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Boris Godunov (Opera by Modest Mussorgsky)

Boris Godunov (Opera by Modest Mussorgsky)

Opera in four acts.
Libretto by Modest Mussorgsky, based on Alexander Pushkin"s play of the same name.
Version and orchestration by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Orchestration of "At St. Basil Cathedral" scene by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov.
1948 production
Music Director: Nikolai Golovanov.
Stage Director: Leonid Baratov.
Designer: Fyodor Fedorovsky.
Choreographer: Leonid Lavrovsky.
2011 revival
Conductors: Vassily Sinaisky, Pavel Sorokin.
Director: Igor Ushakov.
Designer of scenery revival: Alyona Pikalova.
Designer of costumes revival: Elena Zaytseva.
Choreography revival: Ekaterina Mironova.
Lighting Designer: Sergei Shevchenko.
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov.
Premiered on October 16, 1948.
Sung in Russian.
Presented with three intervals.
Running time: 4 hours 07 minutes.

SYNOPSIS

Prologue
Scene 1

A crowd throngs by the high walls of the Novodevichy Monastery in Moscow. The boyar, Boris Godunov, has withdrawn to the monastery after the death of Tsar Fyodor, who did not leave an heir. That Boris will be elected to the throne is a foregone conclu sion, but he makes a show of refusing the crown so that he is not suspected of wishing to seize power. At the order of a police offi cer, the people beg Godunov to accept election to the throne:
"Do not abandon us, Father,
Do not leave us helpness!"
But Shchelkalov, secretary of the Duma, announces that Boris is implacable.

Scene 2
Square in front of the Cathedral of the As sumption in the Kremlin. A majestic pealing of bells - Boris has given his consent and is being crowned. But Tsar Boris is not happy, he is weighed down by anxiety:
"My soul is heavy,
Some instinctive fear
With ominous foreboding
Rivets my heart..."
In the Kremlin the bells are pealing and the people break out again into acclamation.

Act I
Scene 1

Late at night. A cell in the Chudov Monaste ry. By the light of an icon-lamp, the wise monk Pimen is writing a truthful chronicle of the history of the Russian state. In his chronicle, Pimen reveals the secret of the murder, by Boris Godunov, of Tsarevitch Dimitri who had stood between him and the throne. Grigory, a young novice, sharing Pimen"s cell, wakes up. He listens to the holy man"s tale and a storm of anxieties, passions and vainglorious ambitions breaks into the peace of the night. The idea comes to Grigo ry of calling himself the Tsarevitch and of doing battle with Boris for the throne.
"Boris! Boris! All tremble before you,
No one dares to remind you
Of the fate of the hapless infant...
But meanwhile a hermit in a dark cell
Is writing a terrible denunciation against you.
And you shall not escape human judgment,
As you shall not escape the judgment of heaven!"

Scene 2
An inn near the Lithuanian frontier. Three va gabond monks, Varlaam, Missail and Grigory, have dropped in on the sprightly, merry mistress of the establishment. Varlaam, a drunkard and glutton, sings a song about the capture of Kazan. Grigory, questions the mi stress of the inn on the best route to Lithuania. A police officer comes into the inn: on the Tsar"s orders he is searching for the run away monk, Grigory Otrepiev. After an un successful attempt to deflect the suspicion from himself, Grigory leaps through the win dow and makes good his escape.

Act II
Scene 3

The Tsar"s private apartment in the Kremlin. Tsarevitch Fyodor is looking at the "Book of the Big Drawing", the first map of Russia. Ksenia, Boris" daughter, is grieving before a portrait of her dead fiancй, the heir to the Danish throne. In an attempt to cheer her up, her old nurse tells her a funny story. Boris comes in and talks tenderly to his children, he is pleased to see his son gleaning wis dom from a book. But even here, with his children, Boris is tormented by anguish. Russia has been visited by a terrible famine. "Peop le affected with the plague wander about like wild animals", and the common people bla me the Tsar for all their troubles: "in the squ ares they curse the name of Boris". Some thing approaching a groan breaks out from deep down inside the Tsar:
"All around is darkness and impenetrable gloom,
O, for a fleeting glimpse of a ray of joy!..
Some secret anxiety,
One inconstantly expecting disaster!.."
The boyar, Shuisky, comes in, a cunning courtier and leader of a group of boyars with seditious intentions. He brings bad news: a pretender has raised his head in Lithuania, having taken the name of the Tsarevitch Dimi tri. He has the support of the King of Poland, the Polish nobles and the Pope. Boris requires Shuisky to tell him the truth: is he certain that the babe who was killed in the town of Uglich was the Tsarevitch Dimitri? Shuisky, enjoying the Tsar"s torment, descri bes the deep wound on the Tsarevitch"s neck, and the angelic smile on his lips...
"It seemed, that in his cradle
He was peacefully sleeping..."
Shuisky departs, having aroused with new force the fears and agitation which grip Bo ris: the latter now thinks he sees an appari tion of the murdered Dimitri.

Act III
Scene 4

A ball in the garden of Mnishek, the Governor of Sandomir. The Polish nobles are preparing to march on Moscow. They mean to place their protйgй on the Russian throne: Grigory, the runaway monk from the Chudov monaste ry, who has taken the name of the murdered Tsarevitch Dimitri. In this they will be helped by the ambitious plans of the Governor"s daugh ter, the beautiful Marina, who dreams of beco ming the wife of the future king of Russia. The long-awaited (by the Pretender) rendez vous between Marina and Dimitri who is in love with her takes place. However, Marina s abrupt and calculating speech, and her de termination, which she makes no attempt to conceal, to sit on the Russian throne discon cert the Pretender for a brief moment. Reali zing this, Marina wins him over by false pro testations of her love for him. The Jesuit, Rangoni, celebrates his victory.

Scene 5
An early winter"s morning. A square in front of the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed in Moscow. A crowd of starving people are discussing the Pretender s victories over the forces of Boris. A Simpleton comes running into the Square. Urchins surround him and take a kopek from him . The Tsar comes out of the Cathedral. "Bread, bread! Give the starving bread! Give us bread, father, for the sake of Christ!" cries the crowd. Goaded by the urchins, the Simple ton addresses the Tsar: "Order them to be killed, as you killed the little Tsarevitch". Boris tells the boyars not to seize the Simpleton:
"Let him be! Pray for me, simple person..."
But the Simpleton replies:
"No, Boris! It can not be done!
How can one pray for a Tsar Herod?
Our Lady does not allow it..."

Act IV
Scene 6

A clearing in the forest near Kromy. Night-time. The peasants, who are in revolt, lead in a Kromy boyar whom they have taken pris oner. They make fun of the boyar, reminding him of all their grudges:
"You trained us the right way,
In storms and bad weather, and when roads were impassable,
You exploited us,
And whipped us with a slender lash..."
The arrival of the monks, Varlaam and Missail, who denounce the sins of Boris, the regicide, stirs up the crowd s anger even more. They break out into a threatening song:
"A dashing young force is on the rampage,
The Cossack blood is all aflame!
A great subversive power has risen from the depths..."
Jesuit priests, the Pretender"s emissaries, appear. But the arrival of these foreigners arouses the crowd"s indignation. The peas ants drag the Jesuits into the forest to be hanged.
The Pretender, rides into the clearing, sur rounded by troops, Polish gentry and Jesu its. He frees the Kromy boyar. By promising his favor and protection, the Pretender per suades the peasants to march on Moscow. The sky lights up with the glow of a fire. The alarm bell is rung. The Simpleton appears, looking round him in fear. His prophetic words of the new troubles that await the Russian people are spoken in anguish and pain:
"Flow, flow, bitter tears,
Cry, cry, Russian Orthodox soul!
Soon the enemy will come and darkness will fall,
Black, impenetrable darkness..."

