Sunday, 24 July 2011

Bolshoi restoration - opening night draws near

The big restoration of the Bolshoi theatre is drawing to an end – and Spanish tenor Placido Domingo has made the very first appearance on the hallowed boards.

“He was the first foreign star who came out to the restored historical stage and even sang a fragment from [Tchaikovsky’s opera] ‘Queen of Spades’,” Anatoly Iskanov, the Bolshoi’s director told journalists.

And all music lovers will be able to check the revived acoustics of the theatre’s main stage in just few months time, he assured, as the six-year restoration finally faces the final curtain.

The big date has been set for Oct. 28, after a final round of minor delays ended plans to open up on Oct. 11 – the resonant date 11.11.11. A new staging of Glinka’s “Ruslan and Lyudmila”, one the first Russian operas, is to open the long-awaited season.

Sneaking into the premiere won’t be possible for the average opera lover, although it is to be broadcast live on the screens outside the Bolshoi and in 600 cinemas all around the world.

Earlier this month, Vladimir Resin, Moscow’s deputy mayor, said October 17 was the big date.

Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Sleeping Beauty”, Christmas-classic “Nutcracker”, a revival of Mussorgsky’s opera “Boris Godunov” and some performance from the Milan’s La Scala are all on the playlist for the upcoming season.

And some of the performances that are currently running on the theatre’s Novaya Stsena are to be transferred to the historical stage.

The recent premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera “Golden Cockerel” kick starts the new season on the smaller stage and no plans to move the performance to the main hall have been proposed yet.

During the restoration, the Bolshoi’s interiors have recreated their original appearance. The original unique acoustics of the opera house have been completely revived, Anatoly Iskanov, the Bolshoi’s director told journalists.

Concrete floors in the main hall and the orchestra pit, which prevented the building from collapsing during the Soviet era, have been replaced with state-of-the-art materials that won’t deaden the sound.

And a new underground hall is to be stuffed with modern technology making it a versatile space for different kinds of performance.

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