The Bear is an extravaganza in one act for three soloists and orchestra, commissioned by the Koussevitsky Foundation in 1965 and first performed at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1967. It is based on a short story of Chekhov, with a libretto by Paul Dehn. The action takes place in the drawing room of Madam Popova's house in the country in 1888. Popova, a pretty widow affectedly faithful to the memory of her late and, alas, promiscuous, husband is confronted by Smirnov, one of her husband's more boorish creditors. They quarrel to a point at which each aims a loaded pistol at the other, but neither can fire. They have both fallen helplessly in love. This new edition is based on a full assessment of all extant sources and takes account of Walton's various revisions. A new vocal score is also published on sale, and new orchestral material fully compatible with this score is available for hire.