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Bolshoi theatre - Small Stage (Moscow)

Bolshoi is one of the leading ballet and opera companies in the world. The imposing home of the internationally - famed Bolshoi ballet and opera was constructed in 1824 by Osip Bove, though the company itself was begun in 1773 as a dancing school for the Moscow Orphanage. For much of its history the Bolshoi was overshadowed by the Mariinsky Theater...   Show more

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On 29 November 2002 the Bolshoi was given a New Stage with state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment and a more intimate atmosphere akin to that of a Tsarist court theatre. And it was here it presented its performances during the years the Historic Stage was undergoing massive reconstruction and refurbishment.

A new scene is built close to the historic building of the Main Stage of Bolshoi, at the left side of it. Together with auxiliary buildings (a restored building of XVIII century, where to rehearsal halls, artists' recreation rooms) have a single theater complex, the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. A natural hill provides the setting for the Bolshoi Theatre New Stage. Broad marble steps lead up to the entrance. Due to the local topography the three-storey New Stage emerges at the same height as its six-storey older neighbour. From the Observation Platform of the New Stage there's a beautiful view across Theatre Square. The New Stage, along with the annexe wing of rehearsal studios and offices forms the complete arts centre of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. The buildings are arranged around a central courtyard in the manner of the Italian Renaissance. Today it's hard to believe that this location was previously occupied by tatty old soviet collectivised apartments.

The orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre, and its opera and ballet troupes are the pride of Russia's cultural life.
The Bolshoi Theatre is one of the most prominent opera and ballet theatres in the world. It has played a hugely significant role in the development of culture in Russia, and particularly in the development of Russian ballet.

The New Stage opened with the première of a new production of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden, a production which was fully in keeping with the new building's spirit and designation, i.e., it was innovational and experimental.

The Theatre tries to ensure continuity between generations by promoting the artistic development of young people with talent (thus the Youth Opera Programme has been set up to foster and perfect the skills of opera stars of the future). In order to be able to produce productions to the highest standards for presentation at home and at the world’s leading opera and ballet venues, the Bolshoi Company always keeps itself in good creative trim. Another important direction of the Theatre’s work is to introduce the Russian public to the achievements of the world’s great opera and ballet theatres, as well as to invite guest artists to participate in its own creative endeavors.

The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it made to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages.