KNJAZ IGORTHE TRANSFORMATION OF A KIEVAN PRINCE TO A 19TH CENTURY OPERA CHARACTERThe content of the well-known The Tale of Igor?s Campaign is the expedition of Prince Igor Svyatoslavich of Kiev against the Polovtsians in 1185. However the validity of this epos could not be verified. In this medieval epos prince Igor was to be hailed as a hero, but he was also to be reprimanded because of his craving for fame and honour. The representation of this character is very different in the opera Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin. Here, Igor turns out to be a hero, when he returns home from an elopement, captivity and a crushing defeat to give his homeland a new lease of life.Based on The Tale of Igor?s Campaign and a few other medieval chronicles, Vladimir Stasov, an art critic, indited a scenario for the mentioned opera Prince Igor in 1869. In September 1869 Alexander Borodin started with the composition of this opera. Alexander Borodin was a member of the so-called ?Mighty Handful? and one of the major musicians and composers in Russia in the 19th century. However, Borodin did not just melodise this scenario, but also composed the libretto for Prince Igor. From 1869 until 1887 Borodin intermittently worked on this opera. Because Borodin was not able to finish Prince Igor by himself, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov brought this opera to completion. Finally, in 1890, Prince Igor was premiered in St. Petersburgs Mariinsky Theatre. Because of the opera by Alexander Borodin, who draws on the musical aesthetics of Mikhail Glinkas, Igor Svyatoslavich became one of the most memorable persons when it comes to culture: The transformation from the almost unknown Kievan prince towards a hero, who was vaunted when he returned home, was accomplished by Borodin. Thereby he also managed to interpret the character of Prince Igor according to the then zeitgeist in an idealised way.