Re-opening of the Bolshoi Theatre after the great renovation and restauration

Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 01:03 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Bolshoi Theatre 2011 © moscowjob.net - Alexey Vikhrov

Bolshoi Theatre 2011 © moscowjob.net – Alexey Vikhrov

The Bolshoi Theatre is a historic theatre in Moscow, Russia, designed by the architect Joseph Bové, which holds performances of ballet and opera. The Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera are amongst the oldest and greatest ballet and opera companies of the world, respectively. The theatre is the parent company of The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, a world-leading school of ballet. The company was founded in 1776 by Prince Peter Urusov and Michael Maddox. Initially, it held performances in a private home, but in 1780, it acquired the Petrovka Theatre and began producing plays and operas. The current building was built on Theatre Square in 1824 to replace the Petrovka Theatre, which had been destroyed by fire in 1805. It was designed by architect Andrei Mikhailov, who had built the nearby Maly Theatre in 1824.

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.

Inside Bolshoi Theatre 2005 © Theefer

Inside Bolshoi Theatre 2005 © Theefer

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 and Wikipedia Bolshoi Theatre.




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