Domanda di matrimonio, Una (‘A Marriage Proposal’)
- Raffaele Pozzi
Opera buffa in one act by Luciano Chailly to a libretto by Claudio Fino and Saverio Vertone after Anton Pavlovich Chekhov ’s play The Proposal; Milan, Piccola Scala, 22 May 1957.
The opera, composed in 1956, is set in the country house of the landowner Chabukov and centres on three characters: the property-owning neighbour Ivan Vassil′evich Lomov (tenor), Stefan Stefanovich Chabukov (baritone) and the latter’s 25-year-old daughter, Natalya Stefanovna (lyric soprano). The plot revolves around the comic mishaps of Lomov, who wants to marry Natalya but, because of his timidity and awkwardness, cannot bring himself to ask for her hand. In spite of Chabukov’s efforts to bring about their union, encounters between Lomov and the proud and argumentative Natalya always end in a quarrel, whether about property rights or about the prowess of their respective dogs. During one of these rows, Lomov faints. Recovering, he finds Natalya surprisingly demonstrative; Chabukov, exasperated by their arguing, asks them to marry. The two accept the idea but then again begin to quarrel....