Opera Scotland

Resurrection Vzkriesenie

Music

Ján Cikker (born Banská Bystrica, 29 July 1911; died Bratislava, 21 December 1989)

Text

The composer.

Source

Novel (1900) by Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910).

 

Premieres

First performance: Prague (National Theatre), 18 May 1962.

First performance in UK: Edinburgh (King's Theatre), 18 August 1964.

First performance in Scotland: As above.

Scottish Opera premiere: N/A.

 

Background

Resurrection was the fourth of Cikker's operas (the third of which was Mr Scrooge, based on A Christmas Carol). Its musical idiom was described as a mixture of Janáček with elements of Wozzeck. It is in three acts, and each act has two main scenes linked by intermezzi in the form of two soliloquies and, finally, an imaginary duet.

 

Main Characters

Prince Dmitry Nekhlyudov (baritone)

Sophia and Maria Ivanovna, his aunts (sopranos)

Katya, their maid (soprano)

Madame Kitayev, a brothel-keeper (mezzo-soprano)

Smelkov, a rich merchant (tenor)

Kartinkin, a waiter (baritone)

Eufemia Bochkova, his woman (soprano)

Simonson, a political prisoner (tenor)

 

Plot Summary

The opera opens in the Ivanovnas' house. Katya has been rescued as an orphaned child and given a home by them. When Dmitry visits she is attracted to him and he seduces her before leaving for army service. When the sisters discover that she is pregnant, they throw her out. After her baby's death, Katya is reduced to working in Madame Kitayev's brothel. She is tricked into helping Kartinkin and Bochkova to drug and rob a customer, the merchant Smelkov. When he dies, Katya, who had put the drug in his wine, is also accused of the murder. When the three go on trial, Dmitry is found to be a member of the jury. Katya admits drugging the wine while the other two deny everything. They are acquitted, while she is sentenced to eight years of hard labour in Siberia, in spite of her defence counsel emphasising her dreadful background including seduction by an aristocrat. Dmitry is consumed by feelings of guilt and decides to visit her in prison. This does not go well, since they argue, and Katya is now protected by a newly-arrived political prisoner, Simonson. Dmitry uses his influence to try to get the case reopened, without success, and visits the prison again on the eve of the departure of the transport for Siberia. They still have hopes of a royal pardon, and they are reconciled as Dmitry leaves to progress this, and Simonson determines to continue to help Katya. When the time for departure arrives, Katya is too ill to go, and Simonson stays to look after her. When Dmitry arrives with the pardon she is able to admit to her love for him before she dies. Simonson announces that she is dead, to which Dmitry responds that she is resurrected.

The Cast

Defence Counsel
 
Euphemia Bochkova
 Kartinkin's accomplice
First Wardress
 
First Woman
 
First Woman Prisoner
 
Head Juryman
 
Kartinkin
 a waiter
Katharina Maslov
 Katya
Lieutenant
 
Madame Kitayev
 keeper of a brothel
Marfa
 Piotr's wife
Maria Ivanovna
 Sophia's sister
Officer
 
Piotr
 an old muzhik
President
 of the Court
Prince Dmitry Ivanovich Nekhlyudov
 
Prison Governor
 
Prison Inspector
 
Prisoner in chains
 
Prosecutor
 
Prostitute
 
Recorder
 in the Courtroom
Second Wardress
 
Second Woman
 
Second Woman Prisoner
 
Serge
 an old servant
Simonson
 a political prisoner
Singer
 
Smelkov
 a rich merchant
Sophia Ivanovna
 Dmitry's aunt
Tichon
 Prince Nekhlyudov's manservant
Usher
 
Young Prisoner
 

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