Caryl Emerson, a literary specialist, and Robert William Oldani, a music historian, take a new and comprehensive look at the most famous Russian opera, Musorgsky's Boris Godunov. The result is both a historical study of a famous work and an interpretative piece of scholarship. The topics discussed include: the "Boris Tale" in history, the strange story of the opera's composition and revision, its first productions at home and abroad, and an in-depth musical analysis. In the process, several frequent errors in Musorgsky scholarship are clarified and corrected. The volume contains a selection of classic texts in criticism, numerous production photographs, a bibliography and discography.