition. A lot of his material for the opera was utilized to complete his Prince Igor.


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