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 5, The Prison
Nekhlyudov consults a lawyer to appeal Maslova’s sentence, but he realizes that he must do more. He wants to do his part to destroy a society that allows the rich to use the poor in any way they please. He makes a plan to sell all his possessions and divide his land among the peasants who work it. His family and the Korchagins desperately try to talk him out of it, but he renounces his former lifestyle.
Nekhlyudov returns to the prison to have Maslova sign her appeal. He tells her that if the appeal fails he will petition the Emperor. She is drunk. He asks her again to forgive him, and tells her he will marry her. Infuriated, she mocks his “noble” offer. Nekhlyudov hands her a photograph of herself, taken at the May Day festival. She is moved; the photo reminds her of the young woman she once was.
Later, the inspector enters with news that her appeal has been denied, and that she will leave on the next transport for Siberia. Though Nekhlyudov has promised he will not abandon her, Maslova is certain she has seen the last of him.
The Inspector exits, leaving them alone with the jailer who brought Maslova into the room. The jailer stays some distance from them.
NEKHLYUDOV Do you remember what I said to you last time?
MASLOVA You said a lot last time. (angry)
NEKHLYUDOV I came to ask you to forgive me.
MASLOVA What’s the use of forgiveness? Who needs that?!
NEKHLYUDOV I do. I’ll atone for my sin…
MASLOVA What are you talking about?
NEKHLYUDOV All of this is my fault. I’ll spend everything I have to set you free.
MASLOVA I don’t understand you. What do you want from me?
NEKHLYUDOV I have made up my mind to marry you.
MASLOVA (angrily) I’d rather hang myself.
NEKHLYUDOV It’s my duty before God to do it.
MASLOVA What God have you found now?
You should’ve remembered God that night…
NEKHLYUDOV (realizing that she’s drunk) Calm down.
MASLOVA Why should I be calm? You think I am drunk? I am drunk, but I know what I’m saying. I’m a convict, a whore, and you are a gentleman and a prince. There’s no need for you to soil yourself by touching me. You go to your princesses; my price is a ten rouble note.
NEKHLYUDOV I’ve decided not to leave you and I shall do what I’ve said.
I shall not leave you.
MASLOVA (furious) Go away! You’ve no business here.
You think you’re so fine and so noble.
A prince proposes marriage to a whore…
This has nothing to do with me.
Just as you took pleasure from me in this life,
You want to save yourself in the life to come.
You disgust me with your piety and your fat ugly face!
WOMEN’S WARDER Shut up!
NEKHLYUDOV Leave her alone, please.
WOMEN’S WARDER She can’t behave like that in here.
NEKHLYUDOV Please wait a little. (the jailer returns to the window)
(to Maslova) Will you please sit down?
Maslova sits again, clasping her hands.
NEKHLYUDOV I will right this wrong, Katusha.
MASLOVA I want nothing from you.
(she gets up to leave)
NEKHLYUDOV Wait! (handing her a photograph)
Do you remember this? May Day at Panovo?
(a pause as she takes the photo and studies it)
I thought you’d like to have it.
MASLOVA (fighting tears) That girl is dead.
NEKHLYUDOV Don’t say that, she can’t be dead.
She can’t be…
WOMEN’S WARDER Time to go.
NEKHLYUDOV I’ll come again tomorrow.
Think it over.
(she refuses to look at him)
Nekhlyudov exits the prison.
ARIA: “TOO LATE” (MASLOVA)
(She takes the photo, and suddenly sees and feels who she was when she loved him. The photo brings back her joy, her innocence.)
Look at me, look at me, look at me!
I am young, beautiful, so full of life.
I loved him, he loved me.
Yes, I know it’s true.
I know it’s true.
What a joy to dance with him.
To speak with him,
To lift my face to him, to lift my arms to him,
To feel life brimming in both of my hands.
If only he could love me again…
I might… I might… I might…
(She laughs out loud and her laughter somehow releases a flood of feeling. The pain she remembers as she remembers his betrayal hits her with renewed force.)
Too late! Too late!
A thousand nights, a thousand men,
A thousand deaths, your face again…
Every step I’ve taken…
Now you return and want forgiveness?
Too late! Too late! There is nothing you can do.
Too late! Too late! You have broken me in two.
The Inspector enters.
PRISON INSPECTOR Your appeal to the Senate has been denied.
You’ll leave on the next transport to Siberia.
MASLOVA He’ll never follow me there…
That’s the end…
END ACT ONE