Aleksis: Viktors Seiko
The summer is in full blossom, the sun goes uphill towards the summer solstice, and the love-sick heart of Antonija, the mistress of Silmači house, gets dizzy... The ballet Antonija #Silmači is a romantically dramatic story about the longing for a fulfilled personal life. It was inspired by one of the most popular Latvian theatre plays, Rūdolfs Blaumanis’ comedy The Tailor Days at Silmači. The ballet is one of the Latvia Centenary Celebration’s projects and, along with previous Juris Karlsons’ balets The Silver Veil and Karlsson Flies... enriches the repertoire of Latvian original ballets.
The pub’s lively atmosphere envelops old Silmačs’ widow Antonija, and Aleksis, who came with her as coachman. The feeling inside is carefree and happy, and Antonija slowly relaxes, and a little later even Aleksis joins the dancing, urged by Antonija. Dizzy, Aleksis gazes at Antonija… And then – they returned home as bride and groom.
The Silmači household is preparing for the wedding. Dūdars the tailor arrives, along with his apprentice, Rūdis, and the seamstress Zāra Goldbaum.
Yes, life here in Silmači will be busy. Sewing for two, baking, cooking, brewing…
Stop pawing the merchandise! Look, don’t touch! Where there are both tailors and a wedding, old Ābrams is sure to show up for haggling. His son Joske is in love with the beautiful Zāra, but Ābrams is against them being together: Look! That girl doesn’t have a cent, just plain love!
The air is filled with the smell of pancakes… Neither Bebene, nor Tomulīša, nor Pindacīša can pass them up. Oh my – how fluffy! Meanwhile, Rūdis and Kārlēns get a craving for honey, and as for what follows…
The lovestruck and happy Antonija doesn’t seem to see the warning signs pointing to her fiance’s indifference. Aleksis can’t work up the courage to tell Antonija that his heart has long belonged to Elīna.
Dūdars, who was Antonija’s first love, tries to talk the mistress of Silmači out of this brash decision.
Dūdars: My dear Antonija, I want to open your eyes.
Antonija: Oh, stop! You’re just jealous! And anyhow, it’s too late!
Dūdars: Then that’s that!
Aleksis meets with Elīna.
Aleksis: Oh, how I want to disappear off the face of the earth.
Elīna: But you can’t, Aleksis. You started this, and now you have to finish it.
Kārlēns and Rūdis buy gunpowder from Joske for fireworks. It’s quite a lot. But it seems a little damp. We should dry it in the stove!
Ābrams’ wares are missing. To make up for her fault in this, Pindacīša tells Ābrams to hide on top of the stove – so he can see for himself how Joske is courting Zāra.
Rūdis is teaching Ieviņa and Kārlēns how to dance the quadrille. The dance lesson eventually turns into a competition.
Sweet, shy Bebene secretly lights a pipe to smoke. But someone is coming! Bebene panics and the pipe lands in the stove.
Ābrams: Ay! Oy Gewalt! I’m on fire, I’m on fire! Help, I’m on fire!
Antonija has a vision, in which she’s wearing a veil.
To the mornings, to the evenings, to the empty North. A black raven races over the sea, a runner runs after it…
Tomulīša is treating Bebene’s splitting headache. Meanwhile, Pindacīša teases Bebene for the pipe incident, but Bebene in turn reminds her about the shawls Pindacīša stole. A heated exchange of words and the wives get in to a scuffle.
Antonija tries to convince the stubborn Ābrams to give Joske and Zāra his blessing. But it’s not until Joske talks about leaving for America that Ābrams finally caves: My heart’s not made of wood, it feels all the warm feelings it ever could, take her hands in yours and to each other be good!
Aleksis announces to Elīna that he’s ready to tell Antonija the truth.
Aleksis: Even if it kills me! My love for you is… is… is…
Aleksis: Beyond words…
Everyone at the Silmači house is preparing for Jāņi, the Midsummer holiday.
Aleksis: I wanted to say that nothing will come of this.
Antonija: Of what?
Aleksis: You know of what – of … our wedding…
All around people are celebrating Jāņi – only Antonija sits by herself with a broken heart.
Dawn. Dūdars spots the heartbroken Antonija. Dūdars has never stopped loving Antonija, and uses this opportunity to offer her his heart and ask for her hand in marriage.
Antonija: You mean that even after all this, you’d still marry me? [..] I don’t know anymore whether I should cry or laugh…
Antonija doesn’t want Aleksis and Elīna to stay in Silmači, but Dūdars convinces her to reconsider. The other residents are surprised to learn that now there will be not one, not two, but three weddings at Silmači.
The texts in italics are lines taken from Rūdolfs Blaumanis’ play The Tailors' Days in Silmači.