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October 31 is Reformation Day, a religious holiday celebrated in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities. On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther wrote to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting against the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” which came to be known as The 95 Theses. The following process lead to the foundation of the Lutheran Church. Read more on Wikipedia.
The Moscow theatre was inaugurated on 18 January 1825 with a performance of Fernando Sor’s ballet, Cendrillon. Initially, it presented only Russian works, but foreign composers entered the repertoire starting around 1840. A fire in 1853 caused extensive damage; reconstruction was carried out by Alberto Cavos, son of Catterino Cavos, an opera composer. The theater reopened in 1856. The Bolshoi has been the site of many historic premieres including Tchaikovsky’s The Voyevoda and Mazeppa, and Rachmaninoff’s Aleko and Francesca da Rimini. Feodor Chaliapin, Leonid Sobinov, Antonina Nezhdanova, Ksenia Derzhinskaia and other outstanding opera singers performed at the Bolshoi.
The main building of the Bolshoi closed for restoration in 2005 and originally set to reopen in 2009 or early 2010. As of late 2009, this has been pushed back to 2011. It is scheduled to open on October 28, 2011 with premiere of Glinka’s opera “Ruslan and Lyudmila” (director – Dmitry Chernyakov). The Theatre has undergone many renovations in its time, but none as major as this. The restoration will cost US$730 million. The restoration was initially due to cost 15 billion rubles ($610 million), but engineers found the structure was more than 75 percent unstable. The work is being funded entirely by the federal government.
The restoration will repair the foundation and brickwork. The renovation is intended to restore the original acoustics of the theatre, which were largely lost as a result of renovations during the Soviet era. Inside the theatre, the entire space has been stripped from the bottom up, the 19th-century wooden fixtures, silver stage curtain and French-made red velvet banquettes removed for repair in specialist workshops. At the very top of the facade, the two-headed eagle of the original Russian coat of arms has been installed in place where the Soviet hammer and sickle hung for decades. Despite the reconstruction, the theatre is operational and holds performances. Most of the shows are performed on the New Stage and some performances are held on the stage of the Great Kremlin Palace.
Read more on Website Bolshoi Theatre, Reconstruction of Bolshoi Theatre, Pictures and Wikipedia Bolshoi Theatre.