Resurrection: Act 1 Scene 1, The Verdict

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, The Verdict

Abruptly, Nekhlyudov’s thoughts return to the trial. The jury is leaning toward a guilty verdict for the first two defendants and an acquittal for Maslova. One holdout believes that Maslova, too, is guilty. To appease him, and to finish the trial quickly, the others agree to a hastily-worded verdict: “guilty, but without intent to rob.”

During the jurors’ debate, Nekhlyudov’s mind wanders to the night of the May Day celebration: he went to Maslova’s bedroom, where he ignored her protests and she finally submitted. Afterwards, profoundly ashamed and confused, Nekhlyudov thrust 100 rubles into her hand, leaving her devastated.

His memory fades and he is in the courtroom again. The verdicts are read, and Maslova is sentenced to eight years of penal servitude in Siberia. The court is shocked; the jurors realize the mistake they have made. In their verdict, they had not addressed her guilt on the murder charge. Screaming her innocence, she is led away. Nekhlyudov tells the president of the court that a mistake has been made. The president replies that the sentence may be appealed. Nekhlyudov is left alone in the courtroom, knowing he is to blame for the course Maslova’s life has taken, and hating himself.

Libretto

THE TRIAL

The court has returned, the 3 judges and the 3 prisoners are in place. The president strikes the gavel. The foreman hands the verdict to the president.

PRESIDENT           Will you read the verdict?

FOREMAN            Simon Kartinkin: Guilty. Euphemia Ivanova Bochkova: Guilty. Katerina Maslova: Guilty, guilty, guilty, she’s guilty but without intent to rob.

PRESIDENT            (internal) This is a ridiculous verdict! But if that’s what they want… (to the court) For Simon Kartinkin: 8 years of penal service in Siberia. For Euphemia Bochkova: 8 years of penal service in Siberia. For Katerina Maslova: 8 years of penal service in Siberia.

There is a moment of shocked silence as Maslova realizes she has been found guilty and the jurors finally realize their mistake.

Maslova breaks the silence by bursting into sobs.

This is a huge moment for her, vocal, despairing, a primal cry.

MASLOVA            No, no, no, no! I’m not guilty! Not guilty! It’s the truth I am saying! The truth!

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