Scene 7
The Granovitaya Chamber, in the Kremlin. A session of the Duma is in progress. The boyars are discussing what punishment sho uld be meted out to the Pretender should he be caught. Shuisky appears. He describes the scene in the Tsar"s private apartment, when Boris drove off the apparition of the murdered Tsarevitch Dimitri. At this point, Boris comes running in, shouting: "Away, away, child!" Catching sight of the boyars, he regains his self-control and asks them for advice and help. At this, Shuisky suggests to the Tsar that he listen to a holy man who has come to tell them of a great secret. Boris ag rees. Pimen is brought in. Pimen"s tale of the miraculous cure of a sick man at the gra ve of the murdered Tsarevitch Dimitri, in Uglich, is more than Boris can take and he falls senseless to the floor. Regaining conscious ness, the dying Tsar gives his son advice on how to protect his kingdom:
"Don not trust the slander of the seditious boyars,
Keep a vigilant watch over their secret dealings with Lithuania,
Punish treason without mercy, without charity punish it,
Listen carefully to what the people say -
for their judgement is not hypocritical..."
To the pealing of the funeral bell and the chanting of a choir of monks, the Tsar dies. The shocked Tsarevitch Fyodor, having paid his last respects to his father, rises to his feet...And immediately, Shuisky who, unse en, had crept ahead of him, blocks his way to the throne.

Carmen (Opera by Georges Bizet)

Carmen (Opera by Georges Bizet)

Opera by Georges Bizet in four acts
Music Director: Tugan Sokhiev
Stage Director: Alexei Borodin
Designer: Stanislav Benediktov
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Premiered on 15 July 2015

Synopsis

Act I
A bustling square in the city of Seville. Dragoon guards are watching over the crowd. Micaela comes in search of Don Jose whose mother is sending him a letter through her. As Jose is not to be found, Micaela leaves. Jose arrives with his company to relieve the guards. Female workers of the tobacco make their way from work through the square. Carmen the gypsy is among them. All the men are fascinated by her, but she refuses to love them back: she is drawn to the indifferent one, Don Jose. As she leaves, she throws at him a cassia flower. Micaela returns. She and Jose reminisce about their native land. When Micaela goes away, Jose reads his mother"s letter. He is decided to do as she says and marry Micaela.
Suddenly the peace is disturbed: Carmen has started a quarrel with her fellow worker. Two fighting women are set apart, and Jose is to escort Carmen to jail. Carmen promises him her love if he helps her escape. Jose surrenders to her charm.

Act II
Gypsy girls entertain the soldiers at Lillas Pastia"s. escamillo the toreador praises his dangerous trade, and is in his turn praised by the enrapt crowd. escamillo is captivated by Carmen, but she is not interested in him.
The smugglers Danca?re and Remendado arrive. They tempt Carmen and her friends, Frasquita and Mercedes, to assist them in a fat job. Carmen refuses: she is in love and awaits the soldier who was confined because of her. It is Jose, and he does not hesistate to keep their appointment once he is free. Carmen is happy to see him and eager to dance for him alone. A bugle call summons Jose back to the barracks. He intends to go, and Carmen annoyed with his obedience to command.
Suddenly Zuniga, Jose"s senior, arrives at the inn. He goes after Carmen, but the smugglers interfere. Zuniga is overpowered, and Jose has to join the smugglers.

Act III
Smugglers" camp. Jose is jealous of his lover and ashamed of being a deserter.
Carmen reads the cards and is foretold death.
The smugglers, including Frasquita and Mercedes, are in for a job, and Carmen decides to join them to help cajole the customs officers.
escamillo comes to the camp. He wants to see Carmen and declares his love for her. Jose is ready to kill his rival, but Carmen stops their combat. As he leaves, escamillo invites everyone to a bullfight.
Micaela arrives. She was looking for Jose to inform him of his mother"s mortal ilness. Jose has to go with her and leave Carmen.

Act IV
A square in front of an arena where a bullfight is about to start. Carmen and escamillo arrive together, they are happily in love. Frasquita and Mercedes warn Carmen to beware of Jose, but Carmen is intrepid.
She stays behind the crowd and meets Jose face to face. Jose implores Carmen to go with him and love him again, but she is adamant: her heart belongs to another.
Desperate and enraged, Jose kills Carmen.

Don Carlos (Opera by Giuseppe Verdi)

Don Carlos (Opera by Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in four acts
Music Director: Vassily Sinaisky
Stage Director: Adrian Noble
Set Designer: Tobias Hoheisel
Costume Designer: Moritz Junge
Lighting Designer: Jean Kalman
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Permiered on December 17, 2013

In Honor of Giuseppe Verdi Bicentennial

SYNOPSIS

In 1556, the Emperor Charles V abdicated, celebrated his own funeral and retired to the monastery of San Jeronimo at Yuste. His son Philip II is now on the throne of Spain. To seal the peace between France and Spain after a long war, Philip marries Elisabeth of Valois, the daughter of Henry II, the French King, who has long been betrothed to his son Don Carlo.

ACT I

Scene 1
The cloister of the Yuste monastery

A Monk prays before the gates of the tomb of Charles V. Carlo starts at the sound of the voice - is this his grandfather, the Emperorn
Carlo s friend Rodrigo, the Marquis of Posa, joins him, and advises him to conquer his sorrow caused by losing his bride by a noble enterprise - that of freeing Flanders. The two vow to live and die together.

Scene 2
Outside the Yuste monastery gates

Outside the monastery, which no woman but the Queen may enter, her ladies while away the time with the song Princess Eboli sings.

The Queen enters, followed by Posa, who brings Elisabeth a letter from her mother and, under cover of the letter, a note from Carlo. While Eboli and Posa chat about the latest Paris fashions, Elisabeth reads the note, which tells her to trust Posa. In two broad strophes, Posa urges Elisabeth grant Carlo an interview, while Eboli (in asides) reveals her love for Carlo, and her hope that he loves her. Dismissing her ladies, Elisabeth consents to Posa s request. Carlo, at first controlled, asks Elisabeth to obtain the King s permission that he should leave for Flanders, but then his emotions overcome him and he falls to the ground in a swoon. On recovering, he clasps Elisabeth in his arms, defying the world. But she exclaims, "Then smite your father. Come stained with his murder, to lead your mother to the altar." Carlo runs off in despair.

Philip enters, angry to find the Queen unattended. Coldly he orders the lady-in-waiting who should have been with her to return to France. Elisabeth consoles her. The company leaves, but Philip orders Posa to remain: has he no favour to ask forn "Nothing for me," replies the Marquis, "but for others"; and, invited to speak freely, he describes the terror and destruction being wrought in Flanders. "At this bloody price," says Philip, "I have paid for the peace of the world." "The peace of a graveyard," Posa replies: one word from Philip could change the world and set people free. The King, struck by Posa s fearless honesty, confides to him his suspicions about his wife and his son, and appoints him his personal counsellor, but bids him beware the Grand Inquisitor.

ACT II

Scene 1
The Queen s gardens

Carlo enters, reading a note of midnight assignation which he believes has come from Elisabeth. When Eboli (who wrote the note) enters, masked, Carlo mistakes her for Elisabeth, and pours out his love. Too late, the mistake is revealed, and Eboli guesses his secret. Posa enters and tries to silence her, but in a tense trio she bids them beware the fury of a woman scorned. Posa asks Carlo to entrust to him any incriminating papers he may be carrying, and after a moment s hesitation - can he trust the King s new favouriten - Carlo does so.

Scene 2
A large square before the Basilica of Nuestra Senora de Atocha

The people gather to acclaim their King. Monks escort some Inquisition victims across the square; a splendid auto da fe, or public burning of heretics, is among the attractions of the day. Philip appears from the church and swears solemnly to serve God with fire and the sword. Suddenly a group of men cast themselves at his feet, and Carlo, who has led them there, announces that they are deputies from Flanders. The Flemings break into an eloquent plea for their country. Philip orders them to be taken away. All - except the monks - urge him to show mercy. At the close of the huge ensemble, Carlo asks his father to send him to Flanders as regent, and when Philip refuses, draws his sword on the King. No one dares to disarm him, until Posa steps forward. The King rewards Posa by making him a Duke, and the festive chorus is resumed.

