Information

Ballet in three acts and twelve scenes

Choreography Yuri Grigorovich · Composer Aram Chatschaturjan · Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich based on the novel by Raffaello Gionagnolli, with a scenario by Nikolai Volkov

Wednesday, 22. May 2019
07:30 pm – 10:20 pm
Nationaltheater

Duration est. 2 hours 50 minutes · 1. Akt (est. 07:30 pm - 08:10 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:10 pm - 08:40 pm ) · 2. Akt (est. 08:40 pm - 09:15 pm ) · Interval (est. 09:15 pm - 09:35 pm ) · 3. Akt (est. 09:35 pm - 10:20 pm )

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Premiere at 22. December 2016

#BSBspartacus

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Cast

Musikalische Leitung
Karen Durgaryan
Choreographie und Inszenierung
Yuri Grigorovich
Ausstattung
Simon Virsaladze

Spartacus
N.N.
Crassus
N.N.
Phrygia
N.N.
Aegina
N.N.
Gladiator
N.N.
  • Soloists and corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester

Cast for all dates

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SPARTACUS: Bildergalerie

Spartacus: Jonah Cook (Crassus), Ensemble (Foto: © Wilfried...
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SPARTACUS: Bildergalerie

Spartacus: Ivy Amista (Phrygia) (Foto: © Wilfried Hösl) ...
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SPARTACUS: Bildergalerie

Spartacus: Maria Shirinkina (Phrygia) (Foto: © Wilfried...
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Spartacus: Osiel Gouneo (Spartacus) (Foto: © Wilfried Hösl) ...
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Spartacus: Osiel Gouneo (Spartacus) (Foto: © Wilfried Hösl) ...
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Spartacus: Ensemble (Foto: © Wilfried Hösl)
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Spartacus is about the Thracian gladiator Spartacus, who initiated a slave uprising in 71 BC, to fight against oppression and for their freedom. The political story is mingled with the love story of Spartacus and his wife Phrygia.

The Bayerische Staatsballett was the first Western European company to present Yuri Grigorovich’s Spartacus in 2016. With this piece, the company adds another production to its repertoire which set standards in ballet history even though its dance aesthetic is hardly known in Western Europe: the rhythms remember marches and underline the strong, energetic steps, which require not only in the solo parts the most brilliant technique and highest of condition.

The music from Aram Chatschaturjan is just as overwhelming as the topic of the epic itself. Schostakowitsch once said about the composition: “The most precious thing in this ballet is the expressiveness of the music, its persuasive power and agility.” The music was popular not only in theatres: The melody from the pas de deux of Spartacus and Phrygia (Adagio) was used by the BBC as theme melody for the TV series The Onedin Line.

 

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Act I
Scene 1

Invasion
The military machine of imperial Rome, led by Crassus, wages a cruel campaign of conquest, destroying everything in its path. Among the chained prisoners, who are doomed to slavery, are Spartacus and Phrygia.

Spartacus's Monologue
Spartacus is in despair. Born a free man, he is now a slave in chains.

Scene 2
The Slave Market
Slave dealers separate the men and women prisoners for sale to rich Romans. Spartacus is parted from Phrygia.

Phrygia's Monologue
Phrygia is overcome with grief. She thinks with horror of the terrifying ordeals that lie ahead of her.

Scene 3
Orgy at Crassus's Palace
Mimes and courtesans entertain the guests, making fun of Phrygia, Crassus's new slave. Aegina draws Crassus into a frenzied, bacchanalian dance. Drunk with wine and passion, Crassus demands a spectacle. Two gladiators are to fight to death in helmets with closed visors, i.e. without seeing each other. The victor's helmet is removed. It is Spartacus.

Spartacus's Monologue
Against his will, Spartacus has been forced to murder a fellow man. His despair develops into anger and protest. He will no longer tolerate captivity. He has but one choice of action - to win back his freedom.

