CHAMBER OPERA AFTER A SHORT STORY BY CHEKHOV
chamber opera in 14 scenes
Sergey Borisovitch Bogdanov: banker, age 55; basso cantate
Valeri Andreyevich Smirnov: law student, age 25; lyric baritone
Leonid Pronin: lawyer, age 50; tenor buffo
Vladimir Uritzki: judge, approaching 60; bass-baritone
Watchman: age 40; basso buffo
1 flute / piccolo / alto flute; 1 oboe / English horn; 1 clarinet / bass clarinet; 1
bassoon / contra bassoon; 1 horn; 1 percussion; 1 harp; 1 piano; strings (6,5,4,3,2)
Capitalism critique alla Chekhov
Russia, November 1870. A greedy law student sneaks into a party of a ruthless banker just to find himself in the midst of a heated up argument: What is the better punishment – death sentence or life sentence?
The banker challenges the student: money as reward for a self-imprisonment.
One year? Two years? The deal is done:
Fifteen years – ten million; easy money.
Fifteen years: market changes; social changes; long time to reflect…
Would the banker be the same conceited person? Would the student still be greedy? And what would be the consequences?