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View Full Version : Revamped Bolshoi to open its doors


Sam L
Oct 24th, 2011, 10:34 AM
The world-famous Bolshoi Theatre in Russia will finally reopen after numerous delays and a hefty price tag of nearly $800 million.
Since 2005, it has been closed for a restoration project beset by charges of fraud and embezzlement, but it now returns to the tzarist opulence of nearly two centuries ago.
The Bolshoi is ready to once again host renowned ballet and opera companies. But questions about corruption linked to the restoration will play on.
High above the stage of the legendary Bolshoi Theatre, way up in the fifth balcony, the spokesman for the main contracting company that finished this restoration is pointing out yet more details.
Even here, gold leaf has been meticulously layered on carved mouldings and light fixtures glisten.
Seats have been re-covered in plush red velour.
But the builders here have even more passion for what's new to the Bolshoi.
Under the square in front of the theatre, entire new areas have been carved out.
A computer-controlled platform can be raised to three new levels, to create new performance spaces or staging options.
The transformation has been remarkable and it had to be given that this project is years overdue and so far over budget no knows for sure how much it will end up costing.
Arts critic Sergey Khodnev of the Kommersant newspaper has been following the twists and turns of the Bolshoi restoration for years.
"Nowadays nobody knows which was the sum, exactly. We can presume it was about 22 billion roubles, or about slightly less than $800 million," he said.
This works out to be roughly $390,000 for each of the Bolshoi's 2,040 seats.
The lavish spending is a profound change for the famous theatre from Soviet times when Stalin addressed party congresses here and the communist party stripped the Bolshoi of any signs of luxury.
Only after the project began in 2005 did restorers fully grasp the size of the job ahead.
The Bolshoi's foundation rests on 7,000 pilings all of them had to be replaced.
The reopening was delayed to 2009, then it was pushed back again and again and again.
All the while the budget has swelled, past half a billion dollars, past $700 million.
There are allegations embezzlement and fraud are largely to blame and a criminal investigation is now underway.
Mr Khodnev says it it still yet to be determined if the money was well spent and if the grandeur of the theatre will be overshadowed by its controversy.
"Nobody knows at the moment, and I think that the legacy of these scandals will linger many years afterwards - like it was in Milan with La Scala reconstruction, for example," he said.
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has already been given a preview of the finished product, in the form of a personal dress rehearsal.
When the project was bogged down amidst suspicions of corruption and the first contractor was replaced, the president's office took direct responsibility for finishing the restoration.
Few will argue that the end result is magnificent.
And, this being Russia, there is a real possibility few will ever know how much it really cost to restore Russia's jewel of the arts.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-23/bolshoi-theatre-to-reopen/3595738?section=entertainment

Amazing! I can't wait to visit Russia.

tennislover
Oct 24th, 2011, 06:27 PM
:cool::cool::cool:

here it is a gallery
http://viaggi.repubblica.it/multimedia/ecco-il-nuovo-bolshoi-si-riapre-il-28-ottobre/30883222/1/1?ref=HRESS-8

Sam L
Oct 25th, 2011, 11:15 AM
:cool::cool::cool:

here it is a gallery
http://viaggi.repubblica.it/multimedia/ecco-il-nuovo-bolshoi-si-riapre-il-28-ottobre/30883222/1/1?ref=HRESS-8
That's beautiful. Grazie!

tennislover
Oct 25th, 2011, 02:39 PM
That's beautiful. Grazie!

Prego! :)

Crazy Canuck
Oct 25th, 2011, 08:45 PM
The inside looks impressive. From the outside, it's not that great, though. I prefer when old things actually look old, rather than new, which is how it appears from the outside now.

Crazy Canuck
Oct 25th, 2011, 08:46 PM
I should probably add that I haven't been inside yet - it just appears to be impressive, from the photos linked above. The outside of the building is still nice, but meh.

Sam L
Oct 26th, 2011, 09:19 AM
The inside looks impressive. From the outside, it's not that great, though. I prefer when old things actually look old, rather than new, which is how it appears from the outside now.
I agree but the interior looks very nice.

You can a video on the interior here: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/78908172/

doktor
Oct 26th, 2011, 11:33 AM
Oh god its incredible.

Thanks for the links