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Golden Calf
opera by Evgeni Kostitsyn libretto by Evgeni Kostitsyn
Musica di Evgeni Kostitsyn 1963-
Prima rappresentazione: Covent Garden 2008/2009

A young man
Adam Kazimirovich Kozlevich. A member of a gang and a driver of a convertible. Polish
Alexandr Ivanovich Korejko#1, an underground Soviet millionaire
Alexandr Ivanovich Korejko#2 is the second personality of the same character
Hindu philosopher
medical orderlies, border-guards, crowd
Ostap Bender. Main character, a leader of a gang. The son of a Turkish citizen
Panikovsky, a member of a gang. A quarrelsome old man, Jewish
Passenger in glasses with a briefcase
Shura Balaganov, a member of a gang, pickpocket. Nice but dumb
Stenographer of the Hindu philosopher
Translator of the Hindu philosopher
Woman from a crowd of passengers
Zosia Sinitskaya, a girlfriend of Alexandr Korejko and Ostap Bender
USSR. 1920-1930.

The First Act. The First Scene.
Ostap Bender and Shura Balaganov drink beer in a summer garden. Bender tells Balaganov about his dream to immigrate to Rio-de-Janeiro, about money he needs and his readiness to blackmail any rich person. Balaganov says that he knows such person. That person lives in Chernomorsk.

The First Act. The Second Scene.
Bender, Balaganov and Kozlevich drive to Chernomorsk. They meet Panikovky. He is carrying a stolen goose and running from a crowd of angry townspeople. Bender orders Panikovsky to throw the goose away and join the gang.

The First Act. The Third Scene.
In the car. Panikovsky argues with Bender regarding his ‘business techniques’. Bender orders Balaganov to put Panikovsky out of the car. Panikovsky begs Bender to forgive him. Bender takes Panikovsky back.

The First Act. The Fourth Scene.
An underground Soviet millionaire Alexandr Korejko is walking with his girlfriend Zosia Sinitskaya in a recreation park. An orchestra is playing. Evening. Korejko asks Zosia to marry him but Zosia wants just to entertain herself. Zosia leaves Korejko alone and goes to watch a movie with a young man. Korejko curses the USSR for making it impossible to reveal his financial status and win Zosia’s heart.
Panikovsky suddenly shows up. Pretending to be blind, he chases Korejko, striking his legs with a walking stick and asking for a million roubles.

The First Act. The Fifth Scene.
Korejko’s bedroom. Sitting in his bed Korejko #2 is reading recently received telegrams. He is in a somber mood. The telegrams do not make any sense. During the second part of the reading Korejko #1 and Panikovsky return to the stage. Panikovsky keeps asking for a million roubles.

The Second Act. The First Scene.
Evening. Balaganov and Panikovsky sit on the beach. They plan to rob Korejko but argue about who should be in charge of the ‘operation’. Panikovsky tells Balaganov about his life in Kiev before the revolution. He tells how much he misses it. It is getting dark. Korejko and Zosia enter and undress. Zosia goes to swim. Korejko and Panikovsky fight Korejko and steal his cigarette-case with ten thousand roubles.

The Second Act. The Second Scene.
A curtain of the second inner stage opens. Ostap, with a police cap on his head, rings at the door of Korejko's room. Balaganov and Panikovsky stay behind in handcuffs. After Korejko opens the door, they enter. Panikovsky is impressed by two big weights in a corner of the room. Bender tries to return Korejko his money but Korejko refuses, saying that no one robbed him.

The Third Act. The First Scene.
Balaganov and Panikovsky sit in a cafe on the sea-front of Chernomorsk. Panikovsky convinces Balaganov that Korejko keeps his millions in two big weights which are gold inside. They decide to steal these weights.

The Third Act . The Second Scene.
Late night. Balaganov and Panikovsky drag Korejko’s weights to the office of “Horn and Hoof”. They stop at the entrance and laugh at Ostap, working on the “Korejko File”. They go to a ravine and begin to saw the weights in half. After Balaganov discovers the weights are not gold, he beats Panikovsky and takes his money.

The Third Act. The Third Scene.
Korejko’s bedroom. Bender tries to sell “Korejko File” to Korejko at one million roubles. Korejko first refuses to talk to him seriously. After he hears the information collected in his file, Korejko unsuccessfully tries to strangle Bender. Eventually Korejko agrees to pay Bender one million roubles. They are walking down on the street to the place where Korejko supposedly keeps his money. A siren. A crowd is running. Everyone puts on a gas-mask. Korejko too. While Bender is looking around he disappears in the crowd. Two medical orderlies drag Bender to a shelter.

The Fourth Act. The First Scene.
Ostap and Zosia sit on the steps of a museum talking about love. Then Zosia tells about Korejko’s letter she received recently. Ostap asks about Korejko’s whereabouts. He refuses to walk with Zosia to her home being completely preoccupied with Korejko.

The Fourth Act. The Second Scene.
A desert. Korejko is sitting on a speaker’s platform alone. Bender convinces him that he has no choice but to give Bender a million roubles.

The Fourth Act. The Third Scene.
Korejko and Bender are in a goods wagon where Korejko lives. Korejko is under his bed counting wads of notes.

The Fourth Act. The Fourth Scene.
Korejko pays Bender one million roubles.

The Fifth Act. The First Scene.
A railway station. A well dressed Bender comes up to Balaganov sleeping on a bench. They eat and talk about life. Bender decides to give Balaganov 50,000 roubles. This money should help Balaganov to change his life-style and live happily to the rest of his life.

The Fifth Act. The Second Scene.
Bender and Balaganov are in an overcrowded streetcar. Balaganov is caught stealing somebody’s bag. He is arrested. Bender turns away.

The Fifth Act. The Third Scene.
Bender visits a Hindu philosopher. He is searching for the meaning of life. Eventually the Hindu philosopher says that he himself came to the USSR to search for the meaning life. Bender decides that it is time to leave for Rio-de- Janeiro.

Bender steps on the Romanian shore. He says good bye to the USSR and meets Romanian border-guards. They beat and rob Bender, then run away with his money. Bender remains lying in the snow as the curtain falls.

fonte: Evgeni Kostitsyn

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