Act I Scene 1
Karashakh's palace. The courtyard is waiting for the lord, who comes back from the next campaign. Court girls and warriors meet him dancing. However, Karashakh wishes to see refined, graceful dance in which every movement is filled with the deep meaning, emphasizing the beauty of his beloved dancer – Comde. This dance is the whole poem, the hymn of joy.
Karashakh admires Comde, and the court artist paints her portrait. The dance is over, and the portrait is finished as well. Comde delighted with the portrait, Karashakh also likes it. Karashakh loves Comde and he shows the love in every possible way. Nevertheless, the young dancer does not know this feeling yet. Karashakh is insidious: so that the artist can never create anything more beautiful, he orders to blind him.
Comde is despaired – she cannot allow such cruelty and decides on the trick. She carps at a portrait, asks to remake it. Angry Karashakh leaves.
Comde admires the talent of the artist, and he is delighted with her art of the dancer.
Comde helps the artist to run from the palace.
Area on the slope of mountains in another country. The youth gathered here. Beautiful, smooth dances of girls are replaced by courageous dances of the young men. In the center of fun is Modan – a singer and the musician, the common favorite. He plays the tambour, involving all in dance.
The artist also comes here. He admires Comde's portrait – the best of his creations. Modan encounters the artist and sees a portrait; he is dazed by beauty of the girl. Understanding that he will not be able to live more without her, Modan says goodbye to friends and goes to meet his fate.
Fairground. There are competitions of musicians, singers, and dancers. Modan has come here after the long wanderings and search. He sings about the love, looking for Comde everywhere.
Suddenly, the guards of Karashakh break into the square. Sweeping away everything on the way, they take away clowns, singers, and musicians.
Modan also follows them.
The Palace festival is in full swing. Musicians and clowns were brought from the fairground. Court entertains Karashakh. Dances of palace girls are replaced by dancing of the fawning clowns.
However, here the Modan’s song sounds.
Comde watches the beautiful young man who sings so perfectly about love. She begins to dance under sounds of his tambour.
Two hearts sing in unison, they talk about love, no one exists for them now; there are only great love and song of the magic tambour.
Karashakh is enraged. He orders to behead the impudent fellow who dared to encroach on what belongs to him. Only entreaties about mercy and Karashakh's hope for Comde's reciprocity save Modan from a certain death.
Karashakh expels Modan from the palace.
The tambour is broken, lovers are separated, but their hearts stay together.
Endless desert. Exhausted by the thirst of love, Modan sees his Comde everywhere. The bowl of love is overflowed, and like Medzhnun, he is burned with separation from darling.
Modan's friends come in hope to save him. But Modan dies away on their eyes, singing of the love.
The people mourn Modan's death.
Wonderful garden. Comde dreams of the Modan embracing his tambour. Karashakh's arrival destroys Comde's dreams. He is overflowed with feeling to her and praying for her about love. But, having understood that Comde will never answer him in return, Karashakh is in despair. He could not manage to take away their dream even by separating lovers.
Karashakh is on the verge of madness and pursued by Modan's shadow everywhere.
Square in front of the palace. Modan's body was brought here. The people are numb,
Comde is in despair, Karashakh is shoked.
Comde dies because she could not accept the death of beloved.
Only death could connect lovers.
Great love of Comde and Modan carries away in Eternity.