Composers and their stage works 

A Month In the Country

Brian Friel

adapted from the play by Turgenev

Natalya Petrovna, once wooed and won over by the rich landowner, Arkady Sergeyevich, has now suffered a long and frustrating marriage. She has taken comfort in the love of Michael, a family friend, but even he has come to represent the same kind of boredom Natalya finds with her doting husband. Instead, it is Aleksey, her son's dashing 21-year old tutor, whom Natalya now desires. Natalya's beautiful and energetic ward Vera, though, cannot help but compete for Aleksey's affections, being so close to him in age How to position herself between Aleksey and Vera then becomes Natalya's obsession during the hot summer days, and when she learns that a neighbouring landowner wants to marry Vera, Natalya seizes the chance to remove the only obstacle between her and seducing away the young Aleksey. Heartbreaking though the consequences may be for Vera - her suitor is almost 60 - Natalya goes to increasingly dangerous ends to encourage the match while simultaneously wooing Aleksey. Risking her home, her marriage, and even the only man who has ever sworn to stand by her, proves to be too much. Abandoned in the end by everyone but her husband, Natalya's situation comes to represent the predicament of never being satisfied with what one has.