It took six years and a reported $730million to renovate but the iconic Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow finally opened its doors on October 28. At a specially created gala evening devised by renowned theatre producer Dmitri Tcherniakov, opera stars including Plácido Domingo, Natalie Dessay and Dmitri Hvorostovsky performed alongside principle ballet dancers Svetlana Zakharova and Ivan Vasiliev, as well as the members of the Bolshoi Ballet company itself. As guests arrived at the theatre, the tone of the evening was set with a striking laser show projected onto the Bolshoi’s grand façade; Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was first to appear on stage with an introductory speech; the first performance was an homage to the hundreds of construction workers who played a part in the theatre’s reconstruction (the choir wore hard hats!); the acts that followed included extracts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Ivan Susanin’s A Life for the Tsar, as well as arias sung by Dmitri Khvorostovski, Natalie Dessay….

While the theatre glittered exactly as it once was (and its signature tilt towards the audience remains), the renovation features subtle but significant changes including an enlarged orchestra pit, which is now one of the largest in the world with space for 130 musicians. This increased orchestra accommodation is particularly important for complex musical compositions as well as for the signature staples of the Bolshoi repertoire that include Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, which are both being performed this winter season – book the Bolshoi now!

Where to Stay:
The Ritz Carlton Moscow is unequivocally considered the city’s most luxurious hotel, positioned just off the Red Square, and with the buzzy O2 Lounge on its roof.

Fashionable Dinner:
Restaurants named after Conde Nast magazines are surprisingly some of the most sophisticated in town. Of Vogue Café, Tatler Club and GQ Bar, the latter is currently considered to be the most fashionable amongst Muscovites.

Local Cuisine:
“It is like an old Soviet apartment from the 1960s or 1970s” says fashion editor Dasha Zhukova of Mari Vanna, one of her favourite Moscow restaurants that serves traditional Russian fare in a residence-like room filled with family photographs.

Mari Vanna
Spiridonevsky Per 10a, Moscow
+7 495 650 6500

An Afternoon of Art:
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art is where to head to discover the work of local talents including Kazimir Malevich and Oleg Kulik. For the cutting edge contemporary, including international names, see the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture and Baibakov art projects at the Red October Chocolate Factory. cache - Pages similaires

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