Personnages from The Marriage

The action is updated to New York in 1953. (The Russians are a group of émigrés living in New York as if they were in The Old Country.) Fyokla, a professional marriage broker, determines to find a husband for the 29-year-old Agafya.

Agafya dreams of unattainable romance, but is presented with a series of elderly unsuitable suitors. Fyokla tries to introduce the dissolute bachelor Podkolyosin, but his friend, the dealer Kochkaryov, cuts Fyokla out. Podkolyosin is disappointed when he meets Agafya because “she has a long nose, and doesn’t speak French” but finally agrees to an immediate marriage, then and there.

Eventually, Agafya puts on the wedding dress that has been on a hanger for years… but when she returns… Podkolyosin has fled in fear. Agafya faints and is comforted by her old aunt Arina, and the servant Dunyashka. Dunyashka and her husband Stepan count the admission money they have made from the suitors, while Fyokla is disgraced…

— Pamela Howard

A COMIC OPERA BY Bohuslav Martinů (1953)
BASED ON THE PLAY [1] BY Nikolai Gogol (1853)
ORIGINALLY COMMISSIONED BY NBCTV (NEW YORK)
AS PART OF THE OPERA FOR THE MILLIONS SERIES


CREDITS

  1. The Marriage (Bohuslav Martinů) premiered on 4th October 2009. Co-produced by the National Theatre (Narodni Divadlo), Janacek Opera Brno CZ and ArsKoncert Moravian Autumn Festival, it is part of the Martinů Revisited Festival (MozartSal : Reduta Theatre).

    The editors would like to thank Eleanor Margolies for her help in featuring Pamela Howard’s drawings.

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