Popova, Yeliena Ivanovna

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(Walton: The Bear). Mez. A young widow, she has sworn to be faithful to the memory of her husband for the rest of her life, even though she is well aware that he was unfaithful on more than one occasion. She lives alone, cared for by her protective old servant Luka, takes care of Toby, the family horse and refuses all visitors. Smirnov pushes past Luka and insists on seeing her, as her late husband owed him money for Toby's oats. She promises that her bailiff, when he returns next week, will pay him, but the caller insists the debt must be paid today and refuses to leave until it is—his creditors are all pursuing him. As they argue, he is gradually becoming attracted to her and proposes a duel to settle the argument. She agrees—but she has never before handled a gun so he will have to show her. As he demonstrates how to hold the pistol, he declares his love and they finish up embracing. Aria: I was a constant, faithful wife; duet (with Smirnov): You don't seem to know how to behave in the presence of a lady. The above arias are delightful parodies of many in opera and provide audiences with a wonderful guessing‐game. Created (1967) by Monica Sinclair.

Subjects: Opera.

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