ACT III

Scene 1
The King s study

Philip is alone in his study and reflects gloomily on his loveless, careworn life. The Grand Inquisitor is announced. Philip doubts whether he will be forgiven if he condemns his son to death; the Inquisitor demands that Posa should be handed over to the Inquisition. Philip refuses. The Inquisitor declares that Philip himself is in danger of being summoned before the Inquisition and leaves.

Elisabeth rushes in, distressed that her jewel casket has been stolen. Philip, who has it, opens it and draws out a portrait of Carlo. Elisabeth reminds him that she was once betrothed to the Prince, but he calls her an adulterous wife. She swoons. Eboli and Posa enter, and in a quartet Philip curses his unworthy suspicions, Eboli expresses her regret (for it was she who stole the casket), Posa decides that the time has come for him to take action, and Elisabeth, reviving, laments her unhappy life in this friendless country.

The two women are left alone. Eboli confesses that, drive by jealousy, she denounced Elisabeth to the King. At Eboli s further confession, that she has been Philip s mistress, Elisabeth tells her to choose, the following day, between exile and the veil, and leaves. Eboli curses the gift of fatal beauty that has caused her ruin. Her thoughts turn to Carlo, and she resolves to save him during the one day this is left to her.

Scene 2
Don Carlo s prison

Posa comes to bid Carlo farewell; he is marked for death, since Carlo s incriminating papers have been found on him - but Carlo can go free, to save Flanders. A shot is fired, and Posa falls. Quickly he explains that Elisabeth awaits Carlo at the Yuste cloister; he dies content, since by his death he secures the happy future of Spain. Philip enters, to return to Carlo his sword. A warning bell rings out; a crowd storms the prison, demanding the Prince. The tumult is quelled by the Grand Inquisitor, who orders the sacrilegious mob to fall on its knees before the King.

ACT IV

The Cloister at Yuste

Elisabeth invokes the spirit of the Emperor Charles: may he carry her prayers to the Eternal Throne. Carlo enters and declares that he is done with dreaming; now he will save Flanders. The two take a solemn farewell, hoping to meet in a better world: "And for ever! Farewell!" Philip and the Inquisitor have overheard them; the King delivers his son to the Inquisition. The gates of the Emperor s tomb open, and the Monk steps forth. He enfolds Carlo in his mantle and leads him into the cloister, recognized as Charles V by everyone present on stage.

Don Quixote (Ballet by Marius Petipa, Alexander Gorsky. Ludwig Minkus)

Don Quixote (Ballet by Marius Petipa, Alexander Gorsky. Ludwig Minkus)

Ludwig Minkus
Libretto by Marius Petipa after the novel of the same name by Miguel de Cervantes
Choreography: Marius Petipa, Alexander Gorsky
New choreographic version: Alexei Fadeyechev
Music Director: Pavel Sorokin
Designer: Valery Leventhal
Costume Designer: Elena Zaitseva
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Executive Designer: Olga Medvedeva
Use is made in the production of choreography by Rostislav Zakharov (Dance with Guitars and Jig to music by V. Soloviev-Sedoy); by Kasiyan Goleizovsky (Gipsy Dance to music by V. Zhelobinsky); by Anatoly Simachev (Fandango to music by E. Napravnik).
Will be premiered February 2, 2016.

SYNOPSIS

Prologue
Don Quixote, having read his fill of romances about knights and chivalry, decides to set off on his travels in order to achieve great feats, which willbring glory to his name. As his sword-bearer, he chooses the loyal Sancho Panza, a man of sober outlook who is not prone to dreams.

Act I
In Barcelona there is festive anima?tion in the air. Kitri, daughter of the innkeeper, is flirting with Basilio, the barber, who is in love with her.Finding them together Lorenzo, Kitri s father, chases Basilio away: the barber is no fit match for his daughter. Lorenzo intends Kitri to marry Gamache, a rich noble?man. Kitri refuses outright tosubmit to her father s will.

At the height of the merry-making, Don Quixote appears in the square, accompanied by his sword bearer, Sancho Panza. Catching sight of the innkeeper, Don Quixote mistakes him for the owner of aknight s castle and greets him with respect. Lorenzo responds in like terms and invites Don Quixote into the inn. Sancho Panza is left in the square. But when some young people start to mock Sancho,Don Quixote immediately hurries to his sword-bearer s rescue.

Seeing Kitri, Don Quixote thinks she is the beautiful Dulcinea whom he has seen in his dreams and chosen as the lady of his heart . But Kitri disappears. She has run off with Basilio. Lorenzo,Gamache and Don Quixote set out to look for her.

Act II
Scene 1

Kitri and Basilio are hiding in a tavern. Here they are found by Lorenzo, Gamache and Don Quixote. Lorenzowishes to make an immediate announce?ment of the betrothal of Kitri and Gamache. But Basilio, by agreement with Kitri, pretends to take his life. Kitri sobs over the body of her sweetheart. DonQuixote overcоme by noble indignation accuses Lorenzo of hardheartedness and, threatening him with his sword forces him to agree to his daughter s marriage with the barber Basilio jumps to his feet.There is no point in him pretending to be dead am longer.

Scene 2
In the glade by the windmills is a sprawling gipsy encampment. Here too is a puppet theatre. Don Quixote and Sancho soon appear on the scene. The ownerof the puppet theatre invites Don Quixote to watch a show. Don Quixote follows the performance with rapt attention and, forgetting it is theatre, rushes on to the stage, sword in hand, to defendthose who need his protection. He breaks down the stage, sends the puppets flying and, catching sight of the windmills, mistakes them for evil magicians whom he has to get the better of. Grabbing amill sail, he is first lifted into the air and then falls to the ground.

Scene 3
The wounded Don Quixote and Sancho Panza find themselves in a forest. To Don Quixote, the forest seems to be full of monsters and giants. Sancho Panzasettles Don Quixote down to sleep, while he runs off for help. In his dreams, Don Quixote sees Dulcinea, the lady of his heart , surrounded by Dryads and fairies Sancho Panza comes back with theDuke and Duchess who have been hunting in the forest. He begs them to help the dreaming Don Quixote. The Duke and Duchess invite the wandering knight to visit them m their castle.

Act III
The Duke s castle. All is ready for the reception of Don Quixote.
Having heard from Sancho Panza the happy story of Kitri and Basilio s love, the Duke and Duchess have kindly agreed to allow them to hold their wedding in the castle. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza areinvited to occupy the seats of honor. A solemn procession files past. Catching sight of Kitri, Don Quixote again mis?takes her for the lady of his reveries . But the Duke and Sancho Panza manage topersuade him that she is the very same innkeeper s daughter whom he helped to unite with Basilio, her sweetheart.
The festivities continue. All thank the va?liant knight and his faithful sword-bearer.

Giselle (Ballet by Adolphe Adam. Production by Yuri Grigorovich)

Giselle (Ballet by Adolphe Adam. Production by Yuri Grigorovich)

Ballet in two acts Production by Yuri Grigorovich
Libretto by Theophile Gautier and Jean-Henry Saint-Georges
Choreography: Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Mauris Petipa
Choreographic version:Yuri Grigorovich
Designer: Simon Virsaladze
Music Director: Alexander Kopylov

SYNOPSIS

Act I
A small, peaceful village, bathed in sunlight. It is inhabited by simple, artless people. Giselle, a young peasant girl, is re joicing in the sun, the blue sky, the singing of the birds and, most of all, in the happiness of pure, trusting love which has lit up her life. She is in love and is confident that she is loved. The gamekeeper, who is in love with Giselle, tries in vain to per suade her that Albrecht, her loved one, is not a peasant at all but a nobleman in disguise and that he is deceiving her.
The gamekeeper manages to steal into the cottage which Albrecht is renting in the village and here he finds a silver sword with a coat of arms on it. Now the gamekeeper knows for sure that Albrecht is concealing his noble origins.
A party of distinguished noblemen, attended by a sumptuous suite, seek rest and refreshment in the village after the hunt. The peasants give their guests a cordial welcome.
Albrecht is embarrassed by this unexpected meeting: he tries to hide the fact he knows them for, in their company, is his betrothed, Bathilde. Meanwhile the gamekeeper shows everyone Albrecht s sword and, unmasking him, tells them of the latter s deceit. Giselle is shocked to the core by the perfidy of her loved one. The pure, crystal-clear world of her faith, hopes and dreams has been destroyed. She goes mad and dies.

