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Selmeczi Gy.
Opera in two acts, in Italian
Opera House | 19:00-22:00

Act 1 

Strange apparition, strange, icy wind, strange apparition!
The Russian Duke holds a séance with his friends. Distant, strange lights, piercing wind, the message of death. A young country nobleman (Pierrot) is also in the group, although he participates reluctantly. The incantation may be successful: a wonderful woman appears before them. The young man thinks he recognises his fiancée in the spirit, whom he calls Colombina.  

I have mastered the sweet art of seduction. Yes, yes, in so I can bear the icy storm of my heart.
In a dreamlike, whirling ball at the Dukes palace, one of the Dukes guests, an enigmatic globe-trotter (Arlecchino) is contemplating the relationship between boredom and passion. Two local aristocrats, the amazed Aleksei and Dimitri challenge him. Pierrot leads his fiancée, the shy Colombina into the ballroom. Arlecchino notices the special woman. The identities of these three guests are still not revealed, which may not be without significance. 

The people are singing, dancing and dont hear what is approaching.
The disillusioned poet Desiré is wandering through the ball alone while his intoxicated imagination tortures him with menacing images. Colombina, who is entirely enchanted and upset by the glitter, shine and new experiences, confesses her love to her fiancé. Desiré and Arlecchino begin to court him almost at the same time. The drunken poet raises fear in her heart, but she sees the attractive stranger in the mysterious mans eyes. The old fire may be reignited in his heart. 

Our life is sleeping but in ecstasy manifests itself
Aleksei and Dimitri start playing the lovestruck Pierrot with drinks to clear the way for Arlecchino. Desiré arrives suddenly, accidentally bumping into the young man and leaving an ugly mustard stain on his shirt. Arlecchino and Colombina meet and encounter the wonder of love as the outside world ceases to exist for them. 

Who are you? Who? I dont know who you are. Be aware of the drunkard, little girl. If he touches you, you will turn into a vision.
An enormous Russian folk festival begins at the ball. The rayok, and the peep show puppet theatre with its saucy scenes, completely takes hold of the noble crowd. They exchange partners as they dance, sing and make merry. Arlecchino is swept away from Colombina. Desiré is town by the sight of the unreachable woman and attempts to draw himself closer to her in his own inimitable way. 

Love is mere hopelessness, absurd speculation about a possible future.
At last the Duke arrives, the long-awaited host. He is looking for his foreign friend Arlecchino. Arlecchino, understanding that he is not the right man for her, offers the object of his desire to dance with the Duke willingly but with pain in his heart. 

Thats the way we are, men and women. We scrutinise silence, pale time, and beauty washes over us.
The woman and the Duke as a pair. 

Act 2 

Aleksei and Dimitri contemplate love. 

A pallid ball of the bleak soul.
The guests at the ball discuss the usual banalities, praising the ball and how they are enjoying themselves, cursing the weather. Desiré flits among them with his boundless displeasure - he is unable to make peace with himself. 

Tonight, we are going to tell a nice story. A nice tale from the distant past. A wonderful and exciting tale. It is about love, it sings of pain and the heart weeps sweetly.
The guests of the Russian ball await and welcome the joyous song of the European comedians arriving from sunny Italy. The three actors are Colombina, Pierrot and Arlecchino. (It is as if we have already met them tonight… but we cant be sure that it was them.) At long last, the Duke arrives too. Let the performance begin!
The commedia dellarte company performs the story of a love triangle in the vein of Pagliacci. Filled with desire, Colombina awaits her love Arlecchino, who arrives in secret and they unite among words of passion. Unfortunately, their time together cannot last long as they are interrupted by Pierrots return home. The vengeful, cheated lover stabs Arlecchino, also killing his lover Colombina after making a beautiful confession of love. The performance is over, the audiences confused and forced applause is led by the Duke. 

But no my Duke. It would be impossible. Tragedy is the essence of our nature. The true logic of feelings.
The Duke is displeased with the tragic outcome of the performance and demands a new ending: a joyous, forgiving and merciful ending. Arlecchinos protestations are in vain, the Duke has no interests in discussing art, the actors must bow to the desires of their client and start to improvise. 

I want the curtain now!
The despairing actors resume the end of the performance from the death of Arlecchino. They are grasping for a happy ending, which appears beyond them, they cannot find the right words or theatrical tools. Pierrot has a saving idea: he asks for a kiss from his darling. Colombina holds back, she is reluctant but eventually finds the right tone and they unite in a kiss. Watching over the performance, Desiré, who feels cheated by the world and love, shoots Colombina from the audience. The woman dies, the guests flee. 

A strange silver night it is.She doesnt dance any more, sings no more, She doesnt feel any more. She has left for the other shore.
The Duke and Desiré are left alone. They mourn the woman, love and their lost hopes. The spiritists gather again for the séance to begin once more. Will the story be any different when it all starts again from the beginning?  

Eszter Novak