Word of the Day - Thursday, May 12th

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The Cruciverbalist


Igor (EE-gor)

·          Common clues: Prince of opera

·          Crossword puzzle frequency: 6 times a year

·          Frequency in English language: 26255 / 86800

Prince Igor is an opera in a prologue and four acts by Alexander Borodin (music and libretto). It was first performed in St.Petersburg on November 4, 1890. Borodin left the opera incomplete at his death. It was completed posthumously by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov. In the USA, it was first produced at Metropolitan Opera House, New York, December 30, 1915.

Alexander Borodin

The plot loosely corresponds to the East Slavic epic The Tale of Igor's Campaign.

Note: By a common misconception, Prince Galitsky of the opera is thought to be a prince by the name of Galitsky. In fact, he was Prince of Galich.

Listen at:

Plot synopsis

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

The Prologue. Prince Igor, who is about to start on a campaign against the Khan Konchak of the Polovtsians, refuses to heed the warnings of his wife and his people who interpret a recent eclipse as a bad omen. Prince of Galich (Kniaz Galitsky) bribes Skoula and Eroshka to encourage Prince Igor in his determination to depart as he himself wants to usurp Igor's place. Igor unsuspectingly entrusts his wife to his care.


ACT I. Scene I is laid in the Galich Prince's courtyard, where the people are welcoming him as their prince. A group of young women beg the prince to restore one of their friends whom he has carried off; but he frightens them away. Scene II. The young women appeal to Yaroslavna, Igor's wife, who is lamenting Igor's absence, and while they are relating the story, Galich Prince enters. Yaroslavna questions him as to the truth of their story and he only laughs. Word is brought that Igor and his son have been taken captive, and that an attack upon them is imminent.

ACT II. The Polovtsian Camp: Vladimir, son of Igor, has fallen in love with Konchakovna, a daughter of Khan Konchak. She is sure her father will consent to the marriage, but Vladimir is doubtful if his father will. Konchak offers Igor freedom if he will promise not to wage war on him again, but he refuses.

ACT III. Igor learns that an attack is to be made on his city. He escapes. He tries to persuade his son to accompany him, but Konchakovna clings to him, and the father leaves alone. When the Khan learns of Igor's escape, he refuses to pursue, retains Vladimir as a hostage, and marries him to his daughter.

ACT IV. Igor arrives safely at the Kremlin, and is welcomed with great rejoicing.


Plot taken from The Opera Goer's Complete Guide by Leo Melitz, 1921 version.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Prince Igor".