Malanka: One Magical Night
6:00 PM, Saturday, January 13, 2024
Meridian Banquets, Edmonton
As the story begins, we are taken to a busy street scene, where villagers are gathering excitedly in preparation for the celebration of the New Year. Music of Koliadky and Schedrivky fill the air, giving a tone of warmth and hope to the early evening atmosphere. A young peasant girl, Malanka, is in the midst of the fray, but she is too busy answering to every whim of her spoiled stepsisters and loathing stepmother to enjoy her share of the excitement.
The Grand Duke arrives in the village, proclaiming that his royal highness Prince Vasyl is hosting a Royal Malanka Celebration at the castle and the whole countryside is invited. He also describes that the Prince himself will be choosing a bride from amongst the guests of the celebration.
Knowing that her stepmother would never allow her to attend, young Malanka acquires an invitation and hides it, enchanted by thoughts of a night of magic which she could have only ever dreamed of. A local beggar woman takes notice of Malanka’s kindness of heart and reveals that power can come from unlikely places.
Prince Vasyl parades through the various regions of Ukraine, only half-heartedly invested in his own future kingship. But on the evening of the celebration, when a mysterious girl suddenly arrives at the celebration and then just as quickly disappears, it emboldens something within him, and he decides to comb the entire countryside again, searching for this girl who has captivated his heart.
Both prince and peasant girl learn on the evening of this Schedry Vechir, that kindness, courage, and perseverance are virtues that, in combination, can be more powerful than the most magical of spells.