Ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / Premiere
The project is supported by Sofia Municipality.
Anna Karenina - Stepan Oblonsky's sister, Karenin's wife and Vronsky's lover
Count Alexei Vronsky - Anna's lover, cavalry officer
Alexei Karenin - Senior statesman and Anna's husband, senior statesman and Anna's husband
Ekaterina Shcherbatskaya - Kitty - Dolly's younger sister
Stepan Oblonsky - Stiva - Civil servant and Anna's brother, Dolly's husband
Countess Lydia Ivanovna - Leader of a high society circle that includes Karenin, and shuns Betsy and her circle.
Elizaveta Tverskaya - Betsy - Anna's wealthy, morally loose society friend and Vronsky's cousin
Darya Oblonskaya - Dolly - Stepan's wife
Konstantin Levin - Kitty's suitor, Stiva's old friend, landowner
Countess Vronskaya - Vronsky's mother
Countess Sorokina - Countess Vronska's chosen bride for Vronsky
Serpukhovsky - General, friend of Vronsky
Yashvin - Captain
Alexander Vronsky - Vronsky`s brother
Sergei Karenin - Seryozha - Anna and Karenin's son, 8 years of age
Maria Yafimova - Governess
Doctor, Priest, Photographer, Maids, Ghost
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Everything came into confusion in the Oblonskys' house. Dolly had just discovered that her husband Stiva, a person given to pleasures and of an amorous nature, was frivolously carrying on an intrigue with the French governess, and despite them having five children, she would not go on living in the same house with him.
Stiva writes a letter to his sister, Anna Karenina, asking her to come visit them and try to reason with the determined and hurt Dolly, who is by no means getting over her husband's adventure.
At the same time, young Levin, a friend of Stiva's, arrives in Moscow, a decent, ordinary, shy and hardworking landowner, in love with country life and with Dolly's younger sister, the eighteen-year-old Kitty. He intends to ask for the hand of Kitty, whom he had known since childhood, and when they meet at the skating rink, where all of Moscow has gone, he confesses his love to her in his clumsy way. Although she has warm, but only brotherly, feelings for him, Kitty does not completely reject him, but leaves him with at least a little crazy hope. She invites him to a party with friends at her parents' home, where he realizes that his love is not reciprocated.
After the unfortunate encounter with Vronsky at Shtcherbatsky's house, Levin's hopes evaporate as he clearly sees that Kitty is madly and hopelessly infatuated with the glamorous officer. Unhappy, he left for his estate the very next day.
The impressive Vronsky, who is educated, rich and clever, a representative of the golden youth of the St. Petersburg aristocracy, is a favorite guest in the homes of the nobles, including the Shtcherbatsky princes. Although known for his success with women, with whom he likes to have fun without commitment, he is one of the most desirable bachelors.
Vronsky, who perfectly recognized Kitty's fascination with him, for some time nurtured her hopes until Anna appeared in his life. At the station in Moscow, where he had come to welcome his mother, Countess Vronska, he met Anna Karenina for the first time. The two ladies had traveled together from St. Petersburg and became friends by talking about their sons. Anna is a typical socialite, beautiful, charming and smart, able to attract attention in any society. She is married to Count Karenin, who is twenty years older than her, an extremely strict man and a high-ranking civil servant. They have always lived in a normal relationship, without love and passion, and the only happiness in her life is her son Seryozha. Anna arrives in Moscow at the invitation of her brother Stiva to calm his wife Dolly, who is having a hard time bearing her husband's infidelity. In a calm and diplomatic way, Anna manages to gain Dolly's favor, smooth out relations in the Oblonsky family and reconcile the spouses.
During her stay in Moscow, preparations are underway for a big ball, to which all the most prominent representatives of society are invited. Kitty, who is excited about the upcoming meeting with Vronsky, invites Anna to the ball as she is charmed and almost in love with her at first sight. The second meeting between Anna and Vronsky turns out to be fateful – Anna quickly recognizes the infatuation of the young count and realizes that she herself is not indifferent to him. It is also fateful for Kitty, who is deeply disappointed and realizes that she cannot expect Vronsky to reciprocate her feelings and that perhaps she has quite recklessly let go of happiness with the man who respects her and loves her sincerely and tenderly.
