The Sleeping Beauty | Ballet


The King and Queen are celebrating the birth of their daughter, Princess Aurora. The Lilac Fairy and her attendants appear to the gentle sounds of harps and violins. The good fairies – the Tender Fairy, the Playful Fairy, the Generous Fairy, the Brave Fairy and the Carefree Fairy – all arrive. Each has brought a gift for the new-born Princess. Terrified servants announce that Carabosse, the evil fairy, is on her way. The old and ugly Carabosse draws up in her chariot, driven by monsters and mice. She is furious that they forgot to invite her to the ball. Carabosse calls forth a vision of the young Aurora and says she will prick her finger on a spindle and die. 
The Lilac Fairy drives Carabosse from Aurora’s cradle and promises to protect the Princess. Good has won this battle against Evil. Carabosse leaves the palace, fuming and enraged. In order to prevent the tragedy foretold by the evil witch, the King issues a command forbidding the use of spindles in his kingdom on pain of death.

Act I 
Princess Aurora is now sixteen. The palace is filled with guests. The suitors are presented to Aurora. She is kind to them all and dances with each of them, without bestowing her favour on any particular one. 
An old woman with a bouquet of roses approaches the Princess. Aurora takes the bouquet and dances a waltz. Suddenly, pricking her finger, the Princess falls, senseless. A sharp needle was hidden amidst the flowers. Everyone is grief-stricken. At this instant, the old woman’s cloak slips from her shoulders. 
It is the evil Carabosse, in triumph. Drawing their swords, the suitors throw themselves upon her, but the witch disappears. Aurora’s protectress the Lilac Fairy appears. She is unable to undo Carabosse’s evil spell, but she can soften its effect. “Aurora is not dead-she is merely asleep,” says the good fairy, and with a wave of her magic wand sends the entire kingdom into a one-hundred-year’s slumber. The grounds become overgrown with lilac bushes, hiding the castle deep in a forest.

Act II 
Scene I 
One hundred years have passed. Prince Désiré is hunting in the woods with his friends and retinue. 
Once he is alone, the Lilac Fairy appears before him. She calls forth Aurora’s image. The Prince is captivated and reaches out to her, but Aurora, dancing in the midst of the spirits, moves away and disappears. The Prince desperately wishes to see her again. 
Together with the Lilac Fairy, Prince Désiré sails towards the sleeping castle. They are surrounded by the silent forest. The towers of the royal castle can be seen through the dense wood. 
Scene II 
The overgrown park is inhabited only by the evil Carabosse and her attendants. They bar the way to all who attempt to enter the sleeping kingdom. Suddenly, they hear sounds indicating that the Lilac Fairy is approaching. Carabosse is powerless before her. 
In the meantime, Désiré has already reached the walls of the royal castle. 
Looking for the Princess, he hurriedly passes by the sleeping court. He approaches the couch where Aurora lies in a deep sleep. 
Désiré wakens the sleeping beauty with a passionate kiss. The whole kingdom awakes with her. Aurora and Désiré feel all the passion of first love. 
Enchanted by Aurora’s beauty and charm, the Prince asks the King and Queen for their daughter’s hand.

Act III 
Aurora and Désiré’s magnificent wedding is being celebrated at the palace. 
The many guests include characters from fairytales. There is Bluebird and his wives, Princess Florine and the Bluebird, Puss in Boots and the White Cat, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf and Hop O’My Thumb and his brothers, with the Ogre chasing them. Cinderella runs by, losing her slipper. Prince Fortuné picks it up. 
The Diamond Fairy, the Sapphire Fairy, the Golden Fairy and the Silver Fairy come to congratulate Aurora and Désiré. 
Aurora and Désiré, the radiant newly-weds, perform a festive duet.

General rejoicing. The fountains are playing. The Lilac Fairy, symbolising the eternal triumph and victory of Good, rises above the gushing cascade.

Program and cast

Buy tickets
July 2019 Next
Photo gallery

Bolshoi Theatre

On 28 March (17 according to the old style) 1776, Catherine II granted the prosecutor, Prince Pyotr Urusov, the "privilege" of "maintaining" theatre performances of all kinds, including masquerades, balls and other forms of entertainment, for a period of ten years. And it is from this date that Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre traces its history.

The Bolshoi building, which for many years now has been regarded as one of Moscow’s main sights, was opened on 20 October 1856, on Tsar Alexander II’s coronation day.

On 29 October 2002 the Bolshoi was given a New Stage and it was here it presented its performances during the years the Historic Stage was undergoing massive reconstruction and refurbishment.

The reconstruction project lasted from l July 2005 to 28 October 2011. As a result of this reconstruction, many lost features of the historic building were reinstated and, at the same time, it has joined the ranks of most technically equipped theatre buildings in the world.

