Bolshoi Closes for Three-Year Renovation

Classic Arts News   Bolshoi Closes for Three-Year Renovation
Moscow's legendary Bolshoi Theatre closed on July 2 for a three-year, $700 million renovation, the London Guardian reports.

"The time for a radical reconstruction has come," architect Nikita Shangin told the paper. "From a technical point of view, the state of the theater is deplorable; it's practically wrecked."

Before reopening in 2008, the 1825 building will get new stage machinery, cloakrooms, and escalators. Meanwhile, the original acoustics in the main auditorium, which were badly damaged by a renovation in the 1950s, will be restored.

"After all the partial repairs over the years the theater is a kind of layered cake," Shangin said, "Even the basements have different depths.

During construction, the Bolshoi's opera and ballet companies will perform in a new, second theater or at other venues.

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