The Birthday of the Bank

one-act opera by Leonard Lehrman
after Anton P. Chekhov's farce Yubilei

commissioned by Opera America for the
Lake George Opera Festival
[with libretto, officially, by Joel Shatzky];

workshopped and presented in sections,
with narration by Rosalind Elias at Lake George,
August 3, 1988 (scroll down to photos, below);

first presented complete as part of EastEuroFest
co-sponsored by The Long Island Composers Alliance
at Adelphi University (in concert), and semi-staged at
Glenwood Presbyterian Church (Glen Cove),
and New York University, June, 1998;

first completely staged performances at the Suffolk
YM-YWHA Jewish Community Center in Commack,
part of the International Jewish Arts Festival of Long Island,
and at Queens College CUNY, Sept. 6 & 30, 1999,
co-sponsored by The Maldeb Foundation.

Video of the complete opera is posted on YouTube.
Go to playlist here, or click on individual scenes:
Pt 1 Kheerin's Monolog, Shipootchin's Entrance
Pt 2 Kheerin & Shipootchin argue
Pt 3 Tatyana's Entrance
Pt 4 Mertchootkina's Entrance
Pt 5 Confrontation Scene
Pt 6 Final Scene

-----------Program cover/poster by Janis Sabatino Hills-----------

Kheerin (Peter Ludwig), a bank clerk, is trying to finish his report
so that his director, Shipootchin (Ronald Edwards), can read it at the
celebration of the bank's 15th anniversary.

The director's wife Tatyana (Janis Sabatino Hills)
and an old woman named Mertchootkina (Maro Partamian)
seeking help for her sick husband drive him to distraction
and ultimately a fit, wrecking everything.

A spokesman for the delegation of stockholders (Benjamin Spierman)
reads from a prepared speech but then stops, saying:
"I think we'll come back later..."

The cast also includes Natasha Jitomirskaia and, in the early scenes,
Nathan Bahny. The composer is at the piano. Video by Helene Williams.

Photos by Helene Williams from 1988 Lake George Opera Workshop: