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Synopsis

Act 1

Prague, 1922. Reception of lawyer Kolenaty.

Archivist Vitek puts away the file named “Gregor – Prus”. It is an inheritance lawsuit, which has been lasting for about a hundred years. Young Albert Gregor, representing a concerned party, asks about the state of the case. Kolenaty has submitted it to the Supreme Court and it hasn’t been returned yet. A young singer Christine rushes in, the daughter of the Archivist Vitek. She admires Emilia Marti, a famous opera singer.

Suddenly Marti appears accompanied by the lawyer Kolenaty. The Prima Donna asks Gregor about the case. Marti says about some arguments for the case to be solved in his favor. But Kolenaty sees few evidences for Gregor to win the case. Marti asks what kind of documents is necessary. “The testament”, Kolenaty answers. Then Emilia Marti tells about an envelope with the testament written by Ferdinand Joseph Prus in his own hand, which is kept among the papers in the house of Prus. Kolenaty considers it as an idle lie, but Gregor insists on his checking the singer’s words. Gregor is charmed by Emilia. He asks her about the documents and confesses he is ready to commit suicide if he doesn’t come into the inheritance. Marti brushes Gregor aside simultaneously trying to gain his support in order to find out about another secret envelope.

Kolenaty returns together with the Gregor’s opponent Yaroslav Prus. He congratulates Gregor with the finding of the testament, but underlines it should be yet proven, that the Prus’s illegitimate son Ferdinand is the Ferdinand Gregor. Emilia Marti promises to introduce conclusive evidence.

Act 2

Backstage of an opera theatre.

A stage machinist and a charwoman are discussing Marti’s charm and her genius to acting. Prus enters the room, followed by his son Janek and Christine. He is looking for Marti.

The Prima Donna appears. She’s tired, cut her low mood has been slightly improved by an old weak-headed Gauk-Shendorf. As being in a state of delirium he repeats the name of some Eugenia, a Spanish gipsy, which he loved for about fifty years ago. As Marti speaks to him in Spanish, kisses and tenderly calls him Maxy, he is convinced that Eugenia hasn’t been died. At the same time Prus asks Marti about Elian McGregor. He has read her love letters and suspects some lie, because in the Ferdinand’s birthday certificate the name of his mother is Elina Makropulos (with the same initials). Since an illegitimate child is given the mother’s name, her son should have received the name Ferdinand Makropulos, otherwise the estate will come into possession of the Prus’s family. Marti is ready to buy the precious envelope, found by Prus among the other papers, but he refuses to do it and leaves. 

Gregor returns. He makes the declaration of his desperate love to the tired by the conversation, half-sleeping Marti. Having awaken Marti sees Janek and entreats him to bring her the envelope titled “To deliver by hand to my son Ferdinand” from the house of his father. Prus has overheard them. He chases off his son and agrees to give the envelope to Manti for a sleep with her… Janek is getting a peep of his father.

Act 3

The next morning. Emilia Marti’s hotel accommodation.

Prus gives her the envelope. His stipulation has been fulfilled. He feels deceived — Emilia was as cold as ice in bed. The house-parlourmaid tells Prus that he has been waited for downstairs. Prus leaves and returns soon: he has found out that his son Janek has committed suicide because of a desperate love to Marti. The Prima Donna is listening to the furious Prus indifferently. He is disturbed by Gauk-Shendorf. He offers the escape to Spain. Emilia plays the old man up.

Soon Gregor appears in the room together with Kolenaty, Christine and the Gauk’s wife. Pani Gauk leads her husband out. Kolenaty talks about a strong resemblance of the signatures of Emilia Marti and Ellian McGregor on the documents. He suspects a fake.

At first Marti ignores the accusations, while the others rush to look at the papers. Suddenly Marti draws revolver and having instantly changed her tactics says he wanted first to fix herself and then to explain. Those present ferret in the Emilia’s belongings and find a number of the objects marked “E. M.”. Marti goes to the next room.

Prus insists that handwritings of Elina Makropulos and Ellian McGregor are identical. Marti returns with a bottle of whiskey and tells that she was born on Crete in 1585 and was given a name of Elina Makropulos. She is 337 years old. Her father Hieronymus was the court healer of the King Rudolph, who was governing from 1576 to 1612. The monarch ordered the healer to find the elixir of immortality. The alchemist found the necessary formula and gave it to his 16 year old daughter to test the potion. Having drunk the elixir she slipped into a coma, while the healer was imprisoned. Soon the girl recovered and escaped. Many years on she delivered the immortality formula to her beloved baron Prus, with whom she had a son, and after a while her grandgrand-grandson Albert Gregor was born.  As the elixir extends the life for thirty hundred years, Emilia requires new portion to avoid death. Although there was much lie in her life, now she is in a real danger.

At first nobody believes Marti, but soon the people realize that she tells the truth. She bears the weight of an enormously long life at her shoulders. And she is ready to present the formula to anybody who wishes it. But none wishes it. As soon as Christine takes the manuscript with the formula, Prus switches it out of her hands and burns it with the candle light, soundlessly repeating the words of the Greek prayer “Pater Hemon”. Marti sinks down as her life is slowly draining away.

 

 

Tags: fesztiválok listája: 2016
műfaj: opera
kategóriák: fesztiváli főprogramok
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