The musical "Nord-Ost" is based on "Two Captains", a novel by Veniamin Kaverin.
The life of two generations is depicted in the background of real events of Russian history.
A romantic epoch set in the context of the discovery of the north-east lands, the search for a Northern sea route through the ice of the Arctic ocean, stormy revolution years, World War II, the Siege of Leningrad, and the development of Russian polar aviation - these are the milestones through which the plot is moved.
†††† Captain Tatarinovís Arctic Region expedition on the ďSt MariaĒ schooner perishes. In his farewell letter the captain names his brother Nickolay as the cause of all his troubles.†
†††† A mute boy, Sanya Grigoriev, witnesses a postmanís murder.† Sanyaís father is accused, wrongly, of the crime, but speechless Sanya isnít able to convey the truth.† He doesnít realize yet that he is seeing his father for the last time. The boy is still in possession of the bag of letters that the postman failed to deliver.
†††† Maria Tatarinova is eager for her husband to return from his expedition, but having long waited without any message from him, she leaves Arkhangelsk with her mother, Nina Kapitonovna, and small daughter Katya. The captainís brother, Nickolay, takes them to Moscow. Maria says goodbye to Korablev, a devoted friend of the Tatarinov family.† Korablev encounters the weeping Sanya at the empty pier.† Filled with compassion for the boy, he teaches Sanya how to overcome his muteness by will and patience.
†††† The ruin and chaos of civil war reign over the country.† The orphaned Sanya wanders from city to city with his only possession Ė the Arkhangelsk postmanís mail bag.† As a result of his determined persistence he, following Korablevís advice, finds the gift of speech.
††† A happy coincidence reunites Sanya and Korablev in Moscow. Korablev, who now works as a teacher, persuades the school-communeís director - Nickolay Tatarinov - to take the orphaned waif in.† Sanya acquires new friends:† Valka Zhoukov and Romashov.† By chance he meets the directorís niece, Katia Tatarinova, a courageous and resolute girl. She intercedes for Sanya, who has broken one of Tatarinovís instruments.†
††† Korablev asks Maria to marry him, but she refuses Ė the captainís widow still isnít reconciled to the loss of her beloved husband. Nickolay, who is not indifferent to Maria, provokes an argument and turns Korablev and Sanya (who happens to witness the scene) out of the house. Sanya and Nickolay Tatrinov become enemies.†
††† The mature Katya and Sanya have fallen in love.† On New Yearís Eve Katya invites her friends to a party at her house.† From her story about her father Sanya suddenly realizes that Captain Tatarinovís farewell letter is among the letters in the postmanís bag.† Romashov, wishing to curry favour with Nickolay Tatarinov, at his request steals a page from this letter. However Sanya remembers the text by heart. He reproduces from memory the missing page, in which the captain accuses his brother Nickolay for the expeditionís failure. Maria is aghast, because only recently she has become the wife of Nikolay, having given in to his persistent persuasion. The intolerable notion that she has betrayed her love drives Maria to suicide.
††† Nikolay Tatarinov accuses Sanya of slander.† Sanya turns to Katya for understanding, but she also turns away from him. He is in despair:† As a child Sanya lost his father because he could not speak and now the truth he speaks leads to the death of Katyaís mother.† Still, after a fierce internal struggle, Sanya is determined not to surrender. He swears to find the remnants of the lost expedition. He will never be speechless again.††
††† Sanya Grigoriev has become a pilot. He dreams of making an Arctic flight following the route of Captain Tatarinovís lost expedition.† Enlisting the support of the famous pilot Valeriy Chkalov, Sanya comes to Moscow to seek official sanction from the Arctic Ocean Sea-lane Administration (GlavSevMorPut)
††† His old friend Valka Zhoukov persuades Sanya to meet with Katya. Sanya still† loves her, though he has not seen her for nine years. Sanyaís phone call finds Katya in the midst of Romashovís declaration of love, during which† he proposes marriage to her, as he has many times before.†† Without a word, Katya runs from the† apartment.† Blackmailing Nickolay Tatarinov with the damning page from the letter, Romashov demands his help in getting the rival from his way.†
††† Sanya and Katya wander together in the cityís twilight, but bitter memoirs keep them from finding the necessary words.† What is more, because of the intrigues of Romashov and Nickolay Tatarinov, pilot Grigoriev has been refused GlavSevMorPutís permission to organize a search expedition to the Arctic Region.† The dismayed Sanya is forced to leave Moscow.† However, Katya appears at the station at the last minute. The long-awaited declaration of love takes place at last.† Katya tells Sanya that she has decided to leave her uncle and move to Leningrad.
††† The war again separates Katya and Sanya.† Katya and her grandmother remain in besieged Leningrad. Romashov finds her there, half dead, and tells her that he encountered the seriously wounded Sanya in a hospital train, but the train was attacked by German tanks.† He tells her that he tried to rescue Sanya, but was unsuccessful.† Katya throws Romashov out, accusing him of treachery.
††† Romashov has lied.† He has in fact left Sanya in a wood hoping he would not survive. In hysterics Romashov relives the circumstances of the encounter and realizes he has been defeated.
††† Hope returns to Katya.† She feels that Sanya is alive, and believes that her love will rescue him.† But she remains lonely:† her grandmother dies, unable to survive the hardships of the Leningrad siege.† Katyaís strength, too, is waning.
††† Despite all the difficult circumstances, Sanya manages to survive.† In searching for Katya he comes to Tatarinovís apartment. Romashov opens the door.† The apartment has markedly deteriorated, and former master Nickolay Tatarinov is paralyzed and mute.† Terrible news awaits Sanya here:† Romashov tells him that Katya died in Leningrad.
††† Captain Grigoriev fights desperate air battles in his polar aircraft.† After one victorious air battle his plane makes an emergency landing in a Nenets nomad camp.† Among the implements the natives bring for repairing the plane, Sanya finds a hook from the ďSt MariaĒ schooner. He doesnít believe his eyes.† The elders tell him that they saw Captain Tatarinov before his death and have even saved the shipís logbook.† Sanyaís cherished dream has come true, but it brings him little happiness now, with Katya dead.
††† Fortunately, he is mistaken: Katya is alive!† In spite of everything, she finds her beloved in a polar military base, at the very edge of the earth.† They are together again.† They are at last happy. They are flying on the wings of the dream that came true.