Resurrection: Act 1 Scene 1, “Is this a dream?”

Resurrection captures an unusual love story between Prince Nekhlyudov (Scott Hendricks) and the serving girl Maslova (Joyce DiDonato). Though divided by class, their fates become intertwined when the Prince sits on the jury that unjustly condemns the young woman to prison. Despite a merciless justice system that does not allow for second chances, an amazing story of courage and redemption emerges.

Act 1 Scene 1, “Is this a dream?”

Prince Dmitry Nekhlyudov, a wealthy nobleman, is being dressed for the day by his valet. The sights and smells of emerging springtime fill the air and the Prince drinks it in. Suddenly, all the trappings of a courtroom move into place around him and a trial begins. Nekhlyudov is a juror.

The proceedings are perfunctory. Three people have been charged with robbing a man and poisoning him to cover up the theft. Two defendants, Simon Kartinkin and Euphemia Bochkova, are employees of hotel where the crime took place. The third is a beautiful young prostitute, Katerina Maslova (Katusha). When she speaks, Nekhlyudov is shocked to recognize her voice. In a flashback, he remembers meeting her for the first time nearly a decade before, at a May Day festival (May Day). She was an orphan living on his aunts’ estate; he was on furlough from officer training. They danced together and fell in love.

They come together and share a kiss. Nekhlyudov reluctantly pulls himself away and exits. He turns back to see Maslova, lit by the setting sun.

Libretto

NEKHLYUDOV:                                                             MASLOVA:

This is a dream.                                                            Dear God, is this a dream?

A dream of perfection.

Can such happiness exist on earth?                      Can such happiness exist on earth?

This is a dream.                                                            Is this a dream?

End Flashback

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