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Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow

1 Teatral'naya Ploschad
Russia 125009
Tel: 7 495 692 0050
view web site ›'s insider take:

After a bad run in the 1990s, when it was overshadowed by St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater, the Bolshoi is fast regaining its status as one of the best opera and ballet theaters in the world. The final word hinges on the outcome of a dramatic restoration of the crumbling main building—an 1825 masterpiece of Russian neoclassicism, reconstructed after an 1853 fire, featuring an eight-columned portico surmounted by Apollo's chariot. Until the grand reopening (currently scheduled for 2011), the theater's creative progress can be charted through performances at the State Kremlin Palace and at the new 900-seat stage next to the main building. The arrival of wunderkind choreographer Alexei Ratmansky in 2004 already gave new life to the ballet troupe, and in 2005, the Bolshoi premiered its first contemporary opera, Children of Rosental, with libretto commissioned from post-modernist novelist Vladimir Sorokin. Scalping was once a big problem in front of the main building, but there's no need to use those services: Ask your hotel for help obtaining tickets, or visit the ticket office to the left of the main building, near the new stage. Sometimes tickets are remarkably cheap—as little as $7 for the new stage balcony. Credit cards are accepted.

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