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"Act I. Praskov'ia, Vlas Diuzhoi's daughter, is betrothed to Nechai
Shalygin, the Voevoda [the town's governor], while her sister Maria is
secretly in love with Bastriukov, his enemy; the Voevoda disturbs their
tryst. In a matchmaking scene, the Voevoda sees Maria for the first time
and chooses her over Praskov'ia, whereupon Bastriukov decides to abduct
Maria. At his signal, she comes to him, but they are foiled by Vlas and
the Voevoda, who restrain Maria but fail to subdue Bastriukov and his
Act II. Bastriukov is pining for Maria when Dubrovin arrives; he has
suffered the Voevoda to kidnap his wife and himself to be persecuted.
They plan a double abduction for the next night, when the Voevoda will
be away on a pilgrimage. In the women's quarters, Maria sings of a
captive young woman desiring freedom; Dubrovin's wife, Olena, enters and
tells Maria of the plan. The other women return and perform a
Act III. The two couples are reunited and sing an apostrophe to the
night. Dubrovin and Olena exchange assurances. As they sing of the night
again, they are interrupted by the Voevoda, who has returned early.
Dubrovin threatens him and is disarmed. The lovers decide to die rather
than part again. The Voevoda orders the men held and leads Maria to the
women's quarters. As she attempts to break free, fanfares announce the
arrival of a new voevoda, who puts matters right amid general
rejoicing." (p. 67)