The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it made to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages.


An inherent part of the Theatre’s activities is the presentation of concerts of symphony and chamber works, and of operas in concert performance, thus acquainting the public with works of all music genres. 

Now that the Bolshoi Theatre has two stages at its disposal, one of them its legendary Historic Stage which is at last back in action again, it hopes to fulfill its mission with an even greater degree of success, steadily extending the sphere of its influence at home and throughout the world.


The Bolshoi has to a large extent reacquired its authentic historical appearance, lost during the years of Soviet power. The auditorium and part of its suite of halls now look as they were originally conceived by Bolshoi Theatre architect Alberto Cavos. While the former imperial foyer halls have been given back their 1895 decor, this was the year they were redecorated for Emperor Nicholas II’s coronation celebrations. Each reproduced or restored element of interior decoration was made the object of a special project for which separate documentation was collected based on numerous archival and on-site researches.

In 2010 the auditorium suite of halls were renovated: the Lobby, the Main or the White Foyer, the Choral, Exhibition, Round and Beethoven halls. Muscovites were able to admire the restored facades and the renovated symbol of the Bolshoi Theatre — the famous Apollo quadriga, created by the sculptor Peter Klodt.

The auditorium has regained its original beauty. And, just like the 19th century theatergoer, so each member of the public today will be dazzled by its extravagant and at the same time “light” décor. The bright crimson, scattered with gold, draping of the interiors of the boxes, the different on each level stucco arabesques, the Apollo and the Muses plafond — all this contributes to the auditorium’s breath-taking impact.

Special attention was paid to the restoration of the legendary acoustics. International experts did extensive research work and made sure all their technical recommendations were carried out to the letter.

State of the art machinery has been installed in the stagehouse. The Bolshoi Theatre Historic stage now consists of seven two-tier rising and descending platforms. These platforms can easily change their positions, thus the stage can become horizontal, raked or stepped. The stage and backstage area can be united which creates a stage space of incredible depth.

New upper stage equipment, remotely controlled by computer, makes it possible to derive maximum use from lighting, sound and visual effects. Cutting edge rigs have been installed for the deployment of lanterns, special effects apparatus and acoustics. 

The orchestra pit has been provided with extra space under the forestage. This makes it one of the biggest orchestra pits in the world seating up to 130 musicians, which is necessary for the performance of such large-scale works as, for instance, Wagner operas.

The installation of state of the art stage equipment was a unique world-scale project. The reconstruction has doubled the Theatre’s total floor space. Thanks to the expansion of the Theatre’s existing underground spaces (under stagehouse) and to the construction of new underground space under Theatre Square, this has been achieved without any change to the Theatre’s external appearance.

Thus the Theatre has acquired badly needed new space, including an underground concert and rehearsal room, which has inherited its name from the Beethoven Hall, under the Theatre lobby. This hall is a multi-functional space which can be used in different ways. It consists of five main platforms: the central platform is the stage itself, two platforms to the right and left of it can be used either to increase the size of the stage or as audience space. The two remaining platforms form the main space of the auditorium. All of the platforms can be raised to foyer level to create a space for holding formal, receptions. Apart from this concert hall and its auxiliary premises, the rest of the underground space under Theatre Square accommodates a large number of technical, service and staff rooms.

The Bolshoi Theatre reconstruction project also included the renovation of the Khomyakov House, a protected architectural monument of the first half of the nineteenth century situated immediately behind the Bolshoi, which has been transformed into a service wing. Due to numerous 20th century reconstructions, the historical interiors of the Khomyakov House have been totally lost. While its main walls have been preserved, the interior layout has been redesigned to meet the Theatre’s present-day requirements. Thus the Khomaykov House, which is linked to the main Bolshoi Theatre building by an underground tunnel, is a key element in the gigantic Bolshoi Theatre complex.

The renovation of the country’s main stage was a landmark event in the lives of a large coordinated team of highest-level professionals. Participating in the project were uniquely qualified specialists whose great feat of labor will earn them the undying gratitude of present-day Bolshoi Theatre audiences.



Mokhovaya Street

If you are on Mokhovaya Street keep driving straight ahead, not turning off it, till you reach Theatre Square where the Bolshoi Theatre is situated.

Tverskaya Street

If you are moving down Tverskaya, in the direction of the centre, you will automatically find yourself on Teatralnyi Proezd Street leading to the Bolshoi Theatre.

Petrovka Street

If you are on the Petrovka, which is a one-way street, you will be able to drive right up to the Theatre.


Take the metro to Teatralnaya (Bolshoi Theatre exit) or Okhotnyi ryad (Theatre Square exit).

Related events