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The proposal : a chamber opera after Chekhov

by Ross Fiddes (1985)

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Video tape

The proposal / Ross Fiddes.

Library shelf no. VD 1 [Not for loan]



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Work Overview

Musically, this work seeks to suggest, if not parody, a Russian ambience. Obvious parodies will be noted, including one which is now somewhat dated.

There was an original intent to provide a companion piece to The Bear by Walton, but to be quite different from that work both musically and in effect. The Proposal unlike the Walton is overtly farcical and builds on set pieces - arias, duets, trios with some recitative and even dialogue. There is a use of formal devices such as motif, rondo form, a chaconne which builds from canon and so forth.

The work was first presented in 1986 in a workshop performance by the (then) Australian Opera, and has since been staged by a further 3 production companies. Some distinguished performers have appeared in or have been involved in the various stagings including Gregory Yurisich, Peta Blyth, Christopher Dawes, Michael Saunders, Jennifer Barnes and Antony Walker.

Work Details

Year: 1985

Instrumentation: Soprano, tenor, bass-baritone, chamber ensemble - flute/piccolo, oboe, B flat clarinet/bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, piano, harp, timpani, percussion (2 players), strings.

Duration: 53 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by Australian Opera, Gregory Yurisich, Peta Blyth, Christopher Dawes, David Stanhope — 1986. Sydney


Natalya's Aria from The Proposal

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