Opera in 4 acts, with prol., by Mussorgsky to his own lib. based on Pushkin's poetic drama, The Comedy of the Distress of the Muscovite State, of Tsar Boris, and of Grishka Otrepyev (1826) and Karamzin's History of the Russian Empire (1829). Orig. version comp. 1868–9, rev. 1871–2, rev. 1873, 3 scenes prod. St Petersburg 1873 and complete opera 1874, but withdrawn after 25 perfs. Cut, re‐orchestrated, and rev. by Rimsky‐Korsakov after Mussorgsky's death and thus prod. St Petersburg 1896. This version rev., with some cuts restored, 1906, prod. NY and London 1913. Orig. versions of 1869 and 1872 pubd. Leningrad 1928 in edn. prepared by Prof. Pavel Lamm of Moscow and perf. Leningrad 1928, London (SW) and Paris 1935. The 1869 version had 7 scenes which were altered and re‐arranged and an extra (Kromy Forest) scene added. Musicological controversy rages on the ‘correct’ version to use, but there is a growing tendency to prefer the Mussorgsky orchestration. In 1975 David Lloyd‐Jones pubd. an edn., for which he had the use of MS sources unknown to Lamm, which also corrects errors of detail and transcr. in Lamm. Vol. I of Lloyd‐Jones contains Mussorgsky's 1872 version of prol. and 4 acts and Vol. II the 1869 version of Act 2, the discarded ‘St Basil’ scene, with variants and other scenes. A re‐orch. version by Shostakovich exists (1939–40, prod. Leningrad 1959). Title‐role inseparably assoc. with Chaliapin and Christoff.