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Music Text

Libretto by John Olon-Scrymgeour based on the play by Anton Chekhov (E,G)



Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Rochester, NY
Leonard Treash, director
Conductor: Frederick Fennell
Company: Eastman School of Music


THE WIDOW, young and pretty Soprano
THE BOOR, a middle-aged man Bass-Baritone
THE SERVANT, an old man Tenor
Time and Place

19th Century- the house of the widow


A widow has spent a year mourning the passing of her husband.  Now, a middle-aged country gentleman, the boor, comes to her demanding payment of an old debt left by her departed husband.  She refuses to pay, and he refuses to leave.  The argument escalates until the widow challenges the boor to a duel.  This show of strength and determination on the part of the widow attracts the boor’s interest: He swears he loves her and wants to marry her.  She threatens to shoot him with her husband’s dueling pistol, but she weakens as he shows his devotion, and instead she kisses him.  Ironically, the debt that ultimately brings the boor and the widow together is for oats that her husband bought for his horse Toby, his means of transportation to many illicit encounters.  The widow’s servant encourages her to end her mourning and return to happier times.


Comic, Romantic


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