Act II
Night-time. The ghostly forms of the Wilis, died brides, appear among the graves of the village church yard which is bathed in moonlight. "Dressed in bridal gowns and garlands of flow ers...The irresistibly beautiful Wilis danced to the light of the moon. And as they felt the time given them for dancing was running out and that they had again to return to their icy graves, their dancing became more and more impassioned and ra?pid..." (Heinrich Heine).
The Wilis catch sight of the gamekeeper who, suffering from pangs of con science, has come to visit Giselle s grave. At the command of Myrtha, the unrelenting Queen of the Wilis, the Wilis encircle the gamekeeper and make him dance until he drops lifeless, to the ground.
Albrecht too, is unable to forget Giselle. And, at dead of night, he co mes to her grave. The Wilis immedi ately encircle the youth. Albrecht is now threatened by the same horrify ing fate as the gamekeeper. But the shadow of Giselle now appears and her eternal and self-sacrificing love protects and saves Albrecht from the anger of the Wilis.
The ghostly, white forms of the Wilis vanish with the first rays of the rising sun. And Giselle s ethereal shadow va nishes too, but Giselle will always be alive in Albrecht s memory - the ever-present regret for a lost love, a love that is stronger than death.

Katerina Izmailova (Opera by Dmitri Shostakovich)

Katerina Izmailova (Opera by Dmitri Shostakovich)

Opera in four acts
Libretto by Dmitry Shostakovich and Alexander Preis after" Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" by Nikolai Leskov
Music Director: Tugan Sokhiev
Stage Director: Rimas Tuminas
Set Designer: Adomas Jacovskis
Costume Designer: Maria Danilova
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Movement Director: Anzhelika Kholina
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Premiered on February 18, 2016.

Synopsis

ACT I

Scene 1
The merchant Zinoviy Borisovich Izmailov s house. His wife Katerina Lvovna is bored with her tedious life and loveless marriage.
Boris Timofeyevich, her father-in-law, reproaches her for not yet having given his son an heir.
A mill-hand arrives with news that a dam at the mill has broken and needs immediate repair. Zinoviy Borisovich personally goes to oversee the work. Before leaving, he introduces to his father a new foreman named Sergei.
Boris Timofeyevich wants the servants to see the master off with crying and makes Katerina swear an oath to be faithful while her husband is away.
When no one s listening, the cook, Aksinya, tells Katerina that the handsome Sergei was dismissed from his last job because the mistress fell for him.
Boris Timofeyevich again reproves his daughter-in-love for being indiffirent to her husband leaving.

Scene 2
The Izmailovs yard. The male servants are molesting Aksinya. Katerina appears and makes them let Aksinya go. Sergei challenges her to a fight in joke, but in the heat of the moment Boris Timofeevich appears. He threatens Katerina to tell Zinoviy about her behavior.

Scene 3
Katerina is in her bedroom. She complains to herself of her loneliness. Sergei knocks at her door. He pretends to be asking for a book, but this is only a pretext to get the mistress into a conversation. They hear Boris Timofeyevich s voice at the door. Katerina hurries Sergei to leave her room, because her father-in-law is going to lock all the doors, but Sergei remains. He feels sure of success of his affair with Katerina.

ACT II

Scene 4
At night. Boris Timofeyevich keeps watch over the yard, convinced that there are thieves around. He notices the light is on at Katerina s room. As he approaches her window he sees his daughter-in-love saying goodbye to a man, in which Boris Timofeyevich recognizes Sergei. As the young man is climbing down, Boris Timofeyevich grabs him and shouts for help.
After summoning Katerina to watch, he flogs Sergei. When Boris Timofeyevich gets tired, Sergei is locked in the storeroom. Boris Timofeyevich sends a servant for Zinoviy and demands something to eat. Katerina serves him mushrooms with rat poison. As the old man writhes in agony, she takes off him the keys to the storeroom and goes to release Sergei.
The day is breaking. The foremen are going to work and find the master dying. They call the priest. Boris Timofeyevich points at Katerina as his poisoner. But Katerina insists that the mushrooms is the cause, and the priest finds her explanation sufficient.

Scene 5
The bedroom. Sergei is dismayed by forthcoming arrival of Zinoviy Borisovich: he wants to be Katerina s husband. Katerina promises him to do everything he wants. Sergei falls asleep. Katerina has visions of the ghost of Boris Timofeyevich, cursing her for having poisoned him.
Behind the door barely audible steps are heard - Zinoviy Borisovich has returned from the mill. Katerina hides Sergei. On noticing a man s belt left in her room, Zinoviy Borisovich begins to beat his wife with it. Sergey jumps out at Katerina s cries, together they strangle Zinoviy Borisovich and hide the corpse in the cellar.

ACT III

Scene 6
The Izmailovs yard. Katerina is standing near the cellar. The murder gives Katerina no peace. Sergei tries to convince her not to draw people s attention to this place on the very day of their wedding. As they leave for their nuptials, a drunken Shabby Peasant, in search of liquor, breaks down the door to the cellar and on finding the decaying corpse in horror runs off to the police.

Scene 7
Police station. The police headed by the Sergeant are bored without any case and try to distract themselves by tormenting a local nihilist because of atheism.
When the Shabby Peasant bursts in with the news that he has found a corpse in the Izmailovs cellar, the Sergeant and his men hurry off to investigate.

Scene 8
The wedding feast is in progress in the Izmailovs garden. The drunken guests are greeting a newly married couple. Katerina notices that the padlock on the cellar door has been broken. She tells Sergei that they have been found out and must leave immediately. As he goes to get money from inside the house, the policemen enter the garden. Katerina, realizing there is no point in feigning innocence, holds out her wrists to be handcuffed. Sergei tries to escape but is captured.

ACT IV

Scene 9
A convoy of shackled convicts with Katerina and Sergei among them stops for a rest on the bank of a lake. Bribing a sentry to let her go to the men s column, Katerina finds Sergei, who rebuffs her, blaming her for his predicament.
Meanwhile, Sergei flirts with another convict named Sonyetka. Together with her he mocks at Katerina. Sonyetka promises Sergei she will be his if he can get her new stockings. Sergei goes to Katerina to trick her out of her stockings and gives them to Sonyetka. The rest of the women taunt her.
In despair Katerina seems to see a remote wood lake, and the water in it is black like her conscience.
Sonyetka provokes her rival by showing to her Sergei s gift. An officer orders everyone to get ready to continue the march. Katerina goes over to Sonyetka, pushes her into the lake and jumps in after her. Both women are drowned.

La traviata (Opera by Giuseppe Verdi)

La traviata (Opera by Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in two acts.
Sung in Italian with Russian surtitles.
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the novel La dame aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas, fils.
Music Director: Laurent Campellone.
Stage Director: Francesca Zambello.
Associated Director: Julia Pevzner.
Set Designer: Peter John Davison.
Costume Designer: Tanya McCallin.
Lighting Designer: Mark McCullough.
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov.
Choreographer: Ekaterina Mironova.
Premiered on October 7, 2012.
Presented with one interval.

Synopsis

Part One
Alfredo Germont arrives at a party at the home of Violetta Valйry, a renowned courtesan. She is surprised to learn of his devotion to her, and of his concern during her recent illness. Alfredo leads a toast to love; Violetta responds with a toast to pleasure and excitement. Feeling faint, she excuses herself to rest. Alfredo follows and begs her to allow him to love and care for her. She tells him she is not interested in such heroic commitment, but invites him to return the next day. Alone, she wonders if she is capable of experiencing love. Dismissing the idea as nonsense, she determines to live for freedom and pleasure alone.

