Why you should visit the bolshoi theater when in Moscow


February, 2020

I love Moscow and I adore living in this truly amazing city. It might appear challenging and cold sometimes, but with a positive attitude towards life, you will no doubt find a place in your heart for this wonderful city. One of the many advantages and pleasures of Moscow is the abundant cultural life. In September, when the city begins to prepare for a long winter, theatres begin hospitably opening their doors for their devoted audiences and you will start to notice the excited and smartly dressed crowds standing in front of theatres in the evening. My personal favourite is the Bolshoi because I love ballet and every single visit there offers a unique experience, uplifting emotions and warm memories.

Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow – Stunning, is the only word for it

The Bolshoi is made up of 2 buildings, one of which is the New Stage, which is located on the left side with a long staircase in its entrance. The performances there are usually very fine, however I would advise reading reviews before buying a ticket. I made this mistake once and found myself in an opera called Golden Cockerel, which unfortunately, I really didn’t enjoy at all. This slight mishap aside, New Stage puts on very lovely performances; one of my favourites being La Sylphide. There have also been some visiting ballet companies that have brought modern ballet to Moscow, which is always interesting because the Bolshoi usually holds only classic ballet performances.

The main building, known as the historical stage is the one you probably always see in the pictures. If, during your trip to Moscow you have no time or if you have no interest in seeing a performance, you should definitely try and at least take a guided tour inside the theatre, you will not be disappointed! During the tour you’ll get to hear the story of the cut-glass chandelier and other behind the scenes tales. Most importantly, you’ll get to witness a secret tailor shop where immaculate, magical costumes are made by fairies…my favourite part of the tour!

A fascinating visual spectacle

On the basement floor of the main building there is another performance hall called the Beethoven Hall. It is built in the form of an amphitheatre and only has 8 rows, which creates a wonderful participation effect. This Hall holds one particular performance that I love deeply and would recommend to everyone – The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. The play is aimed at children, and singers demonstrate different opera voices and explain facts about opera in an understandable and amusing manner.

My seat was situated in the middle of the second row. This provided me with an unforgettable experience, as I was so close to the stage that it felt as though the singers were actually speaking and singing to me personally! Oh how I wish there was a person in my life with a beautiful voice just like that who would sing to me every single day! The atmosphere was amazing; I loved it so much that my heart was constantly ready to jump out of my chest! Such a great performance that I can’t wait to see again with friends. The historical stage is magic in all aspects. All performances staged here are grandiose and majestic; I love pretty much everything about this place. First of all, I love the golden and red velvet design, which I find oddly therapeutic. I just love being wrapped in this golden shine, reality becomes so dreamy and fairy tale like and all my worries vanish without a trace.

On so many occasions I have visited the Bolshoi after a tiring day at work, where if I’m completely honest, my only thought was, ‘I just want to be at home in my bed, why do I have this ticket…’ but there hasn’t been a single time when I’ve left the theatre with the same thought. As soon as I see those weightless and cloud-like creatures flittering on the stage along with handsome and strong men with Apollo-like bodies, I am in the moment and nothing else matters. Sometimes when I’m lucky, I get seats so close to the stage that I can see emotions on the dancers’ faces.

A couple of times I was fortunate enough to catch the eyes of a dancer it seemed. At these moments, I always feel like I might faint because of the rush of emotion! If it is still not clear from my love letter to the Bolshoi, this place is more than worth visiting. A place that provides me with huge amounts of inspiration and fills me with love and joy with every visit, go and see for yourself. 

Sending you love and peace from Moscow.

From our guest blogger Sophie.

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