Aram Khachaturian

ballet in three acts

Friday | 5 May 2023|19:00

Age 12+

Дирижер – Николай Колядко


Libretto, сhoreography and staging: People’s Artist of the USSR and Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Valentin Elizariev
Composer: People’s Artist of the USSR, laureate of State Prizes of the USSR Aram Khachaturian
Musical director: People’s Artist of the USSR, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Yaroslav Voshchak
Designer: People’s Artist of Ukraine, laureate of the State Prize of Ukraine Eugene Lysik
Conductors: Honoured Art Worker of the Republic of Belarus Nikolai Koliadko,  Vladimir Ovodok

Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes with 2 intervals
Premiere: 13 July 1980
New version premiere: 31 October 2017


Спартак – Денис Шпак

Фригия – Виктория Тренкина (1-ое исп.)

Красс – Владимир Руда (1-ое исп.)

Рабы-гладиаторы – Антон Кравченко, Юрий Ковалев, Дмитрий Уксусников (1-ое исп.), Лев Комков (1-ое исп.)

Куртизанки – Татьяна Уласень, Анастасия Вилар


Composer about his work

The ballet was conceived as a monumental account of a powerful tidal wave of ancient servile insurrection in defense of freedom of human dignity.
I created the music using the same method as the composers of the past did when they turned to historic themes: they recounted the events through the prism of their creative perception retaining a peculiar style and manner of composing … I regard the ballet Spartacus as a piece with poignant musical drama, elaborately sketched protagonists and tangible,  romantically and emotionally charged language of artistic expression. I deemed it necessary to incorporate all the achievements of modern music culture for the unfolding of the lofty theme of Spartacus. That’s why the ballet was created using modern language with the modern understanding of the problems of the musical and theatrical forms of expression.

Aram Khachaturian

A ballet critic about the ballet Spartacus

The contrast, juxtaposition of the two forces: the insurgent gladiators and the gluttonous Rome with its powerful military machine is the underlying dramatic principle of the ballet.
The main characters are also polar:  the noble, virtuous Spartacus and the seedy, voluptuary Crassus. Invoking the salute of the Roman legionaries, a gesture which became widely known in our century and transcended epochs and continents, the authors time and again, as in the previous ballets,  built bridges between the past and the present. The set in the philosophy of the artistic director was conceived not only as a red circus ring, but also as the bloody arena of history. The dance of the hands that embodied the tears, entreaties and grievances of the slaves; the episode of the long  and arduous,  by all means, the Via Crucis procession of  the insurgent gladiators and particularly the scene of Spartacus’ death produced a profound impression.

The rebels are defeated. Tragic silence reigns over the field of battle. But suddenly, as if overcoming death itself, one of the warriors rises. It is Spartacus, bidding farewell to his comrades in arms. Answering his call, the dying bequeath their last breath, their last drop of blood  to Spartacus like a holy token to extend his breath, his life for but a moment. And Spartacus lives on for eternity. Having suffered defeat in the 1st century, he gained eternal victory. In the bloody flashes that are reminiscent of the price paid for immortality those legendary warriors stand up alive, ready for new battles, shielded by the wings of Nike, the goddess of Victory.

Yulia Churko

Act 1

Act 2
Crassus’s Feast
Spartacus’s Victory

Act 3
Freedom or Death