Composer: Andrei Golovin
Choreographer: Anton Pimonov
Librettist and Designer: Anna Matison
Lighting Designer: Alexander Sivaev
In a secluded corner of the forest in a dark grove Bambi the young deer has been born. Still barely an infant he is already standing, trembling on his legs. The different sounds of the forest startle him. He takes one step and then another and joyfully leaps through the woods. His mother tenderly watches her son.
Each deer is a prince by birth, and the residents of the forest are keen to meet the new prince. While playing, Bambi bumps into the Hedgehog who curls up into a ball. He is initially annoyed, but then graciously welcomes the young deer. A beautiful butterfly flies past in haste – Bambi really wants a closer look! The polite and well-brought-up Hare starts a conversation with the young prince. Bambi makes friends with the timid Squirrel, the Beetle, the Grasshopper and the haughty Fox – so many acquaintances... But suddenly his heart freezes with joy – he sees other deer just like him. It is the beautiful Falina and the noble Ronno. The young deer make friends, moving across the meadow and chasing each other. The playing children are watched by an elderly stag. He keeps his eyes on Bambi – his son – and then disappears behind the trees. Bambi carefully watches the Old Leader and only a nut dropped by the Squirrel rouses him from his torpor.
Spring and summer pass in carefree games. The children mature and emerge into powerful adolescent deer. Bambi keeps an increasingly keen eye on Falina; he really likes her. But he’s not the only one who likes her.
Winter follows autumn and the ground is deeply covered with snow. There is no more time for play – the whole day is spent looking for food. While seeking out moss or other withered grasses the deer dig the snow with their hooves. On one such gloomy day Bambi hears a terrifying noise – it is the shot of the Hunter’s gun. In panic the beasts plunge into the undergrowth and Bambi’s mother is left lying alone in the snow. Bambi runs to her to help, but he sees that Falina is in danger – the hunter as aimed his gun at her. Infuriated, in one powerful leap he kicks his enemy down and saves his friend. But at the same time the hunters take his mother away. Bambi will never see her again.
One day all that was bad is in the past. Bambi and Falina spend all their time together and Bambi forgets about everything other than his darling. But Ronno, sensing he may be a rival, is furious. He challenges his rival to a duel and when Bambi refuses to fight he insults Falina. Protecting her, Bambi attacks Ronno himself and emerges victorious. Ronno has to take his leave. But Bambi is annoyed at having quarrelled. He retreats into the grove to be alone.
At the same time, people appear once again in the forest. They have come to cut down the largest tree – an oak which is the Squirrel’s home. In despair it asks for Bambi’s help.
Someone has to get rid of these uninvited intruders – the forest-dwellers need a new leader, someone brave and strong. The majestic Old Leader calls his son and passes on his crown. The new leader goes to the tree which has been cut down and sends the people fleeing and peace and tranquillity are restored to the forest.
Soon Falina and Bambi have two children of their own – Geno and Gurri.
In the Jungle
Bambi’s children the deer Gurri and Geno are walking alone. Playing, they suddenly find themselves in a strange part of the forest – it is dark and mysterious. Geno is afraid, but Gurri is delighted at this new adventure. She thinks up a new piece of fun – rolling in liana plants as if they were swings. They are joined by another two deer – Boso and Lana. The imagination of these happy four deer transforms the wood into magical jungles and the liana into a snake. The Woodpecker appears, followed by the Jay and even a Tiger. But Geno suddenly stops playing – he senses that strangers have arrived in the forest.
Suddenly people appear in the field – they are behaving disgracefully and in an unruly fashion. The animals all prefer to hide – only the curious Gurri remains to observe them.
One man stands out from the rest of the noisy company – he is the Hunter. He might be able to keep the people quiet for some time, but as soon as he turns his back the merriment will be louder than before. Suddenly the Hunter spots Gurri. The trusting and bold deer wants to prove what it is capable of. Gurri leaps merrily, trying to repeat the movements she has seen from people but stumbles, falls and cannot get up. The observers lose interest in her and depart. Only the hunter tries to help the unlucky beast. He picks Gurri up and takes her out of the forest. Geno returns with his friends but is in despair at not finding his sister and thinks she has died.
Night falls. Bambi is looking for his daughter. He is assisted by the Fire-Flies – by lighting the path they take him in the Hunter’s path. Seeing the Leader, the Hunter bows down before him and restores Gurri to him. She can walk, but she is still very weak. Bambi leaves her in the meadow surrounded by the Fire-Flies and himself disappears into a clearing. In the curative glow of the Fire-Flies she recovers.
Early in the morning Gurri awakes happy and confident – the birds are singing all around and life is beautiful once more. Geno and the other animals are delighted that she is well again.
Suddenly Geno hears something and makes a sign – the people are returning!
The forest carefully conceals its residents from their enemies. Breaking branches and throwing the liana plants to the side, the hunters pass through the clearing. Suddenly they see Gurri. She makes no attempt to flee and in surprise looks at the hunter taking aim at her. A shot rings out, but at the last minute the Hunter himself manages to stand in the way. In fury the animals launch themselves at their assailants. In the stormy battle the people are beaten and run away in shame.
Night falls in the jungle. Gurri feels sorry for her wounded protector. The Fire-Flies descend – with their magical light they cure the Hunter. The animals are happy.
But suddenly the leaves rustle again and the animals freeze – but this time the people come in friendship. They apologise to Gurri and she forgives them. Peace has been restored.
From afar Bambi, now the Leader, looks on.