The Seagull
Composer: Thomas Pasatieri
Librettist: Kenward Elmslie
Other Artistic Personnel: Charles Rosenkrans (Conductor)
Frank Corsaro (Director)
Allen Charles Klein (Set and Costume Designer)
Emile Ardolino (Projected Media Designer)
Original Cast: Patricia Wells (Masha)
Michael Best (Medvedenko)
Richard Stilwell (Constantine)
David Rae Smith (Sorin)
Frederica von Stade (Nina)
Evelyn Lear (Irina Arkadina)
John Reardon (Boris Trigorin)
Jon Enloe (Shamrayeff)
Dana Krueger (Pauline)
Jack Trussel (Doctor Dorn)
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: March 05, 1974
Producing Company: Houston Grand Opera
Description: In the garden of Sorin's estate, the private premiere of an avant-garde theater piece takes place. It is written by Constantine and performed by Nina, the woman with whom he is in love, but who loves Trigorin, a successful writer who is having an affair with Constantine's mother, Arkadina. Arkadina disrupts the performance and Constantine, humiliated, runs off. Masha, Shamrayeff's daughter, confesses her love for Constantine to Dr. Dorn. At a picnic, Constantine appears with a seagull he has shot and lays it at Nina's feet. He is bitter about the failure of his play as well as Nina's coolness towards him. He leaves upon seeing Trigorin, who then tries to deflect Nina's adoration. In Sorin's dining room, a drunken Masha confesses to Trigorin that she has decided to marry Medvedenko, a schoolteacher. Trigorin decides to leave. Arkadina, alone with Constanine, helps bandage a wound on his head from a suicide attempt. Constantine berates his mother about her involvement with Trigorin, who is too cowardly to accept Constantine's challenge to a duel and who is becoming more involved with Nina. Trigorin, cowed by Arkadina, agrees to leave with her immediately. Nina, too, announces that she is leaving for Moscow. Several years pass. In Sorin's study, Masha quarrels with Medvedenko. Arkadina returns from the station with Trigorin in tow. Constantine meets them cooly and brings them to Sorin's place. Nina arrives secretly and Constantine tells her he still loves her. She is still in love with Trigorin even though he abandoned her years ago. Alone, Constantine feeds his manuscripts into the fire and leaves. As the rest of the dinner party sits down to a game of Lotto, a shot is heard outside. Dr. Dorn goes outside to investigate and tells them it is only a bottle of ether that has exploded. Quietly, he pulls Trigorin aside and tells him what Arkadina has already sensed: that Constantine has killed himself.
Character List (Major): Irina Arkadina (s)
Sorin (b)
Constantine (bar)
Nina (mz)
Shamrayeff (bar)
Pauline (mz)
Masha (s)
Boris Trigorin (bar)
Dr. Dorn (t)
Medvedenko (t)
Bit Parts: Silent roles:
Other Servants
Reviews: Newsweek, Hubert Saal, 3-18-1974; High Fidelity/Musical America, Shirley Fleming, June 1974; Opera Canada, Summer 1982; Opera, 5-82; Opera News, 3-27-82; Opera News, 6-80; Opera Canada, Summer 1974; Musical America, 6-74;, D. Rane Danubian, Vol. 6 No. 103, 2004; The Daily Californian Online, Assya Passinsky, 4-29-2004
Comments: Originally commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, David Gockley, General Director, with the assistance of the Houston Grand Opera Guild.
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: 3
Chorus: optional off-stage chorus
Orchestration: lg orch: 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bsn - 4 hrn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn, tba - timp, 2 perc, hp - str (min. 8 vln1, 7 vln2, 6 vla, 5 vc, 2 db); Red Orch: 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, bsn - 2 hrn, tpt, tbn - perc, hp - str (min. 3 vln1, 3 vln2, 3vla, 3vc, db)
Musical Style: Lush, romantic score; lyrical, singable melodies
Contact: Theodore Presser Company
Address: 588 North Gulph Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406
E-mail Address:
Phone: 610-592-1222
Composer Web Site:
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
The Seagull (Pasatieri)
Wednesday, March 17, 1993 - Opera Cleveland
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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