Look to Love – Opera

By Barbara Harbach, Libretto by Linda Rimel
Catalogue Number: 979
Contact to Buy

H979, Full Score, 219 pages, $109.00 (piano/vocal score)
mp3s upon request


Young Marya has been raised on French novels and is, consequently, in love. When her parents refuse to let poor sub-lieutenant Vladimir court her, she and Vladimir plan to elope. On the evening set for the elopement, a fierce blizzard moves in. Marya and her maid make their way through the storm to the church. There, they, the witnesses, and the priest wait for the groom. At last, a young man, bundled from head to toe against the cold, arrives. The priest hurries him to the altar and performs the rite. When the priest says to kiss the bride, Marya sees the man’s face for the first time—and realizes that she has married the wrong man! She has married a stranger taking refuge from the storm.  The stranger bolts into the blizzard.

Marya and her maid returned home. The following morning, the storm abated. Frantic about what has happened to Vladimir and having married a stranger, Marya falls desperately ill. Unaware that Marya is married, her parents invite Vladimir to call on Marya.

Receiving their invitation, Vladimir is furious.

Three years later, veterans—including Burmin—return from defeating Napoleon and Marya learns that Vladimir has died in the fighting.  Her father has died; Marya and her mother move across Russia to their other estate. In order to avoid the attentions of the many young men who are interested in her, Marya feigns grief for Vladimir.  She hasn’t told her mother that she’s married, and she has no idea who is her husband.

The maid questions Marya’s decision to keep all her would-be suitors at bay.  Isn’t she interested even in Burmin, who is obviously interested in her although he may be too shy to tell her?

Burmin confesses his love, but he says he cannot marry Marya because he is already married.  He doesn’t even know who his wife is. Three years earlier, when he’d been caught in a fierce blizzard, he ducked into a rural church to get warm and, as a lark, married the bride waiting at the altar. He deeply regrets it now. Marya recognizes that Burmin is the man she married.