Aha Bolshoi Theatre! Hearing its name instantly thrills. After all, who wouldn’t like to visit and see ballet performances in the iconic temple of Russia’s culture? Whether you are visiting Moscow for business or leisure purposes, you would certainly like to spend some time to enthrall yourself with the amazing dance shows at one of the biggest ballet and opera theaters in the world.
Before you get mesmerized with the fabulous dance shows, let us retrace the history and get an insight into Moscow’s prominent landmark – the Bolshoi Theatre – which is situated at a beautiful Theatre Square in the downtown. The Bolshoi Theatre can be easily compared to the likes of UK’s Covent Garden and Italy’s La Scala. Its importance for Russia therefore cannot be ignored in any case.
The Bolshoi Theatre is housed in a magnificent building. Its immortal creations are to be admired and enjoyed. The building is in itself a masterpiece of Russian architecture. It’s simply outstanding. Let us now get an insight into its majestic, yet confusing history. The dates on which the Bolshoi Theatre took birth is confusing. According to some it came into being in March 1776, while others say it was established in January 1825.
Here’s the story behind and how all happened. Prince Peter V. Urusov, the provincial prosecutor, was the first to start the construction of the theater in March 1776 after Empress Catherine II permitted him to do so for staging theatrical performances, masquerades and concerts. The building was then located on Peter’s Square and was therefore named Petrovsky. However, even before Moscow’s first Russian theater was burned down even before it could be opened for the public. This also led to the downfall of the Prince as well. Later, it was only in 1821-1824 that the monumental building housing the Bolshoi Theatre was rebuilt by Mikhailov and Bove. Ever since, the theater is housed in this building.
The classical style building is simply amazing. Its interiors are decorated in red and gold. The 8-column theater with the wonderful chariot of Apollo over the portico aptly symbolizes eternal movement of art and life. The rebuilt theater was finally opened in January 1825 and was considered to be Europe’s best theater and second only to Milan’s La Scala.
One of world’s best theater buildings
Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre is magnificent. It is among the world’s best theater buildings. The five-story building is huge and renowned for its excellent acoustics. Its interiors are stunning. It is decorated with huge multi-tiered crystal chandelier, murals on ceiling and glided stucco. The square where the theater is situated has a beautiful fountain. The Bolshoi Theatre presently has a seating capacity of 2,153 spectators.
Ever since it opened its doors to the public, it has constantly remained a source of prime attraction where the very best Russian opera and ballet performances are staged. The theater has seen scintillating performances and several outstanding works by renowned Russian composers. Some of the leading choreographers, directors, conductors, dancers and local singers form the part of the Bolshoi Theatre Company.
Returning to glory
The Bolshoi Theatre has undergone a 6-year renovation and was again reopened in October 2011. The theater’s main stage was reconstructed and completely refurbished. The historical appearance was fully restored and its legendary acoustics kept intact even though new stage equipment and state-of-the-art machinery were added.
The theater has once again returned to its glory and is presently offering a full repertoire of ballets and operas such as the Nutcracker, Swan lake, Carmen and La Traviata. To see the performances here you need to purchase your tickets at least several weeks in advance. Spending an evening at the Bolshoi Theatre is still considered to be the most entertaining and romantic options for a night out in the Russian capital of Moscow.
If you are a passionate lover of ballet and opera, it would be worthwhile to do some research before you finally choose to see a performance. Get ready to be mesmerized by the breathtaking beauty of the stage setting and look forward to a truly memorable evening.