Violetta flees her extravagant life in Paris to be with Alfredo. After learning that she plans to sell her belongings to maintain their country retreat, Alfredo goes to Paris to pay their debts. While he is away, Giorgio Germont visits Violetta. He tells her that Alfredo, his son, intends to give her all his possessions. She tells the elder Germont that she would never accept and reveals that she is making sacrifices to maintain their life together. Although impressed by her nobility, Germont begs her to leave his son, as her association with the family will ruin his daughter s future prospects. Violetta finally agrees, asking only that, after her death, Germont tell his daughter the truth. Later, when Alfredo receives a letter from Violetta, claiming she no longer loves him, he is devastated.

Part Two
Violetta attends a party with her new protector, Baron Douphol. The men gamble, and Alfredo is the winner. Violetta pulls Alfredo aside and begs him to leave; he refuses and threatens to duel with the Baron. Unable to break her promise to the elder Germont, Violetta insists that she loves the Baron. Furious and hurt, Alfredo calls the guests together and publicly insults Violetta.

Now on her deathbed and tended by Annina, Violetta re-reads a letter from Giorgio Germont. According to the letter, Alfredo went abroad after dueling with the Baron; his father wrote to him there, explaining Violetta s sacrifice. Alfredo arrives, asking forgiveness and pledging eternal love. Violetta expresses hope for their future together, but she is very weak. Alfredo sends Annina for the Doctor. He arrives with Giorgio Germont, who reproaches himself for his earlier behavior toward Violetta. He asks forgiveness and pledges to accept her as a daughter, but he is too late.

Le Corsaire (Ballet by Adolphe Adam)

Le Corsaire (Ballet by Adolphe Adam)

Ballet in three acts
Libretto by Jules Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Joseph Mazilier edited by Marius Petipa
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Revival: Alexei Ratmansky, Yuri Burlaka
New Choreography: Alexei Ratmansky
Designer: Boris Kaminsky
Costume Designer: Yelena Zaitseva
Music Director: Pavel Klinichev
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Premiered on June 21, 2007.
Presented with two intervals.
Running time: 3 hours 35 minutes.

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Scene 1
Medora is Kidnapped

The bazaar square. The beautiful slave-girls who are up for sale, sit awaiting buyers; here too throngs a crowd of Turks, Greeks, Armenians who are examining the wares brought from all corners of the earth.
A band of corsairs appear in the square, led by Conrad. He has evidently come to the bazaar to carry out his secret plan to meet a certain beautiful stranger.
Medora, the ward of bazaar-owner Isaac Lanquedem, comes out on to the balcony of her guardian s house. Seeing Conrad, she quickly makes a selam* out of the flowers she has to hand and throws it to him. The latter, reading the selam is delighted, because now he is convinced the beautiful Medora loves him.
Isaac and Medora appear in the square. While Isaac examines the slave-girls, Medora and Conrad exchange passionate and meaningful glances.
A rich buyer appears in the square - Seyd-Pasha - and his suite. He is surrounded by dealers showing off their girls, but not one of the latter pleases the Pasha. Then Seyd-Pasha catches sight of Medora. He decides come what may to purchase her but Isaac refuses to sell him his ward, obsequiously explaining to Seyd-Pasha that she is not for sale and offering him instead a pair of other maidens.
But Seyd-Pasha insists on buying Medora. His offers are so advantageous and attractive that Isaac is unable to resist them and agrees to the deal. Issuing an order that the new slave-girl he has just bought be delivered to his harem, Seyd-Pasha goes off, threatening Isaac with punishment if Medora is not immediately dispatched to his harem. Conrad calms down Medora, promising that the corsairs will kidnap her.
At a sign from Conrad, the corsairs start a merry dance with the slave-girls, in which Medora takes an active part, to the great delight of all present. But suddenly, Conrad gives the signal, and the corsairs make off with the slave-girls and Medora too. Isaac runs after Medora and tries to snatch her from the corsairs; Conrad orders that Isaac, who is frightened out of his wits, should also be seized.

Scene 2
The Plotters

The corsairs den. The corsairs, with their rich booty and captive maidens return to their lair; also brought here is the trembling Isaac. Medora, saddened by the fate of her fellow slaves, begs Conrad to free them and he agrees. Birbanto and the other pirates protest, saying that they too have a right to the women. They become mutinous. Conrad, deflecting a blow aimed at him, forces Birbanto to his knees; then he soothes a frightened Medora and carefully protecting her, goes through with her into the tent.
Taking advantage of the general confusion, Isaac decides to make his escape. However he is seen by Birbanto and the other pirates who taunt him and, taking all his money, suggest that he participate in a plot to get back Medora. Picking a flower from the bunch, Birbanto sprays it with a sleeping potion, he then hands it to Isaac and tells him to give it to Conrad.
Conrad appears and arranges for dinner to be served. While the corsairs are having their supper, Medora dances for Conrad who swears eternal love to her.
Gradually the corsairs disperse, except for Birbanto and several of his henchmen who are keeping an eye on Conrad and Medora. Isaac now appears with a young slave-girl; pointing to Medora, he tells the slave-girl to give her the flower. Medora, clasps the flower to her breast and hands it to Conrad, adding that flowers explain all her love for him. Conrad, lovingly presses the flower to his lips but the intoxicating smell goes to his head and, despite his incredible efforts not to succumb to its effect, he immediately falls into a deep sleep. Birbanto makes a sign to the plotters to put their plan into action.
Medora is taken aback at Conrad suddenly falling asleep. She is surrounded by the corsairs who threaten her. Trying to defend herself, Medora stabs Birbanto in the arm and, attempting to flee, she faints and falls into the arms of her kidnappers.
Dismissing his henchmen, Birbanto is about to make short work of Conrad when the latter wakes up. Hearing that Medora has been abducted, Conrad and the corsairs set off in pursuit.

Act II
Scene 3
The Corsair
?s Captive
Seyd-Pasha s palace. The bored odalisques start playing various games. Zulma demands that the odalisques show her respect, but Gulnare and her friends mock the haughty sultana.
Enter Seyd-Pasha. The odalisques are required to bow down before their master, but the unruly Gulnare mocks him too. Seyd-Pasha, carried away by her youth and beauty, throws her his handkerchief, but Gulnare throws it on to her friends, eventually the handkerchief, passing from hand to hand, reaches an old negress who, picking it up, starts to chase Seyd-Pasha, smothering him with her caresses. Seyd-Pasha is hard put to it to contain his anger.
In an attempt to please the Pasha, the Keeper of the harem brings forward three odalisques.
Zulma tries to attract the Pasha s attention but, at that moment, the latter is told of the arrival of the slave trader.
Catching sight of Isaac, who leads in Medora, Seyd-Pasha is overjoyed. Medora begs Seyd-Pasha to grant her her freedom but, seeing that he is unrelenting, complains of cruel treatment by her guardian; Seyd-Pasha orders the eunuch to send the Jew packing. Going up to Medora, Gulnare is kind to her and sympathizes with her lot. Seyd-Pasha offers Medora various jewels but, to Seyd-Pasha s displeasure and Gulnare s joy, she turns them down outright.
The leader of a group of dervishes appears, who requests lodging for the night. Seyd-Pasha permits the dervishes to put up in his garden. Amused at the dervishes embarrassment at the sight of the young, seductive slave-girls, Seyd-Pasha promises to acquaint them with all the delights his harem has to offer and orders the slave-girls to start dancing.
Among the beautiful dancing girls, Conrad recognizes his beloved.
At the end of the celebration, Seyd-Pasha orders that Medora be conducted to his private rooms in the palace. Throwing off their dervish disguise, the corsairs threaten Seyd-Pasha with their daggers; Conrad and Medora embrace.
The corsairs are engrossed in their plundering of Seyd-Pasha s palace. Gulnare comes running in. pursued by Birbanto, she rushes up to Medora and begs for her help. Conrad takes Gulnare s part, meanwhile Medora recognizes Birbanto as her kidnapper and informs Conrad of his treacherous action. Laughing, Birbanto denies her accusation; in confirmation of her words, Medora points out to Conrad the wound she inflicted on Birbanto by stabbing him in the arm. Conrad is about to shoot the traitor, but Medora and Gulnare restrain him and Birbanto runs off shouting threats.
Medora, giddy with weakness and nervous tension, is on the point of fainting but, with assistance from Gulnare and Conrad, she regains consciousness and, at their request, is about to follow them when, suddenly, Seyd-Pasha s guards burst into the hall. The corsairs are routed, Conrad is disarmed and sentenced to death. Seyd-Pasha is victorious.

