Enjoy a Fine Performance at Bolshoi Theater

If you enjoy live performances with a strong cultural twist, the Bolshoi Theater is one of Moscow’s top attractions. This theater and opera company regularly hosts live ballet and opera performances that reflect the culture of Russia and make a delightful addition to any travel plans. Even if you have relatively little knowledge of ballet or opera and you do not understand the languages used, you can still enjoy these superb performances since both music and opera are interpretative and the emotions therein can be understood by speakers of any language.

The Bolshoi Theater Company was founded in 1776 by two prominent men, Prince Peter Urussov and Michael Maddox. It started small and performances were originally held at a private home until 1780 when the Petrovka Theater was acquired and play and opera productions could be produced on a larger scale. The company blossomed and by 1825, they were able to build a new theater, the current building on Teatralnaya Square, after a fire destroyed the Petrovka Theater. At the time there were only two theaters in Moscow and St Petersburg. Both were state owned and known as Bolshoi Theatres. One was used for opera and ballet while the other was used for tragedies and comedies. Opera and ballet was considered to be of a higher class than drama and thus the opera house became known as the ‘Grand Theatre’ or the “Bolshoi” (large) theatre. The drama theater later came to be called the “Maly” (little) theatre. Further to this, the Moscow theater was called the Imperial Bolshoi Theater of Moscow.

When it originally opened, theatrical productions were limited to Russian works. Roughly twenty years later the theater started to stage productions by foreign composers. The Bolshoi theater is the home of the Bolshoi Ballet troupe and is was also the place where Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake premiered in 1877. Unfortunately, the main Bolshoi theater is currently closed for restoration but the New Bolshoi theater, which is situated right next to the original building, continues to house excellent concerts and performances. These performances are particularly popular with tourists visiting Moscow and you should do your best to see at least one if you are visiting this stunning Russian city.


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