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Tips on obtaining tickets?


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#1 Ilya

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 03:11 AM

Does anyone have any pointers on how to buy tickets to sold-out performances at the Bolshoi? I am willing to pay more than the face value, but I would like to buy them in advance from a legitimate source. The problem is, there seem to be dozens if not hundreds of ticket agencies in Moscow which offer Bolshoi tickets at about 2-3 times the face value. I do not know any of them. Which ones are trustworthy? By trustworthy I mean that I would pay them over the phone or online with my credit card, and as a result (a) my credit card will not be compromised and (b) my tickets will be waiting for me at my hotel when I arrive in Moscow.

#2 Natalia

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:18 AM

If a show is already sold out and money is no object, then go through your hotel's concierge. If not, you can always get a ticket outside the theater a half-hour or less before the show but be prepared to (a) pay cash and (b) go to whatever section of the theater is available, often up in the nosebleed galleries. If you are not Russian, please be careful that you are not being sold a ticket stamped with the lower price. Some of the ushers are on the look-out to make sure that a spectator holding a ticket at the "Russian" price is truly Russian. You won't be kicked out -- just asked to pay the surcharge at the box office and obtain a stamp or slip of paper proving it.

I don't know about the ticket brokers. I either buy the tix online before the trip or, if sold out, stand outside the theater. The prices drop 15 minutes before curtain time, if unsold. Cash only, as I said.

#3 Ilya

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 04:49 AM

Thanks for your advice Natalia! Given that the performances I'd like to attend are Giselle on May 26 and Coppelia on May 27 (Osipova is listed for both, at least for now, and the former one is being billed as Vasiliev's debut in the role), I think this enterprise is doomed to failure; however, I'll give it a try! :)

#4 Natalia

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 08:31 AM

Oh my, I think that you will be attending the late-May COPPELIA performance that will be broadcast 'live' in cinemas aroudn the world. So if I go, I will 'look' for you in the audience. (ha-ha) It will be interestng to compare 'live-live' and 'live in cinema' views of the same performance.

#5 California

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 08:56 AM

Given that the performances I'd like to attend are Giselle on May 26 and Coppelia on May 27 (Osipova is listed for both, at least for now, and the former one is being billed as Vasiliev's debut in the role), I think this enterprise is doomed to failure; however, I'll give it a try! :)


Puzzling announcements. Vasiliev has done Giselle with Osipova, although perhaps this is his Moscow debut. You can find several clips of them, performing in Siberia:


I'm also intrigued that she would dance such demanding roles on consecutive nights. That would be brutal even in America, where principals seem to perform much more than in Russia.

#6 Ilya

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 12:38 PM

Well there is no announcement in English, but the Russian version of the website says: "Ivan Vasiliev is making his debut in the part of Count Albrecht", http://www.bolshoi.ru/ru/. I guess this could mean his house debut.

The Coppelia performance that's going to be broadcast live is that on May 29. Osipova is scheduled for that one, too. One would guess that if this Coppelia is scheduled for a later release on a DVD, then they will also be filming on May 27 (I think it is common practice to film more than one performance, just in case something goes wrong.) To summarize, she is currently scheduled to dance in Giselle on May 26, in Coppelia on May 27, and in Coppelia (live broadcast) on May 29! My wild guess is that once the tickets are all sold, then resold at twice the price, and then resold at three times the price, then the Bolshoi will post a cast change---either for May 26 (most likely) or for May 27.

#7 Ilya

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 11:26 AM

I have to eat my words. Both performances---Giselle on May 26 and Coppelia on May 27---went on with the announced casts. Osipova was spectacular in both. 24 hours after an unbelievable "Giselle" which, in my opinion, surpassed her performance two years ago with ABT, she was fresh, effervescent, and full of energy in "Coppelia". There were indeed cameras in the theater for the "Coppelia" performance on the 27th, probably as a backup for the live broadcast planned for May 29th. Ivan Vasiliev's house debut in Giselle went very well.

#8 Drew

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 12:54 PM

I have to eat my words. Both performances---Giselle on May 26 and Coppelia on May 27---went on with the announced casts. Osipova was spectacular in both. 24 hours after an unbelievable "Giselle" which, in my opinion, surpassed her performance two years ago with ABT, she was fresh, effervescent, and full of energy in "Coppelia". There were indeed cameras in the theater for the "Coppelia" performance on the 27th, probably as a backup for the live broadcast planned for May 29th. Ivan Vasiliev's house debut in Giselle went very well.


Wonderful that you got to see Osipova in both performances and two ballets in which she is fabulous...I wish I had been there, but from a more abstract perspective, I can't help wondering if it is the wisest thing in the world to cast a ballerina--even a strong, young ballerina--two nights in a row in contrasting major full length ballets. I would hate to see Osipova's career stymied by injury as has happened to several other major talents.


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