Commissioned by the Banff Music Centre

  • 6 Basses, 4 Mezzo Sopranos, 6 Sopranos, 2 Tenor
  • 2 hr 40 min
  • Stephen Oliver, based on a play by Ostrovsky
  • English

Programme Note


James, an Englishman, is travelling in Russia during a yearlong separation from his fiancée, Sarah. Sasha is a singer in an operetta company who has rejected a Prince’s advances; the Prince provokes her dismissal. James, in love with Sasha, thwarts the Prince’s attempt to sabotage her benefit performance by purchasing all the tickets. Melusov, also enamoured of Sasha, tells her of James’s successful ploy. Just as Sasha and James are declaring interest in each other, Nina, his landlady, teases James about his English fiancée. Sasha receives an offer from an impresario in St. Petersburg and decides to pursue her career, leaving James and Melusov to go their own ways.