Is the Bolshoi ...Not "Big" Enough?
- March 2018



In touching base with Makhar Vasiev of the Bolshoi Ballet last week, the discussion turned to the topic of stage space, in particular, the lack of it in the Bolshoi's two theatres. As many know, the new stage was built for use during the reconstruction of the historical stage. But as Vasiev points out, they're not the same size. "The main stage has 1680 seats. The new one, about 830." These are low numbers indeed when compared to the world's leading theatres. "In Paris, the Opera Garnier holds 1800 people and the Bastille has 2700 seats. So on a given day, they are selling 4500 tickets," Vasiev explained. "The Mariinsky is similar, the historical stage holds 1600 people, the new Mariinsky stage has 2000 seats, and the concert hall about 1100. The Mariinsky conglomerate is therefore selling approximately 4700 tickets per night." The same is not true for the Bolshoi. The low volume of ticket sales are due to the lack of performance venues in Moscow, ironically the country's capital and where one would expect to encounter more options, not fewer. "We need a third stage, and it should be the same size as our historical theatre," Vasiev says.

Is the Bolshoi III on its way? One can hope...