Act I

Ardalyon Peredonov informs his friends that he is going to marry Varvara.

Varvara is under the auspices of Countess Volchanskaya. The Countess promised that she would help Ardalyon get an inspector’s job if he married Varvara.

Rutilov offers Peredonov to marry one of his sisters. Peredonov does not trust anyone, even Varvara. Varvara and Marya Osipovna want to write a letter to Peredonov in the name of the Countess.

Ardalyon quarrels with Varvara and suddenly asks s Lyudmila Rutilova to become his wife.

Peredonov spreads the rumor that Sasha Pylnikov, who lives in Kokovkina’s house, is in fact a girl.

At this time, Ardalyon’s friends are trying to win the heart of Varvara.

Lyudmila Rutilova wants to make sure that the rumors about Sasha are true. She visits Sasha’s apartment.

The Director of the gymnasium invites a doctor for Sasha. The doctor conducts the examination and confirms that Sasha is a man.

Peredonov is waiting for a letter from the Countess.

Ardalyon goes mad. He sees a strange creature in front of him. In a delirium, he dreams of Lyudmila.

Peredonov receives a letter from the Countess. He promises to marry Varvara and offers Lyudmila to become his mistress. Marya Osipovna laughs at Ardalyon and tells Pavlusha that it was she who wrote a letter.

His Excellency appears at the wedding of Peredonov and Varvara. He talks about how fun he spent time with Countess Volchanskaya and reports that she died eight years ago.

Act II

Peredonov’s delusional. He asks Varvara to write the Countess a letter, but she refuses. Peredonov writes a letter to the Countess himself.

Sasha and Lyudmila play strange games. Kokovkina, who saw these games, is horrified.

In anticipation of the arrival of the Countess Peredonov and Pavlushka dream of getting rid of Varvara and Marya Osipovna. In turn, women dream of poiso­ning men.

The Director of the gymnasium shows His Excellency the complaints by the residents of the city against each other. The Director offers his protection and love to Lyudmila.

He asks Peredonov to go on extended vacation and not to appear in the gymnasium. Peredonov says that he no longer obeys the Director, because he will soon take the post of inspector.

Sasha wants to meet with Lyudmila, but she refuses to answer him, because she agrees to marry the Director.

Residents of the city are preparing for a masquerade. Sasha appears in the image of the Countess Volchanskaya. He reads a letter in which he reports that this day Peredonov’s dream will come true. Pavlusha says that this is a joke. Peredonov in a fit of madness kills him and begins his last literature lesson.

General sponsor of the Bolshoi Theatre is Ingosstrakh Insurance Company
General partner of the Bolshoi Theatre is investment group Absolute
Privileged sponsor of the Bolshoi Theatre is Credit Suisse bank
Privileged partner of the Bolshoi Theatre is GUM