The big love disappointment shakes Kitty's health. Anna, who until now in her life has always been calm, balanced and constant, realizes that a magnetic attraction is born between her and the young officer and quickly leaves the ball, and the very next day, Moscow.
Truly in love for the first time, Vronsky followed her, boarding the same train and revealing his intentions to her. The passion, which Anna thought had long been extinguished by the rational marriage, awakens in her and pushes her into illicit relations. In St. Petersburg, she began to see Vronsky more and more often. They meet at Betsy's, Vronsky's relative, who again and again welcomes them into her home despite her husband's resentment. She also remains Anna's only friend when everyone turns their backs on her. Anna forgets about her social status and family obligations. Karenin asks her to at least hide her relationship and formally preserve their marriage, as he is afraid of a scandal that could ruin his reputation in society.
When she finds out she is pregnant, Anna tries to break the news to Vronsky before his participation in the horse races, which almost cost him his life. Out of fear for him, Anna reacts violently, with which she publicly fully reveals her feelings. On the way back, Anna confesses to her husband how great her love is and tries to justify it, but he insists that she finally break up with Vronsky and they try to restore their family relationship.
After giving birth, torn by moral dilemmas and mentally disturbed, Anna begs her husband for forgiveness. Karenin agrees to everything and recognizes the new-born girl as his daughter. In his despair, Vronsky attempts suicide. After recovering from an illness, Anna forgets about the promises made and returns to her lover. Vronsky abandons military service, and Anna abandons her son and husband. They leave Russia together with their daughter. Karenin forbids Anna to meet her son Seryozha.
After a treatment in the German mineral baths, Kitty has completely recovered from the pain of love and is now more calm and settled. She realizes that Levin is the complete opposite of the man with whom she was madly in love. With the persistence of his love, Levin manages to win her heart, and this time she gladly agrees to marry him. The two get married in the country estate, where they settle to live according to Tolstoy's golden rule – knowing the happiness of unpretentious souls. They are joyfully awaiting the birth of their son.
Anna and Vronsky's departure for Italy only briefly brings them happiness, as her remorse and longing for her son grow with each passing day, and Vronsky cannot get over his leaving military service. They return to St. Petersburg, trying to lead a normal life and re-enter the familiar circles of society. However, they face only condemnation, as high society rejects Anna, who in their eyes is a fallen woman.
From that moment on, their relationship cracks and they begin to blame each other for missed opportunities. Anna wants to divorce Karenin, but he refuses on religious grounds, persuaded by Countess Lidia Ivanovna, who is his most trusted person and the only one who has influence over him. Slowly but surely, Anna begins to lose ground under her feet and finds it increasingly difficult to bear the separation from Seryozha, who has learned from his father that his mother has died. She secretly goes to see her son, but their meeting only increases her despair. Anna becomes increasingly irritable and unpleasant to live with, unwittingly punishing Vronsky.
The circles of society do not accept Anna, who at every appearance in society is subjected to humiliation and collective condemnation, while at the same time Vronsky continues to be a well-received guest everywhere. For a short time, the two retire to a country estate, where, left to each other, their relationship deteriorates even more and their lives become increasingly dark. They return to the city. Vronsky is grumpy because of his sacrificed career and despondent over the fact that his child bears Karenin's surname. Again he insists that Anna get a divorce, but one more time Karenin does not agree. Jealousy consumes Anna, because Vronsky increasingly attends social events, and at night she waits in vain for his return, soothing herself with morphine. She goes through various disappointments and reaches the point where she can no longer bear her life, which seems to her like a vicious circle. In complete mental disorder and unable to see a way out of the situation, she throws herself under the train to free herself from everyone – and from herself.
After the tragedy, Vronsky, who also cannot cope with the situation, goes to war.