The Bolshoi Theatre is Russia’s main national theatre. It bears the traditions of Russian music culture and it assumes its role as a centre of world music culture in the country. The Theatre is also the main driver of the development of Russian performing arts. The Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera are amongst the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world. The ballet company is by far the biggest in the world, having more than 200 dancers.
Opened on 18 January 1825 (reopened on 20 August 1856 after a fire), its repertoire may be divided into three categories: the Russian classics, western classics (the 20th century included in both of them), and specially commissioned works. The Bolshoi Theatre wants to make its performances accessible to each citizen of Russia, thus selling 20% of tickets at reduced prices. In addition, the Bolshoi Students’ programme ensures that for each performance, both on the Main and the New Stages of the Theatre, there are a number of tickets put aside at special discount prices for day students at institutions of higher education.
The Theatre tries to guarantee continuity between generations by promoting the artistic development of young people with talent. With this purposes, the Youth Opera Programme was set up in October 2009 to foster and perfect the skills of opera stars of the future. The Programme’s goal is to nurture a new generation of Russian singers matching up to world standards, strengthen the position of the Russian school of singing in the world at large and to train a new intake for work at the Theatre itself.