Designer: laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Ernst Heidebrecht
Lighting designer:Sergey Martynov
Premiere: September 5, 2013
The horns of army blow,
Their sound is wafted by the wind,
And their songs, so divine,
Are heard around and above.
YankaKupala “From Songs of the Battles”
Forests of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
At Kupala Night the whole nature glorifies the lord of the forests the Wisent, the patron of Belarusian land and its people. Waiting to elect the girl of choice the realm of the night forest is full of unclear thrilling sounds. Everyone tries to get into this realm and to whirl feeling the unity with the World!
The ceremony of fire incantation begins. The swirl of girls’ reel burns up a tumultuous flame and everybody downs before its divine power.
Suddenly the hunters appear headed by the cousins, princes, Vitaut (Vitautas) and Jogaila. The most important part of the ceremony comes: election of Leda, the girl of choice. It is Anna. A feeling of mutual love grows up between her and Vitaut (Vitautas).
Jogaila is fascinated by her dance that calls for her lover. His servants are beside him, among them is the Black Man.
Jogaila, already being a Prince, is sure that Anna can’t refuse him. He has right to choose the girl himself, he will decide, who will be a lover for her.
Jogaila appears in front of Anna. But her dance was calling not for him… Each of the cousins is ready to fight for Anna-Leda’s heart. Anna timidly spreads her hands to Vitaut (Vitautas).
Jogaila got the push. He can’t put up with it and swears to revenge against Vitaut (Vitautas). A fragile piece is disturbed. A worse fate befalls Vytautas and Anna, but at this magic night they are in love and feel happy…
The Castle of Trakai
At the castle of Prince of TrakaiKeistut, Vytautas’ father, takes place the viewing of the bride. Keistut, his wife Biruta and their people hospitably entertain Vytautas and Anna. The celebration begins, everybody adores a young beautiful couple.
Suddenly the Black Man appears at the feast. He bends his knee and respectfully gives the young prince an invitation to the wedding ceremony of Jogaila and the Queen of Poland Jadwiga.
Vytautas is glad about the opportunity to make up with his cousin, but Anna feels the lie and tries to talk Vytautas out of visiting the wedding ceremony. But wise Keistut and Biruta, who feel the irreversibility of destiny, bless Vytautas and put him on new trials. So are the children of Wisent: they don’t hide, but meet gracefully the challenge of destiny.
The lovers bid farewell and part. Everybody’s waiting for something horrible. Suddenly the Black Man opens the doors and Jogaila with his soldiers breaks into the castle. People of Keistut are caught unaware and recede. At the expense of his life Vytautas’ father tries to save Anna. She disappears, and Keistut falls under the attack of the enemies.
The Black Man takes of prostrated Keistut the collar, the symbol of princely power and gives it to Jogaila.
Krakow, the residence of Jogaila
At the rich royal ball on the occasion of wedding of Jogaila and Jadwiga all European grand people are present. The Princess is apprehensive: her groom is not at the hall yet. Vytautas sets her mind at rest and asks her for a dance.
The fanfares blare forth and announce coming of Jogaila. The Grand Prince enters the hall and presents festively to Jadwiga Keistut’s collar.
Understanding the disloyalty, Vytautas and Jogaila interweave in a mortal combat. The fortune is on Vitaut's (Vitautas) side, but he can’t win. With the wave of Jogaila an iron grill falls in front of him.
Kreva Castle, Vitaut 's (Vitautas) dungeon
Vitaut (Vitautas) is filled with despair, his strength oozed away. In vain he tries to find a way out, and he is almost ready to accept the judgment of destiny. He dreams of recent happiness: his father, meeting him and Anna…his dear, dancing in the forest at night… Keistut’s funeral pyre… wailing Anna…And suddenly the dream comes true! His Anna stands before him! But is their love really doomed to die in this dungeon?
Anna excites Vitaut (Vitautas) to resist and shows him the way to escape. Anna disguises herself as Vitaut (Vitautas) and stays alone in the dungeon, and Vitaut (Vitautas) leaves to be back and to bring victory and freedom.
The Black Man and his people appear in the dungeon: revenge has to be taken. Anna slips out of men’s clothing, and before the stunned enemies stands the beautiful Leda.
At this moment the associates of Vitaut (Vitautas) break in the dungeon. He is ahead of everybody with revenge in his heart, nobody and nothing can stop him. Trying to break out from the battle and to save her husband, the Queen Jadwiga snatches off the crown of Jogaila’s head and lays it at the feet of the winner. But Vitaut (Vitautas) doesn’t need it: not blood, but Christian mercy from century to century and deeds of glorious heroes will bless the future of the People…