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Guide to Attending the BolshoiFrom buying the tickets to renting your opera glasses

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#1 Swanilda8


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Posted 20 August 2013 - 01:07 PM

I recently spent six months living in Moscow, prior to which I had already lived in the city for two months the previous summer.  When I first arrived, I was very confused about how to attend the Bolshoi - finding tickets, finding the theater itself, which seats were the best, all seemed disorienting.  My first month of living without my student pass, I couldn't get tickets at all! Since then, I've gotten to know a lot about how to navigate the waters and I've assembled this information in one post on my blog:




I've directed my comments at English-speaking tourists.  There are probably still lots of things I don't know, particularly about ways of buying cheaper tickets, so if anyone wants to add those to the comments on my site, I'd appreciate it - or if you prefer to post them here, I'll edit the blog to include your info.  


I hope this helps anyone traveling to Moscow - I know seeing the Bolshoi in its home is a special experience, and I'd love to be of service to any fellow balletomanes.

#2 kbarber


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Posted 20 August 2013 - 01:15 PM

Very helpful, Swanilda! I have linked to it from the "travel tips for ballet lovers" page on my blog.

#3 sandik


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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:14 PM

How kind of you -- many thanks!

#4 Jayne


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Posted 20 August 2013 - 04:31 PM

Swanhilda8 I enjoyed reading some of your old reviews.  I do suggest that you review the MCB threads in BalletAlert - you'll see more information on the financial situation at MCB, and why it prohibits them from providing a live orchestra at all performances.  I feel blessed to attend PNB performances with the PNB Orchestra, and I certainly don't take it for granted!  I wish I had a spare $2million to spare for MCB to wipe out their debts!

#5 Swanilda8


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Posted 20 August 2013 - 05:10 PM

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone! 


Jayne, thanks for the compliment.  I realize that MCB has funding issues and that they are struggling to maintain an orchestra. Overall, they're one of my favorite companies, and I'm hoping that this year I'll be in Miami in January to review a program that isn't the Nutcracker. (I also hope to get to Seattle one of these days, but that's a little more out of my general routes).  One of the things I've been struggling with is how to honestly review companies that are in such different financial and political straits.  Back in the US now, I live about a five minute walk from the Jose Matteo Ballet Theatre, a respectable local company that performs in a church, but I'm not always sure how to review that in the same place I review the Bolshoi, which is supported by hundreds of millions of dollars of government investment. I imagine that this question will keep haunting me for as long as I have a blog.


And here's to all the ballet companies finding $2 million to keep their live music!  

#6 naomikage


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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:09 AM

Swanhilda8 thank you for your guide attending Bolshoi Theatre. It is very very helpful and a must read for all visitors

I also visited Bolshoi to see Onegin this July, and I wished I had read this before I went there as it was quite difficult for a non-Russian speaker in Moscow to get there. One thing I would like to add is that champagne was incredibly expensive at Bolshoi and cost me 1350 R for a glass.

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