Ballet in three acts and twelve scenes

Choreography Yuri Grigorovich · Composer Aram Chatschaturjan · Libretto von Yuri Grigorovich nach der gleichnamigen Novelle von Raffaello Giovagnolli unter Verwendung von Ideen des Szenarios von Nikolai Volkov

  • Partner des Bayerischen Staatsballetts

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Cast for all dates

Musikalische Leitung
Karen Durgaryan
Choreographie und Inszenierung
Yuri Grigorovich
Simon Virsaladze

Sergei Polunin (03-25-2019) , N.N. (03-29-2019, 04-15-2019, 05-08-2019, 05-11-2019, 05-22-2019, 05-31-2019) , Vladimir Shklyarov (04-01-2019)
  • Soloists and corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
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Spartacus gilt als eines der erfolgreichsten sowjetischen Ballette überhaupt. Es lehnt sich an das Leben des thrakischen Gladiatoren Spartacus an, dessen Sklavenaufstand 71 v. Chr. im Süden der italienischen Halbinsel niedergeschlagen und der zusammen mit ca. 6000 weiteren aufständischen Sklaven durch Kreuzigung hingerichtet wurde.

Verwoben mit den politischen Ereignissen wird die Liebesgeschichte zwischen Spartacus und seiner Ehefrau Phrygia. Als weitere historische Person erscheint der römische Feldherr Crassus. Er und seine Geliebte Aegina bilden das Antagonisten-Paar zu Spartacus und Phrygia.

Wie die Thematik des Epos‘, so ist auch die Musik überwältigend. Schostakowitsch äußerte sich zu Chatschaturjans Komposition einst: Das Wertvollste in diesem Ballett ist die gewaltige Ausdrucksstärke der Musik, ihre Überzeugungskraft und Bewegtheit. Besonders populär wurde die Musik des Pas de deux von Spartacus und Phrygia (Adagio) aus dem dritten Akt. Die BBC verwendete sie als Titelmusik zur Fernsehserie The Onedin Line.

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Act I
Scene 1

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 andPhrygia.

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 aspectacle. 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 backhis 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 out of the barracks to freedom.

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 andpopulace 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 thearrival 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 Romannobility.

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 min haveall 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, letshim go. That all shall know of Crassus's dishonor is punishment enough. The jubilant insurgents praise the victory of Spartacus.

Scene 9

Crasuss 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 - deathto 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'sencampment.

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

Scene 11
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 eroticdances and, as a result, they put 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 woundedhero, the Roman soldiers crucify him on their spears.

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 Spartacuslive forever...

Als erste Compagnie der westlichen Welt tanzt das Bayerische Staatsballett die Spartacus-Fassung von Yuri Grigorovich, die er 1968 fürs Bolschoi-Ballett erarbeitete und die seitdem als historischer Meilenstein in der Geschichte des sowjetischen Balletts gefeiert wird.

Damit fügt sich die Premiere ins Münchner Konzept der Präsentation maßstabsetzender ballettgeschichtlicher Produktionen.

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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.

(Status: January 2019)

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