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 2 Scene 1, Maslova’s Lullaby
The prisoners are marching to Siberia through the snow (see “Siberian March”). Nekhlyudov carries a petition to the Emperor which Maslova must sign. He is shocked by the brutal treatment of the prisoners, especially when he learns the nature of some of their crimes. Maslova is overjoyed to see him, and to his amazement he sees that she has changed. The old Maslova is being reborn. She introduces him to Peter Simonson, a schoolmaster convicted for teaching “subversive” literature. Their conversation is interrupted when an officer tries to take a five-year-old girl out of her sick father’s arms in order to chain his hands. The prisoner, Kriltsov, will not let the girl go. When Simonson intervenes, the officer promises to have him flogged. Nekhlyudov gives the officers a bribe and Maslova assists the father and child.
ACT TWO SCENE ONE – Maslova’s Lullaby
Nekhlyudov, accompanied by a guard is waiting at a checkpoint crossing as the prisoners arrive.
NEKHLYUDOV I must see prisoner Maslova.
GUARD Interviews are not allowed.
NEKHLYUDOV There she is…
GUARD You’ve come all this way for nothing.
NEKHLYUDOV I have a petition for the Emperor that must be signed.
GUARD Give it to me!
NEKHLYUDOV I must see the prisoner myself!
GUARD Not here.
NEKHLYUDOV I have permission from the Governor.
(taking a slip of paper and a bank note from his pocket book)
GUARD (looking at the permission, which hides a bribe inside it)
Be quick about it.
Nekhlyudov steps up to the line of prisoners and immediately attracts their attention. Maslova hurriedly approaches him. Nekhlyudov and Maslova step outside the convoy as the prisoners continue to march past. Maslova is stunned to see him.
MASLOVA I didn’t think I’d see you again.
NEKHLYUDOV I told you I’d follow you.
MASLOVA I thought after my appeal was denied…
NEKHLYUDOV We’ll petition the Emperor directly. Your case… our case…
MASLOVA I can’t believe you’ve come.
NEKHLYUDOV Will you sign the petition?
MASLOVA Yes, of course. (She signs the document, hands it back to him)
Forgive me Dmitry, for what I said last time.
NEKHLYUDOV It’s not for me to forgive.
MASLOVA I thought you’d be glad to get rid of me.
NEKHLYUDOV I haven’t changed, Katusha. I meant what I said.
MASLOVA It means so much to me to see you here.
NEKHLYUDOV (internal) I never thought I’d hear that sweetness in her voice again.
Did you get the things I sent you?
MASLOVA Yes, thank you.
NEKHLYUDOV Is there anything else you want… or need?
MASLOVA Nothing, thank you.
NEKHLYUDOV Are you all right?
MASLOVA I’m fine. Marching has made me strong.
And I’ve met some good people here.
NEKHLYUDOV Good people here?
MASLOVA Yes, good and bad, just as anywhere.
NEKHLYUDOV But they’re criminals. They’re blackmailers, robbers, rapists, terrorists, murderers.
MASLOVA But some are here for petty crimes. For nothing! And some are in prison for what they believe.
NEKHLYUDOV I worry about you constantly.
MASLOVA They’ve been good to me.
They’ve treated me better than anyone has in years.
Stay with me till I join up with my group.
NEKHLYUDOV I’ll see you again when you get to Yakhutsk.
MASLOVA Why? Are you coming?
NEKHLYUDOV I’m coming by the next train.
OLD WOMAN (as she walks by)
Is it true, sir, 12 convicts have been killed?
NEKHLYUDOV I’ve seen 2 myself.
OLD WOMAN They say they’ve killed 12 on this march. They’ll get away with it. Murderers!
NEKHLYUDOV Have none of the women fallen ill?
YOUNG WOMEN Women are stronger… only one of them’s in labor. There she goes again…
(she points to the cart as the groans recommence)
WOMAN IN LABOR Oh, oh, oh! O God! Oh, oh! O God!
MASLOVA You ask if we want anything…couldn’t she be left behind? She’s suffering. You could arrange it.
NEKHLYUDOV Yes, I will.
(The march continues. The Chorus is heard again)
MASLOVA Here’s my group.
Do you have to go?
NEKHLYUDOV I’ll walk with you for awhile.
As long as the guards will allow it…
MASLOVA (She sees Simonson.)
This is Peter Simonson. He’s a political prisoner.
(to Simonson) This is Prince Nekhlyudov.
NEKHLYUDOV Then why?
PETER I taught literature: Ibsen, Zola, Whitman, Wilde.
NEKHLYUDOV I don’t understand…
PETER All subversives.
They tell us every human being is
Magnificent, to be loved.
What a revolution that would be.
They are interrupted by the following exchange.
Among the politicals we see Kriltsov, struggling to hold his daughter, Maria, in his arms. He is seriously ill, stumbling, coughing, and shaking. An officer attempts to take Maria.
OFFICER Give me that girl.
Your hands must be chained.
KRILTSOV No! I can’t carry her if my hands are chained.
OFFICER Give her to me. Now.
KRILTSOV I refuse.
The officer strikes him in the face. Kriltsov wipes the blood from his face with one hand while holding the now sobbing Maria with the other.
KRILTSOV I’ve carried my child all the way from St. Petersburg. You’ll make it impossible for me.
OFFICER Rules are rules.
Put her down. You must be chained.
(The bravest of the prisoners speaks out)
WOMAN He’s carried her all the way from Tomsk without chains.
MASLOVA She’s a child, not a puppy.
PETER (confronting the officer) That’s not the law.
OFFICER (furious) Who’s that’s?! I’ll teach you the law.
Who spokee? You? You?!
PETER Yes, I spoke out, because…
But before he can finish speaking the officer hits him in the face with both hands.
OFFICER Mutiny? I’ll show you what mutiny means. I’ll have you shot like dogs. I’ll get a medal for it.
(to the guard) Take the girl.
PETER (his temper mounting)
This is inhuman.
OFFICER What did you say?!
PETER You heard me!
Simultaneously, Nekhlyudov steps forward. He speaks softly to the officer, empties his purse, hands him money.
OFFICER (to Simonson) You’ll be flogged for this.
I won’t forget it.
Kriltsov collapses to the ground. Maria goes to him, stroking his head and face. The others realize he is near death, struggling for breath. There is a hush.
MARIA (whispering) Papa, papa…
(Maslova starts to sing a quiet lullaby/folk song. All becomes quiet.)
O that I were where I would be,
Then would I be where I am not,
But where I am there I must be,
And where I would be I cannot, I cannot…
O lullaby, lullaby…
PETER Can you make room for him?
Simonson lifts Kriltsov onto the cart. Others make room. Simonson takes off his coat and covers Kriltsov.
OFFICER Move on…
You! Your time is up!
NEKHLYUDOV (reluctantly leaving Maslova) I’ll see you again in Yakhutsk.