Scene 4
The Gladiators' Barracks
Spartacus incites the gladiators to revolt. They swear an oath of loyalty to him and, of one accord, break their manacles and flee from Rome.

Act II
Scene 5

The Appian Way
Having broken out of their captivity and finding themselves on Appian Way, surrounded by shepherds, Spartacus's followers call the latter to join the uprising. Shepherds and populace proclaim Spartacus as their leader.

Spartacus's Monologue
The thought of Phrygia's fate as a slave gives Spartacus no peace. He is haunted by memories of his loved one whom he thinks of day and night.

Scene 6
Crasuss's Villa
His search for Phrygia leads Spartacus to Crassus's villa. The two lovers are overjoyed at their reunion. But, due to the arrival of a procession of patricians, led by Aegina, they are forced to hide.

Aegina's Monologue
Aegina has long dreamed of seducing and gaining power over Crassus. Her goal is to win him and thereby gain legal admittance to the world of the Roman nobility.

Scene 7
Feast at Crasuss's Villa
Crassus celebrates his victories. The patricians sing his praises. The festivities are cut short by an alarming piece of news: Spartacus and his men have all but surrounded the villa. The panic-stricken guests disperse. Crassus and Aegina are also forced to flee. Spartacus breaks into the villa.

Spartacus's Monologue
Victory! It elates him and fills him with faith that the uprising will be successful. Victory!

Scene 8
Spartacus's Victory
Spartacus's men have taken Crassus prisoner and want to kill him, but Spartacus is not bent on revenge and suggests that they should engage in single-handed combat. Crassus accepts the challenge and suffers defeat: Spartacus knocks the sword out of his hand. Crassus makes ready demonstratively to meet his death, but Spartacus, with a gesture of contempt, let's him go. That all shall know of Crassus's dishonor is punishment enough. The jubilant insurgents praise the victory of Spartacus.

Act III
Scene 9

Crassus Takes His revenge
Crassus is tormented by his disgrace. Fanning his hurt pride, Aegina calls on him to take his revenge. There is only one way forward - death to the insurgents. Crassus summons his legions. Aegina sees him off to battle.

Aegina's Monologue
Spartacus is Aegina's enemy too. The defeat of Crassus will be her downfall. Aegina devises a perfidious plan - she will sew dissension in Spartacus's encampment.

Scene 10
Spartacus's Encampment
Spartacus and Phrygia are happy to be together. But suddenly his military commanders bring news that Crassus is on the move with a large army. Spartacus decides to give battle but, overcome by cowardice, some of his warriors desert their leader.

Scene 11
Dissension
Aegina infiltrates the ranks of the traitors who, though they have abandoned Spartacus, might still be persuaded to go with him. Together with the courtesans she seduces the men with wine and erotic dances and, as a result, they throw all caution to the winds. Having lured the traitors into a trap, Aegina hands them over to Crassus.

Spartacus's Monologue
Crassus is consumed by the wish for revenge. Spartacus shall pay with his death for the humiliation that he, Crassus, was forced to undergo.

Scene 12
The Last Battle
Spartacus's forces are surrounded by the Roman legions. Spartacus's devoted friends perish in unequal combat. Spartacus fights on fearlessly right up to the bitter end but, closing in on the wounded hero, the Roman soldiers crucify him on their spears.

Requiem
Phrygia retrieves Spartacus's body from the battle field. She mourns her beloved, her grief is inconsolable. Raising her arms skywards, Phrygia appeals to the heavens that the memory of Spartacus live forever...

The Bayerisches Staatsballett is the first Western European company to dance Yuri Grigorovich’s Spartacus, which he created in 1968 for the Bolshoi Ballet and is seen as historic milestone in the history of the Soviet ballet. The premier in Munich fits into the concept of presenting productions that set standards to ballet history.

