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Bolshoi Theater opens 235th season after years of renovations

October 28, 2011 - MOSCOW

The famed Bolshoi Theater reopens on Oct 28 with a glittering ceremony led by President Dmitry Medvedev . The opening follows six years of reconstruction delays and scandals. The exterior of the building remains nearly the same, but the interior is bigger. Most operations have been computerized. Soviet emblems have been replaced with the emblems of Russia. The theater was built in 1825. It was closed for the reconstruction project on 2 Jul 2005 and was due to reopen in 2008. According to RiaNovosti, the project has been marred by repeated delays and a misspending scandal. In Sep 2009, Russian prosecutors opened a probe into the suspected embezzlement of millions of dollars during the reconstruction. The Moscow government set an Oct 2 deadline. Some experts doubted it would be met, and they were right. The opening date has been changed to Oct 28.

The famed Bolshoi Theater reopens on Oct 28 with a glittering ceremony led by President Dmitry Medvedev . The opening follows six years of reconstruction delays and scandals. The exterior of the building remains nearly the same, but the interior is bigger. Most operations have been computerized. Soviet emblems have been replaced with the emblems of Russia. ; The theater was built in 1825. It was closed for the reconstruction project on 2 Jul 2005 and was due to reopen in 2008. According to RiaNovosti, the project has been marred by repeated delays and a misspending scandal. In Sep 2009, Russian prosecutors opened a probe into the suspected embezzlement of millions of dollars during the reconstruction. The Moscow government set an Oct 2 deadline. Some experts doubted it would be met, and they were right. The opening date has been changed to Oct 28. The theater will have a back stage, extra foyers and cafeterias, and underground premises that will also accommodate spacious storage for stage decorations. The underground facilities double the size of the facility. Because of high-tech changes, for the first time the theater will need computer and hardware engineers and operators for hydraulic stage lifts and the new lighting equipment. During the work, the Bolshoi's ballet and opera productions continued at a nearby theater. 'The old curtain with the hammer and sickle will go to the theatre's museum. It will be replaced with the curtain that will have absolutely the same size, the same number of golden threads, the same color palette and the width of stripes, but it will have the double-headed eagle instead of the Soviet national emblem and the word Russia will be written on it instead of the USSR,'; Bolshoi's Director General Anatoly Iksanov told Tass in an interview. 'The same concerns the hall, where the national emblem of the USSR will be replaced by the emblem of Russia,'; he added. (UPDATED SEP 2011 TO REFLECT DATE CHANGE FROM OCT 2 TO OCT 28)

Bolshoi Theater web

Renovation of Moscow&rsquos Bolshoi Theater delayed (RiaNovosti 19 Jan 2011)

Date written/update: 2011-10-28