St Petersburg, Mariinsky II

The Young Lady and the Hooligan
 Leningrad Symphony 

set to music by Dmitry Shostakovich


The Young Lady: Elena Yevseyeva
The Hooligan: Maxim Izmestiev

Premiere: 28 December 1962, Maly Opera Theatre, Leningrad
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 30 May 2001

Running time: 45 minutes

Age category 12+


Music by Dmitry Shostakovich
Choreography by Konstantin Boyarsky (1962)
Libretto by Alexander Belinsky based on the play of Vladimir Mayakovsky
Set design by Vyacheslav Okunev based on the scenography of Valery Dorrer
Costume design by Tatiana Noginova
Lighting design by Vladimir Lukasevich
Lighting Adaptation for the Mariinsky II by Andrei Ponizovsky and Yegor Kartashov


Episode 1. A workers’ district. The street is ruled by the young Hooligan.
The Young Lady makes a tremendous impression on him.

Episode 2. At school. The Hooligan recognises the new pupil as the Young Lady.
She stops the «unbridled» Hooligan.

Episode 3. A park. The Hooligan wishes to tell the Young Lady of his love.
She runs away.

Episode 4. The Hooligan is in a restaurant.
The Young Lady appears to him as a vision. He runs to her.
The Leader tries to restrain him.

Episode 5. The Hooligan at the Young Lady’s house.

Episode 6. A park. Drunken youths are scaring the people walking there.
The Hooligan defends the Young Lady and her friends.
The Hooligan’s former friends take their revenge.
Fatally wounded, he heads for the Young Lady’s house.

Episode 7. The street. The Hooligan dies in the Young Lady’s arms.

This ballet is something of an "adopted child" at the Mariinsky Theatre: created in 1962 at Leningrad's Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre and having been performed at numerous theatres in the Soviet Union, it was only in 2001 that it entered the Mariinsky Theatre's repertoire. The pre-history of this once incredibly popular production about post-revolutionary hard times is as follows; in 1918 Russian cinemas screened the art film The Young Lady and the Hooligan, staged after a scenario by Vladimir Mayakovsky. The plot was based on Italian writer Edmondo De Amicis' story La maestrina degli operai (The Workers' Young Schoolmistress). The protagonist is the Hooligan as depicted by Mayakovsky, who sees the new schoolmistress on the street and falls in love with her at first sight. Soon he begins to attend her class. One day, however, when protecting the teacher (the Young Lady), the Hooligan is fatally wounded in a brawl and dies before his beloved's eyes. In the early 1960s after motifs of the film, Alexander Belinsky produced the libretto for the eponymous ballet, while the choreographer of the Maly Theatre Konstantin Boyarsky created the choreography. The music was taken from three unfortunate ballets by Dmitry Shostakovich – The Bolt, The Golden Age and The Limpid Brook, the score also featuring highlights from Shostakovich's music for films. The premiere of the ballet The Young Lady and the Hooligan took place in 1962. Soviet audiences, who over the years of the reign of "drama-ballet" on the stage had become used to ballet plays, were transfixed by the story-in-dance about the Hooligan's moral transformation under the influence of the emotion of love which he had not known before. The ballet remained in the repertoire of the Maly Theatre as late as 1987. One of the last Hooligans there, Yevgeny Myasishchev – together with his theatre colleague Yekaterina Pavlova and Sergei Savkov who dazzled as the Hooligan at the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre – brought Boyarsky's ballet back to life at the Mariinsky Theatre in 2001. Olga Makarova

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