Bolshoi Theater

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Bolshoi Theater (2011)

The Bolshoi Theater ( Russian Большо́й теа́тр "Great Theater") in Moscow is the most famous and important theater for opera and ballet in Russia . It forms a pair with the Maly Theater ("Small Theater") in the immediate vicinity .


Today's Bolshoi Theater has existed since 1776. At that time, Prince Pyotr Urusov received from Empress Catherine II the sole right to stage plays and musical plays in Moscow. The first actors were serfs of the prince. The performances initially took place in a private house, and the theater was not built at the current location until 1780. The structure stands on wooden piles in what was originally a swampy part of central Moscow.

The Bolshoi Theater in 1932

At first the theater was named after the Petrovsky Theater that passed by. In the 18th century mainly operas by Russian composers were performed, but also dramas and ballets . The theater is also home to the Bolshoi Ballet .

In 1805 the theater building burned down and was rebuilt 20 years later by the architect Joseph Bové (also: Ossip Bowe) according to plans by Andrei Michailow . It was only then that it was given the name Bolshoi Theater . On January 6th, July / January 18, 1825 greg. the new Bolshoi Theater reopened with the prologue The Triumph of the Muses to the music of Alexei Werstowski and Alexander Aljabjew and Fernando Sor's ballet Cendrillon .

In 1853 another fire destroyed the interior of the theater. As a result, the Italian architect Alberto Camillo Cavos (1800–1863), son of the composer Catterino Cavos (1775–1840), furnished the building with even more precious features. This facility has been preserved to this day, apart from minor changes. Thanks to its extraordinary architecture in the style of Russian classicism , the building of the Bolshoi Theater is one of the most beautiful theaters in the world today.

During the times of the Soviet Union , the party congresses of the CPSU and the congresses of the Communist International met here . In 1941 the entrance area was hit by a German aerial bomb, so the next party congress was moved to a station on the Moscow Metro .


Auditorium of the Bolshoi Theater
The theater as a projection surface for a “light show” in October 2014

Around 900 actors, dancers , singers and musicians work at the Bolshoi Theater, which has 1,800 seats . The stars are mostly on tour around the world and therefore rarely to be found in Moscow.

A visit to the Bolshoi Theater is often part of a Moscow tourist's program. Tickets for the upper echelons are available from around eight euros. Ticket dealers in front of the entrance sell the tickets at much overpriced prices because the events are usually completely sold out.

The Bolshoi Theater was closed for a thorough renovation and restoration from mid-2005 to the end of October 2011. The building, whose masonry partly dates from three epochs, had become dilapidated, so that a fundamental renovation was necessary. It is estimated that the renovation cost was 25.5 billion rubles, the equivalent of almost one billion euros. Official figures amounted to half. During the period of closure, the first squad of the Bolshoi Theater went on extensive guest performances in Russia and the rest of the CIS . At the end of 2002, a new stage was put into operation as a replacement near the theater building, on which part of the repertoire continued to be played during the renovation period. The house was reopened on October 28, 2011.

The image of the Bolshoi Theater was minted on a modern Russian coin (in silver) and printed on the 100 ruble note .

On January 17, 2013, the general manager Sergei Filin was attacked with sulfuric acid and lost his eyesight. During a performance on July 16, 2013, 65-year-old violinist Viktor Sedov fell six meters to his death.

The current director of the theater is Vladimir Urin . In July 2017, he decided to cancel a ballet about the ballet star Rudolf Nureyev, staged by Kirill Serebrennikow together with the choreographer Jurij Possochow .


  • Bolshoi - a rebirth. Documentary, France, 2011, 52 min., Script and director: Denis Sneguirev, production: arte France, Bel Air Media, Groupe Summa, German premiere: October 28, 2011.
  • Dance at the Bolshoi. The comeback of the Moscow ballet troupe. Documentary, Germany, 2009, 30 min., Script and director: Reiner Penzholz, production: Eurokick, 3sat , ZDF , first broadcast: August 22, 2010 in 3sat.
  • The great Bolshoi. The Moscow Opera House in upheaval. Documentation, Germany, 2009, 45 min., Director: Reiner Penzholz, first broadcast: December 23, 2009 in 3sat
  • Bolshoi Babylon. Documentary, Great Britain, 2015, 87 min., Director: Nick Read, theatrical release in Germany July 21, 2016. The “Scandal” film tries to determine the incidents of 2013 and to shape them into the moral image of modern Russia.

Web links

Commons : Bolshoi Theater  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Cross-section of the Bolshoi Theater after the renovation , RIA Novosti , October 2011
  2. The Bolshoi Theater - History and Contact Information
  3. Bolshoi dossier ( Memento of the original from October 30, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , arte , October 28, 2011, on the reopening of the Bolshoi 2011, with videos  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ Spiegel Online : Crime Story: The Dark World of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater , accessed on July 18, 2013
  5. Tages-Anzeiger : Bolshoi Geiger dies after falling in orchestra pit , accessed on July 18, 2013
  6. Summary of arte ( memento from April 18, 2013 in the web archive )
  7. ^ Table of contents by ARD
  8. ^ Table of contents by ARD
  9. IMDB: Bolshoi Babylon. Retrieved July 20, 2016 .
  10. Bayerischer Rundfunk: Documentary: Bolshoi Babylon | January 14, 2015, accessed July 20, 2016 .

Coordinates: 55 ° 45 ′ 37 ″  N , 37 ° 37 ′ 7 ″  E