The Boor
Composer: Donald Grantham
Composer Bio: Composer Donald Grantham is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes in composition, including the Prix Lili Boulanger, the Nissim/ASCAP Orchestral Composition Prize, First Prize in the Concordia Chamber Symphony's Awards to American Composers, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, three First Prizes in the NBA/William Revelli Competition, two First Prizes in the ABA/Ostwald Competition, and First Prize in the National Opera Association's Biennial Composition Competition. His music has been praised for its "elegance, sensitivity, lucidity of thought, clarity of expression and fine lyricism" in a Citation awarded by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In recent years his works have been performed by the orchestras of Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta and the American Composers Orchestra among many others, and he has fulfilled commissions in media from solo instruments to opera. His music is published by Piquant Press, Peer-Southern, E. C. Schirmer, G. Schirmer, Warner Bros. and Mark Foster, and a number of his works have been commercially recorded. The composer resides in Austin, Texas and is Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor of Composition at the University of Texas at Austin. With Kent Kennan he is coauthor of The Technique of Orchestration (Prentice-Hall).
Taken from
Librettist: Donald Grantham
Other Artistic Personnel: Robert DeSimone (director)
Dan Welcher (conductor)
Premiere Date: February 24, 1989
Producing Company: University of Texas Opera Theater
Description: For an entire year Madam Popova has been in deep mourning for her feckless husband. Then one afternoon Smirnov, who she does not know, bursts in upon he demanding payment of her late husband's gambling debts--debts of which she was unaware. Smirnov must have this money immediately to pay his taxes and aviod the seizure of his estate. Popova cannot pay immediately because her stead is away and she has no cash.

Smirnov and Popova take an instant dislike to each other, and in the course of a long afternoon do a very thorough job of revealing each other's faults and short comings. Things degenerate to the point that Popova can stand no more of Smirnov's insults, and she slaps him soundly across the face. After Smirnov is slapped, he decides he has taken all the abuse he can bear from women in general and Popova in particular -- and he challenges her to a duel. The servants are horrified, but Popova stands up to Smirnov. She's quite willing to duel with him, providing he will teach her how to fire a pistol. Gallantly, Smirnov agrees.

While teaching Popova to fire the pistol, Smirnov tricks her into shooting and destroying a treasured photograph of her dead husband. Popova attacks Smirnov in a fury, and he is so taken by her fire and spirit that he begins to fall in love with her. When he attempts to withdraw from the duel, Popova discovers that it is because he is attracted to her. After much argument and resistance, Smirnov finally convinces Popova that a life with him is better than a life wasted in mourning, and they rush off to be married.
Courtesy of Peermusic Classical
Length: 01:00
Total Acts: Not Available
Orchestration: 1 fl (pic), 1 ob (Eh), 1 cl (b cl), 1 bsn (cbsn ad lib.) -  1 hrn, 1 tpt, 1 tbn, - 2 perc-hp-pf - string quintet 
Contact: Peermusic Classical
Address: 250 W. 57th St., Suite 820, New York, NY 10107
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Phone: 212-265-3910, x. 17
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Schedule of Performances Listings
The Boor (Argento)
Thursday, March 25, 1993 - University of Michigan University Productions
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