The History of the Bolshoi Theater
Located on Teatralnaya Ploshad (Theater Square) the beautiful and grand building of the Bolshoi theater is not only the symbol of Russia, but also one of the best theaters in the world.
The history of the Bolshoi Theatre begins in 1776, when Catherine the Great decreed to Prince Peter Urusov to create a grand theater on the corner of Petrovka street. Even before completion, the theater was called Petrovsky Theater. But the first building burnt down before it was completed, and Prince Urusov sold it to his friend and business partner Michael Maddox. The theater was opened in 1790, and could seat about 1000 people. In the first 14 years, 425 operas and ballets were played on its stage. In 1794, Maddox was forced to sell the theater to the Imperial government due to financial difficulties. In 1805 another fire destroyed the building.
The theater was rebuilt and destroyed several times over the next century. And only towards the close of the 19th century, the theater took on the form and facade that we know now. After the revolution, the theater was renamed The State Academic Bolshoi Theater. It was after this that the theatre became known as the Bolshoi Theater!
In 2002, the New Stage (Novaya Stsena) was opened to the left of the main building. In 2005, the Historical stage closed down for a 6 year renovation. During restoration, all performances were held on the New Stage and other halls, such as the Great Kremlin Palace. With a cost of about $1.1 billion, the building received a new foundation, luxurious interiors that were last seen during the days of the Russian Empire, and unique acoustics that can't be matched by anywhere else. In 2011, the Bolshoi Theater welcomed back its guests in all its glory with the first performance being Ruslan and Lyudmila. Today, and for centuries to come, the Bolshoi Theater will continue to be one of the main symbols of Russia.