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 2, Dinner at the Korchagins
That evening, Nekhlyudov arrives late for a dinner party given by the Korchagins, whose daughter Missy is generally assumed to be his intended bride. He explains his experience in the court and how the unjust verdict has unsettled him, but his aristocratic hosts do not understand. When Missy is alone with Nekhlyudov, she attempts to seduce him, to cement his commitment to her. Nekhlyudov is repelled. He suddenly comprehends that he can never marry Missy, and that he must set things right for Maslova whatever the cost. He leaves.
Nekhlyudov and Missy enter the dining room as the Korchagins and their guests are finishing dinner.
PRINCE KORCHAGIN Le voila! Le voila!
NEKHLYUDOV Good evening. Forgive me for being late.
PRINCESS KORCHAGIN Entrez! Entrez! Entrez! You’ve come at just the right moment.
PRINCE KORCHAGIN Stephen! Brandy for the Prince!
(Stephen serves brandy to Nekhlyudov)
MISSY He’s nervous
That’s a good sign.
Will he ask me to marry him tonight?
Will I say yes, right away,
Or make him suffer for making me wait?
PRINCE KORCHAGIN Have you succeeded in undermining the basis of society?
Acquitted the culprits and condemned the innocent, n’est-ce pas?
PRINCE MYAGKAYA Undermining the basis… Undermining the basis… c’est pas vrai?
NEKHLYUDOV There’s been an injustice. A terrible injustice. A young girl… a prostitute…
She’s innocent, perfectly innocent…
PRINCESS KORCHAGIN Are these people ever innocent?
NEKHLYUDOV We’ve made a terrible mistake. She’s been condemned to Siberia.
PRINCESS KORCHAGIN Oui, oui…
NEKHLYUDOV You don’t understand. I must do all that I can to right this wrong.
PRINCE KORCHAGIN Why get involved?
PRINCESS KORCHAGIN Who is this girl to you?
NEKHLYUDOV I knew her…
(hesitates, he’s on very uncomfortable ground)
PRINCE KORCHAGIN We’re all ears…
NEKHLYUDOV She was a serving girl in my aunt’s estate at Panovo.
PRINCE KORCHAGIN Et alors…
MISSY And now she is a prostitute?
MISSY I really don’t see why this should concern you.
PRINCE MYAGKAYA (with a knowing wink) The Prince is a man of action.
PRINCESS KORCHAGIN Except when it comes to marriage, semble-t-il!
PRINCE KORCHAGIN It is a wonderful match. One your parents would be proud of, God rest their souls.
NEKHLYUDOV (internal) What in God’s name am I doing here?
PRINCESS MYAGKAYA The reluctant bridegroom.
PRINCESS KORCHAGIN On devrait les laisser seul, non?
PRINCE KORCHAGIN Love birds. Look at them! They dote on each other!
PRINCE MYAGKAYA (delighted) He’s in for it now!