Act III
Scene 4
Seyd-Pasha
?s wedding
Seyd-Pasha s private rooms in the palace. Seyd-Pasha gives orders that preparations get underway for his wedding to Medora. He proposes to Medora who indignantly turns him down. Conrad in chains is led to his execution. Medora, seeing the terrible plight of her loved one, begs Seyd-Pasha to show him mercy. Seyd-Pasha promises to pardon Conrad on the condition that Medora, of her own free will, agrees to be his. Medora is at her wit s end and, in despair, she accepts Seyd-Pasha s terms.
Left on their own, Conrad hurries over to Medora who tells him on what condition Seyd-Pasha has agreed to free him. Conrad rejects the nefarious condition and they decide to die together. Gulnare who has been observing them suggests a plan; the lovers agree to it and thank her profusely.
Seyd-Pasha returns. Medora informs him she accepts his terms. Overjoyed, Seyd-Pasha gives orders that Conrad be freed from all form of persecution and that preparations be put in hand for the wedding ceremony.
The wedding procession approaches, the bride is covered by a veil. At the end of the ceremony, Seyd-Pasha gives the bride his arm, and puts a ring on her finger. The dances of the odalisques bring the wedding to an end.
Left alone with Seyd-Pasha Medora tries to entice him with her dances, but it is quite obvious that she can t wait for the hour of her delivery. Catching sight of the pistol in Seyd-Pasha s belt, she says it frightens her and asks him to take it off. Seyd-Pasha does as he is asked and hands the pistol to Medora. Her fear increases at the sight of the dagger, also tucked in his belt. To calm her down once and for all, Seyd-Pasha pulls the dagger free and gives it to her. He then tries to embrace her but, dancing, Medora slips nimbly from his grasp. Seyd-Pasha falls at her feet and, imploring her love, gives her his handkerchief. As if for a joke, she ties his hands up with it and he, amused, laughs at her prank. On the stroke of midnight, Conrad appears. Seyd-Pasha is horrified when he sees Medora hand over his dagger to Conrad; he wants to call for help but Medora aims the pistol at him and says she will kill him if he so much as opens his mouth. Seyd-Pasha doesn t dare utter a word, meanwhile Medor and Conrad quickly escape.
Seyd-Pasha tries to free himself. Gulnare comes running in and, feigning horror, unties his hands. Seyd-Pasha summons his guard and orders them to pursue the fugitives. Three shots of the cannon bring the news that the corsairs ship has set sail. Seyd-Pasha has a violent fit of temper: his beloved wife has been abducted. "I m your wife", says Gulnare, and, pointing to her wedding finger she adds, "This is your ring!"
Seyd-Pasha is left in a state of shock.

Scene 5
Storm and Shipwreck

At sea. A clear and peaceful night on deck. The corsairs are celebrating their liberation. Only the hapless Birbanto, in chains, does not take part in the merry-making. Taking pity on him, Medora asks Conrad to forgive Birbanto and the latter joins in her pleas. After some hesitation Conrad pardons Birbanto who requests permission to regale his fellow pirates with a barrel of wine.
There is a swift change in the weather and a storm gets up; taking advantage of the confusion, Birbanto again starts to stir up trouble with the pirates, but Conrad throws him overboard. The storm gets worse: there are peals of thunder, flashes of lightning and a very rough sea. A resounding crack is heard and the ship goes aground on a rock.
The wind slowly dies down and the sea becomes calm again. The moon comes out and two figures are lit up in its silvery light: these are Medora and Conrad who, miraculously, haven t drowned. They reach the rock, clamber up onto it and thank God for their salvation.

*Selam - bouquet in which each flower has special meaning. The language of flowers and communication by means of a flower code was very popular in Europe at the end of the 18th-19th centuries

?

Manon Lescaut (Opera by Giacomo Puccini)

Manon Lescaut (Opera by Giacomo Puccini)

Giacomo Puccini
Opera in four acts
Libretto by Domenico Oliva, Marco Praga, Giuseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica, Ruggero Leoncavallo, and Giulio Ricordi based on the novel L"histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by Abb? Pr?vost
Music Director: Jader Bignamini
Director: Adolf Shapiro
Designer: Maria Tregubova
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Choreographer: Tatiana Baganova
Premiered on October 16, 2016

SYNOPSIS

Act I
A public square in Amiens

Students enjoy the summer evening in the town square. One of them, Edmondo, sings a madrigal of youthful pleasure, hoping to attract the young women. They ask a brooding Des Grieux to join them, and to prove he is not cynical about love, he gallantly flirts with a group of girls with mock courtesy. As they all celebrate in the street, a carriage arrives at the inn carrying Geronte, Lescaut and his sister Manon. Des Grieux is struck by Manon"s beauty and shyly approaches her. She is called inside by her brother, but has been won over by Des Grieux"s words, and they make plans to meet later.
Geronte discusses Manon"s future with Lescaut. The family wants her to take the veil, but Lescaut has other ideas for her future, namely a match with the older Geronte (along with whatever benefits he may glean from the rich treasury official). The two men agree to meet for dinner, and Lescaut then joins a card game with the students. Edmondo overhears Geronte making plans to take Manon to Paris. He tells Des Grieux and agrees to help prevent this from happening.
Manon and Des Grieux meet as agreed and express their mutual attraction. He warns of Geronte"s plan to abduct her, so they run away together. Geronte is affronted, but Lescaut advises him to be patient, for he knows his sister"s expensive tastes will soon exhaust a student"s income.

Act II
An elegant room in Geronte"s house in Paris

As Lescaut predicted, Manon is now Geronte"s mistress and prepares for the day, aided by a hairdresser. When Lescaut arrives, she asks about Des Grieux, recalling their once-passionate affair. When speaking to Des Grieux, Lescaut has been vague about Manon"s whereabouts, but encouraged him to become a gambler so that he may acquire enough wealth to keep her in the style she requires.
Geronte has arranged a reception with musicians, who sing a madrigal in Manon"s honor. A dancing master teaches the minuet, but in spite of all the finery, Manon is bored with her new life. Realizing that she is unhappy, Lescaut privately decides to fetch Des Grieux. The guests depart for a stroll down the esplanade, and Manon promises to join them later.
Des Grieux appears at the door. He berates her lack of fidelity, but in begging forgiveness, she softens his resolve. Geronte returns and is thunderstruck to find them in each other"s arms. Manon counters his deriding remarks by holding a mirror to his face, reminding him of his advanced age. Threatening revenge, he leaves the couple alone.
Lescaut soon enters, breathless. Geronte has summoned the authorities, denouncing Manon"s lack of morality. Before fleeing with Des Grieux, she gathers her expensive jewelry, but that delay proves costly - the guards arrive and arrest her for thievery.

Act III
A square near the harbor in Le Havre

Manon is being held in the barracks, awaiting deportation to America with a group of prostitutes. Lescaut has bribed one of her jailors, and he and Lescaut wait for the changing of the guard to effect her escape. She is made aware of the plan while sharing a brief moment with Des Grieux. A shot betrays their scheme. Manon and the other prisoners are then led one-by-one to a ship while the onlooking townspeople make wicked comments as each one passes by. Des Grieux begs the captain to be hired as a deckhand, and he agrees to take the infatuated young man on the voyage to the New World.

Act IV
A wilderness on the edges of the Louisiana Territory

After troubles with the colonial governor, the two lovers are forced to make an escape. Manon is destitute and very weak. She sends Des Grieux ahead to look for water and shelter. When he returns it is too late. She dies believing that time will cleanse her of any sin, and he is left with nothing but memories of their too brief time together.

