Moscows Bolshoi Theatre to re-open

Moscows Bolshoi Theatre to re-open

Following six years of renovation Russia’s historic Bolshoi Theatre is ready to unveil its new and improved look later this month.

On the 28 October, international opera singers, ballet dancers and Bolshoi artists will be the first to perform on its opulent stage in a lavish ceremony to be broadcast by distributor Pathe in cinemas around the world.

The two-hour Gala is directed by renowned local theatre producer, Dmitri Tcherniakov and will welcome the country’s President, Dmitry Medvedev, as one of the evening’s guests.

Opera stars performing include Placido Domingo, Natalie Dessay and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Principle dancers include Svetlana Zakharova and Ivan Vasiliev, as well as the Soloists of the Bolshoi Ballet.

After closing its doors in July 2005 to be refurbished back to its original splendour, the site development was delayed in 2008 after engineers found the structure to be more than 75% unstable. At the time, the USD$610 million cost of the project rocketed to $730 – the latest figure is unknown.

In 2009 Russia’s culture minister, Alexander Avdeyev, described how practicalities such as the stage hydraulics were more time consuming than initially thought and pushed the completion date to the middle of 2011.

Improvements include an expanded orchestra pit, now able to seat a possible 130 musicians. It is one of the largest in the world and is regarded important for the complex compositions of Wagner and Strauss.

The theatre’s main dimensions have also increased from an initial 30,366sq metres, more than doubling to 72,366, and the entrance and audience halls have been returned to their former glory.

The theatre’s foundations date back to 1776 after being initiated by Duke Urusov and Empress Catherine the Great. However, 30 years after its eventual completion in 1853, it was destroyed by fire. Until 2005 no other major restoration work had been undertaken and the building had crumbled into disrepair.

For more information contact the Bolshoi Theatre (00 7 499 250 73 17;

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