The Bear

by William Walton
(An extravagance in one act about Chekhov's play of the same name)

The Bear (“El Oso”)
The Bear (“El Oso”)

Santander International Festival (Spain)

Premiered at the Noches Líricas de Hualle on August 11, 2022

The story features a widow, Elena Popova, who is still lamenting the death of her husband a few months ago.

A husband by the way, not so faithful, not so wonderful, so deserves his wife’s tears. However, she is willing to do for him what he never did for her: to be faithful to him until his own death. Is it spite? Is it the appearances? Is it just whim? Meanwhile, his housekeeper Luka insists she should end her grief and move on. The unexpected arrival of one of her husband’s creditors will completely upend her life and the quiet and boring everyday life of the house.

The confrontation around the claim of the debt increases to such an extent that a helpless settles in, defying any peaceful intention to solve the conflict. Finally , Mrs Popova, out of her mind, can´t think of a better solution to the situation than challenging the indomitable Mr Smirnov who has by now become a bear-like predator, to a duel. This is how the duel becomes to replace the other conflict (that of the widow) and a confusión of feelings emerges, opening the way to reléase. In this sense both widow and creditor act as a mirror for the other, being able to see the miserable life that each one leads, full of ties, appearances and prejudices.

The debt becomes the battlefield that transcends the original claim, in other words, for these two characters the debt becomes a debt with themselves: debt to feel, debt to fall in love , debt to be happy,etc. They no longer fight for the money owed: they fight to resist those feelings that are emerging and that they themselves fear.

Therefore, the grief of the widow and the duel , proposed to resolve the situation of the fight, are neutralized, giving birth to an awakening of both their feelings and their alienated bodies. But not only the protagonists will participate in this discovery. The rest of the characters will also follow the same path.

Creative team

Musical Direction: Rubén Sánchez-Vieco

Stage direction and set design: Rita Cosentino

Set design assistant: Esther Garrido Musical

Musical assistant and pianist: Tatiana Studyonova

Choreography: Aaron Martin

Costume designer: Sabina Atlanta

Lighting design: Eduardo Bartrina

Production RedMúsica


Popova: Paloma Chiner

Smirnov: Pablo Rossi Rondino

Lucas: Isidro Anaya

Actors: Máximo Esteban and Aarón Martín


The Bear (“El Oso”)
The Bear (“El Oso”)
The Bear (“El Oso”)
The Bear (“El Oso”)

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Rita Cosentino - Directora de Escena
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