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Russia's world-famous Bolshoi Theatre has opened its 234th season. Marking the occasion was the staging of one of Russia's most popular opera's.
The opera "Boris Godunov" is a Macbethian story. It tells the life of a 17th century Tsar who gains the throne by murdering the real heir, but is driven mad by his guilty conscience.
The world-famous opera is a story filled with chaos, tragedy, betrayal and strife.
And the production itself has its own drama.
Hours before the curtain went up, the Bolshoi's newly appointed musical director was presented to the press.
Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov freely admitted he was "not a real musical director" and was in the role temporarily after the abrupt departure of his predecessor, Alexander Vedernikov.
Vedernikov quit abruptly after eight years in July during the Bolshoi's summer tour of Italy, expressing dissatisfaction for the theater's management.
Inside the new stage, singers and musicians were throwing all their energy into the season's first night performance.
The opera ends with a dark lament predicting the arrival of the enemy and gathering doom.