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Biographies

Conductor

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Karen Durgaryan is graduated from the Yerevan State Conservatory in 1996 and has studied with Prof. Mousin at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1997. In 1995 he was appointed an Associate Conductor of the Armenian State Philharmonic Orchestra and the following year has been the Music Director of «Britten and Armenia» International Music Festival in Yerevan. Since 1997 he has been the music director and conductor of the Yerevan State Music Chamber Theater where he realized performances of Britten’s Golden Vanity, Orff’s Bernauer’s Daughter and Adjemian’s Kikos. In 1997 he performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, Great Britain, to the highest public acclaim.

In March 2001, Mr. Durgaryan assumed position of the Principal Conductor of the Armenian National State Opera and Ballet Theatre. In 2001-2002 he made productions of the operas Carmen by Bizet and Norma by Bellini presented also at the Bolshoi Theater New Stage, Moscow in January 2003.

Since then he has frequently conducted in Italy the Symphony Orchestra of the Teatro Lirico, Cagliari, the Orchestra of the Teatro Regio, Turin, the Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova (with the renowned cellist Enrico Dindo as soloist) a new production of Evgeni Onegin by P.I.Tchaikovsky at the Teatro Verdi, Sassari in addition to concerts with the Luigi Cherubini Orchestra (Artistic Director – Riccardo Muti) and the Toradze Piano Studio’s soloists, including its internationally famous leader Alexander Toradze for the Ravenna Festival. He has recently collaborated with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo presenting among other works, the Symphony nr. 2 concertante for duduk and orchestra by Armenian composer Vache Sharafyan and will make his debut with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto in May 2012.

In Portugal he has conducted the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra and the Sao Carlos National Opera Company Choir in Lisbon. In Russia he has inaugurated the Musical Olympus Festival in 2006 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since 2000 he conducts major performances of Lebanese diva Fairuz, the greatest singer of Arabic world. Under his baton Fairuz accompanied by international symphony orchestra and choir has performed at the Beiteddine Festival’s three editions (2000, 2001, 2003). The CD «Fairuz Live at the Beiteddine 2000» produced by Ziad Rahbani with the EMI gets the highest international acclaim. The Beiteddine concerts were followed by performances with Fairuz in the UAE (2001, 2002, 2003, 2006); Kuwait (2001); Basel (Switzerland, 2001); Paris (France, 2002); Mohegan Sun, Los Angeles, Detroit (USA, 2003); Doha (Qatar, 2003), Amman (Jordan, 2004); Montreal (Canada, 2005), Athens (Greece, 2007), Bahrain (2008). In 2008 maestro appeared with Ziad Rahbani accompanied by international symphony orchestra and choir in Syria with five concerts within the frames of the Damascus Festival of Arab Cultural Capital 2008.

In the spring of 2008 Karen Durgaryan made his debut at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St.Petersburg where he has conducted the productions of Evgeni Onegin by Tchaikovsky, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and the new production of Spartacus Ballet by Aram Khachaturyan, including performances at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and at the London Coliseum. Between October 2008 and February 2009 he has conducted numerous performances and concerts with the Mikhailovsky Theatre in Italy (Teatro La Fenice, Venice) and in Japan.

In May 2010 Karen Durgaryan has premiered Spartacus Ballet with the Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (produced by Yuri Grigorovich) in Yerevan and Damascus, Syria. In December 2010 the new production of Aida by Verdi became one of the most important cultural events in Armenia. In 2010 he has appeared at the podium of the Kazan State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Since July 2010 Karen Durgaryan has started collaboration with the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg: by the invitation of maestro Valery Gergiev he has conducted three performances of Spartacus Ballet. On 15 September 2010 Karen has conducted the Mariinsky’s 2010-2011 season opening performance to be followed by other performances in St. Petersburg, Moscow and abroad. The year of 2011 maestro has started with performances in Italy and St. Petersburg. Since 2008 Karen Durgaryan has the title of Honored Artist of Republic of Armenia, in 2010 is awarded with highest medal of Armenia in field of art and culture.

In December 2016, Karen Durgaryan gave his debut with the Bayerisches Staatsballett conducting Spartacus.

(Information as of January 2019)

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