Visit the glamorous Moscow home of the Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera for an evening of unbridled opulence. From Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake to Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel, the greatest works of Russian classical music are brought to the stage by two of the finest performing companies in the world, with exquisite costumes and sets – and all against the gold and velvet backdrop of this superbly restored neoclassical opera house. To experience opera and ballet at their most grand and awe-inspiring, book yourself some Bolshoi Theatre tickets at StubHub.
A brief history of the Bolshoi Theatre
The work of architect Andrei Mikhailov, the Bolshoi Theatre opened in 1825. Over the next 150 years it would suffer its fair share of misfortunes, including fires in the nineteenth century, bombings during WWII and years of neglect during the Soviet era. Yet the name “Bolshoi” never lost its allure, and the theatre continued to host some of the most important premieres in Russian musical history. It was here that audiences first thrilled to the operas of Mussorgsky and Shostakovich and that many of the most famous Russian singers and dancers made their names. In 2005-2011, the theatre underwent six years of painstaking renovation at a reputed cost of over a billion dollars, returning this historic landmark to its original jewel-like perfection. Although best known for its lavish productions of homegrown classics, today its repertoire extends to international favourites by the likes of Handel, Mozart and Puccini.
Ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre
“Bolshoi” means “big”, and with 220 dancers the theatre's ballet company is one of the largest in existence. Although it dates back to the 1770s, it wasn't until the early 1900s that it really came into its own under the leadership of choreographer Alexander Gorsky, who pioneered a style that mixed fiery passion with flamboyant technique. It was this athletic approach that propelled the company to fame in the twentieth century even as Communist Russia closed its doors to the western world. During the 1960s, the company went on international tours as a way of generating much-needed foreign income for the cash-strapped Soviet Empire, and as a result a whole new generation of westerners fell in love with the Bolshoi's gymnastic brilliance. In modern times, the Bolshoi ballet offers a wide-ranging programme of performances to suit newcomers and aficionados alike, with crowd-pleasing perennials such as Coppelia and Giselle scheduled alongside modern masterworks like Balanchine's Jewels and ambitious new pieces including Ilya Demutsky's A Hero of Our Time, which enjoyed a rapturous world premiere in 2015.