The noted American Marc Blitzstein offers his impression of Boris Koutzen's newest opera, The Fatal Oath, with candid and constructive criticism: the harmonic scheme seems obscure - and though skilfully [sic] wrought, too uncertain (for me) to act as an easy basis for an hour-long piece…As to the theme itself, your baleful and sinister atmosphere seems a little overloaded.
The Russian-American composer and violinist Boris Koutzen wrote The Fatal Oath as a one-act work after Balzac. It was his first opera; he started composing it in 1938 but did not complete it until 1944. The opera received its premiere in May 1955 at the Manhattan School of Music. It is not clear what, if anything, Koutzen might have changed in the score after receiving Blitzstein's honest critique.ALS-01903$275