Spartacus (Ballet by Aram Khachaturyan)

Spartacus (Ballet by Aram Khachaturyan)

Ballet in 3 parts.
Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich after the novel of the same name by Raffaello Giovagnolli, ideas from the scenario by Nikolai Volkov used
Choreographer: Yuri Grigorovich
Designer: Simon Virsaladze
Music Director: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Premiered on April 9, 1968.
Presented with two intervals.
Running time: 3 hours 20 minutes.

SYNOPSIS

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'c 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'c 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 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 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 min 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, lets 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
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 - 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 the 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 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 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...

Swan Lake (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

Swan Lake (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

Ballet in two acts
Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich after scenario by Vladimir Begichev and Vasily Geltser
Choreographer: Yuri Grigorovich (2001 version)
Scenes in choreography by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov,?Alexander Gorsky used
Designer: Simon Virsaladze
Music Director: Pavel Sorokin
Lighting Designer: Mikhail Sokolov

SYNOPSIS

Act l
Scene 1

In an old German castle, the birthday of Prince Siegfried is being celebrated; today he comes of age. He is congratulated by his mother, the Princess Mother, friends and courtiers. In a majestic ceremony, Siegfried is made a knight. From this day on a sense of duty, valor will be the guiding principles in his life.
The last toasts are pronounced in his honor, young girls, his contemporaries, try to attract his attention, but Siegfried is overcome by emotions of a different order. He dreams of a pure, ideal love. The festivities draw to an end, the guests depart, leaving the prince alone with his thoughts in the gathering dusk. Night falls. Siegfried is conscious of the presence of a shadow at his side, it is as if some mysterious force is beckoning to him. It is the Evil Genius, or Fate itself, who has come to reveal some perturbing secrets to the Prince. Submitting to the powerful pull of his invisible companion's presence and full of anxious foreboding, Siegfried succumbs to the ideal world of his dreams...

Scene 2
Lured by the Evil Genius, Siegfried finds himself on the banks of a mysterious lake. In the shimmering patches of moonlight on the water, visions of bewitched swan maidens rise up before him. Siegfried catches sight of Odette, the most beautiful of the maidens. He is spell-bound, deeply struck by her beauty. At long last, he has found his romantic ideal of love. He swears to Odette that he will love her forever and be faithful to her.

Act II
Scene 3

Prospective brides-to-be are arriving at the Princess Mother's castle. The Prince must chose one of them to be his wife. But Siegfried can think of nothing but Odette and his meeting of her. He dances in an offhand way with the well-born maidens. Not one of them can compare to his ideal.
Suddenly, a mysterious knight arrives at the ball accompanied by a ravishingly beautiful young girl and a suite of black swans. It is the Evil Genius and Odile, Odette's double. Struck by their resemblance, Siegfried hurries towards Odile. The Evil Genius is putting the Prince's sentiments to the test. Siegfried is enchanted by the perfidious Odile who manages to disarm him of all his doubts. He announces Odile to be his chosen bride. At this very moment, the throne room is plunged in darkness and a vision of the beautiful Odette appears before the assembled company.
Siegfried realizes that he has become a plaything in the hands of Fate. Hoping to atone for his betrayal, he rushes in despair after the receding image of the white swan.

Scene 4
Night-time. A deep gloom overhangs the lake. Odette brings the tragic news; the Prince has broken his vow of faithfulness to her. Siegfried's conscience is deeply troubled; he hurries towards Odette begging for her forgiveness. Odette forgives the youth but she is no longer mistress of her own fate.
The Evil Genius summons up a storm which disperses, plays havoc with, the heroes of our tale, making it impossible for them to unite. Made weak by his single combat with Fate, Siegfried tries in vain to hold on to the vanish image. As dawn breaks, he finds himself alone on the empty banks of the lake of his dreams.

The Nutcracker (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

The Nutcracker (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

Ballet in two acts
Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich after the fairy-tale of the same name by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, ideas from the scenario by Marius Petipa used
Choreographer: Yuri Grigorovich
Designer: Simon Virsaladze
Music Director: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Guests are gathering for a Christmas party at the Stahlbaum home. Among them are Drosselmeyer, godfather to Marie and Fritz, the Stahlbaums' children. He has brought them a wonderful present: a funny Nutcracker.
The children wait with impatience for when at long last they will be shown the Christmas tree and the presents. The long awaited moment comes: the handsomely adorned Christmas tree is presented to the assembled company.
Drosselmeyer suddenly appears disguised as a magician: he is not recognized by the children. Their unknown guest's ability to make their toys come alive delights the children but, as everything that is clad in mystery, it involuntarily arouses their fear. In order to calm them down, Drosselmeyer takes off his mask and the chil dren now recognize their beloved godfather. Marie wants to play with the wonderful dolls which have come alive, but they have already been tidied away. To comfort Marie, Drosselmeyer gives her the Nutcracker-Doll. Marie takes a great liking to this awkward, funny creature.
Marie's brother Fritz, who is a great tease and very naughty, acci dentally breaks the doll. With great tenderness, Marie comforts her injured Nutcracker and rocks it backwards and forwards. Fritz and his friends now put on mouse masks and tease poor Marie.
The guests appear from an adjoining room. After the final, ceremonial Grossvater dance, they all leave.
At night the room where the Christmas tree stands is bathed in moonlight. It looks mysterious and full of magical secrets. Overcoming her fears, Marie has come to the room to visit her ‘sick' Nutcracker-Doll. She kisses the doll and rocks it.
Drosselmeyer now appears. But instead of her kind godfather, he has turned into a wizard. At a wave of his hand everything around them is transformed: the walls of the room slide back, the Christmas tree starts to grow. And all the toys come alive and grow together with the tree.
Suddenly, mice creep out from under the floor boards, led by the Mouse King. The dolls are panic-stricken and thrown into confusion. The Nutcracker's quick wits and bravery save the day: lining up the lead soldiers, he boldly leads them out to do battle with the mice forces.
However, the forces are unequal, the advantage is on the side of the evil mice. The Nutcracker is left alone to face the Mouse King and his suite. Marie is out of her mind with worry over the danger that threatens her doll. At this very moment, Drosselmeyer hands her a lighted candle and she throws it at the mice who scurry away helter-skelter.
The battle field empties. The only person left here is the Nutcracker who lies without moving on the floor. Marie, together with the dolls, hurries to his rescue. And now a miracle occurs...Before Marie stands a handsome youth, the Nutcracker-Prince. He walks forward to meet her.
The walls of the house disappear. Marie and her friends are standing under a star-studded sky, by a fairy-tale Christmas tree. Snowflakes go round in a magical dance. Marie and her Nutcracker-Prince, beckon, as if to a beautiful dream, to the twinkling star at the top of the Christmas tree. They climb into a magic boat and set off for the top of the tree. The dolls follow behind them.

Act II
Marie and Nutcracker-Prince are sailing in their magic boat through the Christmas tree kingdom. There are their friends, the dolls with them. The shining star is getting closer and closer. They are just about to reach the top of the tree when they are suddenly attacked by the mice and the Mouse King who have crept up behind them. Once again, the Nutcracker-Prince goes boldly into battle. Horribly frightened, Marie and the dolls watch the fight. The Nutcracker-Prince vanquishes the enemy. Joyous victory celebrations are underway. The dolls dance, the candles burn even brighter, the Christmas tree comes alive. The evil mice have been defeated. Marie and the Nutcracker-Prince are radiant with happiness - they have reached the kingdom of their dreams! But it appears all this was just a dream. Christmas Eve is over and with it all wonderful reveries. Marie, still in the thrall of the fabulous dream, is sitting at home by the Christmas tree, with the Nutcracker-Doll on her lap.

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The Snow Maiden (Opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

The Snow Maiden (Opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Opera in four acts
Libretto by the composer based on the play of the same name by Alexander Ostrovsky
Music Director: Tugan Sokhiev
Stage Director: Alexander Titel
Designer: Vladimir Arefiev
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Will be premiered on June 15, 2017.

The Tzars Bride (Opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

The Tzars Bride (Opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

Opera in four acts
Libretto by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Ilya Tyumenev
based on Lev Mey s play of the same name
Music Director: Vassily Sinaisky
Stage Director: Julia Pevzner
Set Designer: Alyona Pikalova
Costume Designer: Elena Zaitseva
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Choreographer: Ekaterina Mironova
Will be premiered on February 22, 2014.

