Alexander Krein

Laurencia

ballet in two acts

Based on the piece by Lope de Vega Fuente Ovejuna

Age 12+

Dates

Choreography: People’s Artist of the USSR Vakhtang Chabukiani
Libretto version and staging: People’s Artist of Georgia and Russia Nina Ananiashvili
Musical director: Aleg Lessoun
Set designer: David Monavardisashvili
Costume designer: Alexandre Vassiliev
Lighting designer: Margus Vaigur
Artistic adviser: People’s Artist of Russia Alexey Fadeechev
Assistant ballet masters: Ekaterina Shavliashvili, People’s Artist of Belarus Igor Artamonov
Conductors: Ivan Kostyakhin, recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Vyacheslav Chernukho-Volich

Running time: 1 hour 55 minutes with one interval
Premiere: 1 November 2014

12

The action takes place in the 15th century in the village Fuente Ovejuna that belongs to Fernando Gomez de Guzman, the Grand Commander of the Order of Calatrava.

Act 1
Scene 1
Peasants adorn the tree and get ready to welcome their sovereign, Commander Gomez after his participation in the military campaign. The Commander didn’t win affection of his subjects in Fuente Ovejuna mainly because he abuses his power and chases girls. 
The young Frondoso is blissfully in love with the beauty Laurencia the beautiful Laurencia, the daughter of Esteban, the alcalde of the village. Each time when they meet he confesses his love, but Laurencia only laughs at him.
The youth celebrates while waiting for the landlord. A friend of Laurencia, the young Pascuala and her lover Mengo start the play.
The Commander and his soldiers return in to Fuente Ovejuna, where the alcalde greets him on behalf of all the inhabitants. But Gomez doesn’t need it; his aim is Laurencia and Pascuala. His servants Fernando and Ortuño by trick and power try to force the girls to go to the Commader’s castle. The girls manage to escape with the help of Mengo. The Commander is in a fury.

Scene 2
Early morning. The girls make towards the spring. The horn is heard, the Commander has gone on a hunt. He meets Laurencia at the spring in a solitary place. She has a date with Frondoso, but notices the Commander and entreats her lover to hide behind the bushes. The Commander lays his crossbow aside and being sure they are alone tries to gain her love by all means. Frondoso springs out of the shelter, grabs the crossbow and leads the Commander to retire. Laurencia flees to the village for help. The Commander is genuinely shocked by such a humiliation and leaves, while swearing to revenge cruelly.
Pascuala and the country maids come to the spring. Mengo appears as well. As usual, he brings fun, and the girls forget about the laundry.
Frightened Jacinta comes running in a torn dress in the middle of the games. Drunk servants of the Commander chase her. The girls grab their laundry baskets and run away in fear. Mengo tries to protect Jacinta from the rude molestation of the servants.
The Commander returns to the spring accompanied by his soldiers. Mengo relies on justice and complains to Gomez on the rowdiness of his servants, but the Commander orders to give him a flogging and gives Jacinta to the servants for sport’s sake. Meanwhile appears the runner with a letter from the Grand Master of the Order, and the Commander marches off at the head of the troops.
Laurencia leads the peasants to help Frondoso, but sees that he’s unhurt. She is charmed by his bravery and confesses her love to him.

Act 2
Scene 3
While the Commander is away, Laurencia and Frondoso decide to get married to the joy of their parents and the entire village, who have been waiting for it for a long time. Only Jacinta perturbs the joy of marriage for a moment with her painful memories, but Laurencia and Pascuala involve her in dance.
The Commander returns at the height of jubilation. He remembers the offence, orders to catch Frondoso and put him into prison. Laurencia, who dares to speak in defense of her groom, is taken into custody.

Scene 4
The inhabitants of the village come for consultation. Their opinions are different: some of them want to immediately dispose off the cruel sovereign, others cowardly keep silence. In the middle of the debates Laurencia comes running.
She looks terrible: tossled hair, dress in blood and grazes on her body. Her emotional speech about the born humiliation and torments greatly impresses the audience. Laurencia encourages people to rise in rebellion against the Commander. Her final argument is: if there are no men in the village, women can defend their honour themselves. It settles the case: all the inhabitants rush to storm the sovereign’s castle.

Scene 5
The patience of the people is exhausted.
The Commander’s soldiers can’t withstand the onslaught of the rebels and retreat. Frondoso is released from the prison and beats Gomez in a furious battle. The Commander and his servants are killed and literally torn apart.
Rebellious people swear to defend their freedom even until death.

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