Valery Gavrilin

Anyuta

ballet in two acts

Age 12+

Dates

Libretto: Alexander Belinsky, Vladimir Vasiliev after the short story “Anna on the Neck” by Anton Chekhov
Choreography and staging: People’s Artist of the USSR Vladimir Vasiliev
Musical director: Honoured Artist of Ukraine Viktor Ploskina
Set designer: Honoured Art Worker of Russia Viktor Volsky
Costume designer: Honoured Art Worker of Russia Rafail Volsky
Conductors: Ivan Kostyakhin, Aleh Lessoun
Assistant choreographer: Andrey Melanyin
 
Running time: 2 hours 5 minutes with one interval
Premiere: 15 May 2012

12

Act I

After his wife’s death, Pyotr Leontievich, a teacher in a provincial town, is left with three children on his hands: Anna, a grown-up daughter, and two little boys Petya and Andryusha, gymnasium pupils.
Looking through family albums with photographs, Pyotr, a weak and kind man, feels nostalgic about happy moments of the past. Grieving after his spouse’s untimely death, he starts hitting the bottle.
Modest Alekseyevich, an elderly official, proposes to Anna. She accepts his proposal in the hope of escaping from her dull, monotonous and poor life as well as saving her family from poverty.
Anyuta (diminutive of ‘Anna’) breaks up with her sweetheart, a poor student, and moves to Modest’s place. She realizes soon that she will gain no benefit from the marriage, as her husband is mean, cold and calculating person with no intention of helping his wife`s relatives.

Act II

Christmas comes, and a ball is given to celebrate it. Anna becomes the queen of the ball, charming even most indifferent men with her youth, intelligence and beauty. Everybody competes for the attention and favour of Modest’s young wife; Artynov, a rich landowner, officers and even His Excellency are fascinated by her. They are ready to do anything in order to please Anna. She feels giddy with excitement caused by unexpected and immediate success.
The attention and love of the high society of the provincial town make Anyuta forget everything: her hateful and dull-witted husband, her miserable brothers who live hand to mouth, her beloved student, and her drinking father who she starts feeling ashamed of.
Modest immediately sees the benefits he can gain from his wife`s popularity, and encourages her love affairs. His career and social status come first for Modest. Very soon he receives St. Anna Decoration and longs for new favours from his wife`s suitors.
Pyotr drinks heavily, so he is declared bankrupt. His little remaining property is distrained, and he and his two boys are turned out into the street on a frosty New Year`s Eve.

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