SYNOPSIS

Act I
The Carousal
Chamber in Oprichnik Grigory Gryaznoy s house. Grigory is plunged in deep thought. He has fallen passionately in love with Marfa, daughter of the merchant Sobakin, but she is already betrothed to the young boyar, Ivan Lykov. In order to put his love out of his mind, Grigory decides to organize a drinking-party. One of his guests is the Tsar s foreign physi?cian, Bomelius; Gryaznoy has an important matter to discuss with him.

His guests start arriving: the oprichniks led by Malyuta Skuratov, Gryaznoy s friend, Ivan Lykov and the long-awaited Yelisey Bomelius. Lykov tells the assembled company of the for?eign parts from whence he has recently returned. Psaltery players and singers entertain the guests with songs and dancing. The guests sing the praises of their sovereign, Ivan the Terrible.

During the revelries, Malyuta mentions Lyubasha. "Who is Lyubasha?" Bomelius asks. "Gryaznoy s mistress, a right bonny lass!" Malyuta replies. Gryaznoy calls Lyubasha and, at Malyuta s request, she sings a song about the bitter fate of a girl who is forced to marry a man she doesn t love. The carousal comes to an end and the guests depart. Gryaznoy detains Bomelius. Lyubasha, sensing that something is wrong, hides and listens to their conversation. Graznoy asks Bomelius for a love potion. The physician promises to provide him with a powder which has the power to arouse love in a girl s heart. After Bomelius has gone, Lyubasha accuses Grigory of having fallen out of love with her. But Grigory doesn t listen. He can think of nothing else but his passion for Marfa. The bells sound for the early morning service. Grigory departs leaving Lyubasha alone with her despair. She cannot live without Grigory s love. Lyubasha vows she will seek out the girl who is the cause other troubles and bewitch her away from Gryaznoy.

Act II
The Love Potion
A street in the Alexandrov sloboda. The parishioners are coming out of the monastery after the evening service. The oprichniks turn up: they are concocting some new mischief against the boyars. The common people try to keep out of their way: they fear both the boyars and the oprichniks, loyal servants to the stern Tsar.

Marfa, accompanied by Dunyasha and Petrovna, the house?keeper, come out of the monastery gates. At the porch of her house, Marfa stands talking to her friend other betrothed, Ivan Lykov. Suddenly someone in a black monk s cassock and skull?cap appears through the monastery gates and walks slowly along the street. Marfa s eyes meet those of the monk. She doesn t rec?ognize Ivan the Terrible but the stranger s intent gaze frightens her. It is only when she catches sight of her father and her betrothed, who are approaching the house, that she calms down and forgets her weird encounter. Sobakin invites Lykin into the house and the girls follow them in. Dusk is falling. A shadow is circling round the Sobakin house. It is Lyubasha. She cautiously steals up to the porch: she wants to have a look at her rival. Having peeped through the lit-up win?dow, Dunyasha clams down: "Is that Marfa? There is no need for me to worry then, Grigory will soon tire other!" But, peep?ing again through the window, Dunyasha realizes she has mis?taken Dunyasha for Marfa. Dunyasha is struck by Marfa s beau?ty. "He won t fall out of love with her in a hurry. I ll soon show her, though!"

Out of her mind with despair, Lyubasha rushes to Bomelius s house. Bomelius appears in answer to her call. Lyubasha begs him to sell her a potion which will destroy human beauty. Bomelius agrees, demanding in return Lyubasha s love. Indignant, Lyubasha wants to leave, but Bomelius threatens to tell Gryaznoy what she has asked him for.

The sound of Marfa s laughter coming from the Sobakins house, makes Lyubasha agree to Bomelius s terms. Bomelius goes off to mix the potion, leaving Lyubasha alone with her oppressive thoughts. At this point, Lykov leaves the Sobakin household accompanied by the master of the house. Learning from their conversation that Grigory is expected at Marfa s home the next day, Lyubasha renews her pleas for a potion: Bomelius has now reappeared. Bomelius tries to drag the des?perate girl into his house, but the sound of the oprichniks singing in the distance stays his hand. Lyubasha is about to rush towards the oprichniks, where she will find Grigory, when she remembers he no longer loves her and comes to a halt. Bomelius hides by the door, waiting for Lyubasha. Lyubasha forces herself to go to the physician. She feels as if she is going to her execution. The oprichniks appear in the street. Led by Malyuta, they are on their way to massacre the seditious boyars. The light goes out in Bomelius house.

Act III
Druzhka
Chamber in Merchant Sobakin s house. Sobakin tells Ivan Lykov and Gryaznoy that Marfa, together with Dunyasha and the boyars daughters, have been summoned to the palace for the Tsar intends to choose himself a bride. This alarms both Lykov and Gryaznoy. Sobakin tries to calm down Lykov. Echoing Sobakin s sentiments, Gryaznoy sug?gests he be druzhka (one of the participants, representing the bride?groom, in the old wedding rites) at Lykov s wedding. But as he congratu?lates Lykov, there is a mocking intonation in his voice. Domna Saburova, Dunyasha s mother, appears. She describes how the ceremony for choosing the Tsar s bride went. The Tsar hardly glanced in Marfa s direction, but he paid Dunyasha a lot of attention, joking and talking with her. Lykov sighs with relief.

Grigory fills two goblets, he intends to drink a toast to the bride and bridegroom. Unnoticed, he pours the powder that Bomelius has given him into Marfa s goblet - the love potion. As soon as Marfa, who has returned from the palace together with Dunyasha, enters the room, Grigory congratulates the couple and gives then each a goblet. In accordance with tradition, Marfa drinks her goblet dry. Everyone congratulates Marfa and Lykov. Saburova strikes up a song in honor of the bride in which the latter s friends join in.

Suddenly, Petrovna rushes into the room and falls at Sobakin s feet. "The boyars are on their way to you bearing a message from the Tsar!" "To me? You are out о your mind, woman!" Sobakin exclaims.

Malyuta appears with the boyars and proclaims the Tsar s will - Marfa is to be his wife.

Act IV
The Bride
The Tsar s chamber where Marfa, the Tsar s bride, is now living preparatory to her wedding. An unknown ailment afflicts her. Bitter fears for his daughter give Sobakin no peace. Domna Saburova tries in vain to allay his anxiety. Gryaznoy appears: "The person responsible has confessed to everything and the Tsar s foreign physician has promised to cure her ailment", he tells Sobakin. Sobakin has no idea who this person is. He makes haste to tell his daughter what he has heard. Marfa, at her wits end, runs into the chamber. She realizes that Lykov has been blamed for her ailment, trying to save him, she pretends to feel quite well again. "I m quite well, I m quite well", she says in an agitated voice. But Gryaznoy replies that the Tsar had ordered the execution of Lykov who, according to Gryaznoy, had confessed to giving Marfa a potion, and that he, Gryaznoy, with his own hands had carried out the sentence. Learning of the death of her beloved, Marfa falls unconscious to the floor.

On coming to, Marfa recognizes no one. Mistaking Gryaznoy for Lykov, she converses tenderly with him, recalling the happy hours they have spent together. Shaken by Marfa s words, Gryaznoy admits that he had slandered Lykov and that he, him?self, and given Marfa the love potion. But Marfa doesn t hear him, all her thoughts are in the past. She again recalls her childhood, spent in Novgorod, and her betrothed. Gryaznoy is in despair. But before giving himself up into the hands of the oprichniks, he wants to "have things out with" Bomelius who deceived him. "You d better have things out with me", says Lyubasha who has appeared on the scene. And she tells Grigory how she had substituted poison for the love potion Bomelius had given Grigory and which Grigory had then given Marfa. Grigory kills Lyubasha by plunging his knife into her heart. Grigory bids farewell to Marfa and gives himself up to the oprichniks and Malyuta. But Marfa sees and hears nothing. All her thoughts are in the past, with Lykov. She dies with his name on her lips.

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