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lecture

18:45

Fireplace Room mezzanine

Lecturer: . .

 
Artists
Spartacus Ivan Zaytsev    debut
Valeria Angelina Vorontsova    debut
Crassus Marat Shemiunov
Sabina Irina Perren

Conductor Karen Durgarian

Soprano Svetlana Monchak
Mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Kanevskaya
Credits
Libretto, choreography and production: Georgy Kovtun
Stage and Costume Design: Vyacheslav Okunev
Lighting Designer: Alexander Kibitkin

Premiere of the production: 29 April 2008
Back on Stage: 7 September 2018

Aram Khachaturians ballet Spartacus, choreographed by Georgy Kovtun, is returning to the Mikhailovsky Theatre stage. This vibrant, provocative, action-packed production caused a stir that has yet to subside. Its huge popularity with audiences has earned it a place in the theatres repertoire. The ostentatious processions, racy orgies and gladiatorial battles of the Roman Empire provide the perfect backdrop for dramatic clashes between characters and passions. The story unfolds rapidly, the scenes changing with cinematic speed. A powerful energy blurs the boundary between the stage and the auditorium.
Act I

Scene 1. ROMAN FORUM
In the centre of the forum, there is a cage full of slaves, exhibited for the kicks of the crowd. Pompeius, a Roman general, appears in the carriage pulled by the slaves, Crixus and Spartacus.

Scene 2. BARRACKS
Ares, the director of gladiators school, brings in some female slaves to entertain the enslaved warriors. Spartacus is charmed by one of them, Valeria, who returns his love. The attendants interrupt their meeting. Spartacus is enraged, but the forces are uneven.

Scene 3. PALACE
Crassus is throwing a lavish feast. Together with courtesan Sabina, they are at the frontline of the bacchanalia. The guests urge for new entertainments. They are going to watch gladiators fights.

Scene 4. ARENA
Crixus the Thracian defeats Pyrrhus the Nubian. Spartacus arrives among other Samnites and Thracians. At the end of the battle, Spartacus refuses to kill the last defeated rival and is about to leave the arena. However, he has broken the rules: Crassuss soldiers rush to grab him, but Crassus delighted with his boldness stops them.

Scene 5. BARRACKS
Crixus and Spartacus call for the riot: it is better to die as free people than to live in slavery. The gladiators charge onto the guards, take hold of their weapons and break free.

Scene 6. MT VESUVIUS
Valeria and Spartacus see their first sunrise as free people. More and more people are coming to the camp of Spartacus: the fugitive slaves join the brave gladiators. Spartacus is chosen as their leader.

Act II

Scene 7. FEAST AT SABINAS PLACE
The guards bring in the caught Crixus. Crassus challenges Crixus to fight with him and easily defeats the enslaved gladiator. Sabina seduces Crixus. Pompeius enraged by Sabinas behavior leaves the villa. Suddenly Spartacuss army storms in the palace. Crixus asks to have mercy upon all those present. Spartacus and Crixus argue. Spartacus and his warriors return to their camp.

Scene 8. SENATE
The Senate is alarmed: the riot has embraced the whole Italy. Pompeius demands from Crassus prompt actions against Spartacus. Crassus laughs over the senators fears and promises to crash Spartacus and his gladiators.

Scene 9. SABINAS ROOM
Crassus and Sabina conceive a plot against Spartacus. They will ask Crixus to bring courtesans to the gladiators camp.

Scene 10. WOODS
Shepherds are having fun with shepherdesses dressed like sheep. However, when the gladiators arrive, the shepherds choose to join the army of the rebels. Crixus brings the courtesans to the camp. Crassus and his people take advantage of the gladiators debauch and surround the camp. Crixus is desperate. He rushes to Spartacus and asks the gladiators leader to kill him. Spartacus refuses to do it and Crixus commits suicide.

Scene 11. BATTLEFIELD
Spartacus finds out a numerous army is moving to his camp. The gladiator understands that the revolt is about to be crushed. He has no choice: it is better to die than to become a slave again.

Scene 12. BATTLE
Spartacus is hemmed by the enemies. The revolt is crushed, gladiators are crucified. Valeria is mourning over Spartacus and his defeated brothers-in-arms.
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