Bolshoi Theatre

Moscow / Russia
…The house is packed out; scintillating,
the boxes; boiling, pit and stalls;
the gallery claps -- it's bored with waiting -
and up the rustling curtain crawls…
(Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin)

Moscow is one of the world’s main capitals for opera and ballet that beacons theatregoers from all over the globe. Just imagine that cult-favorite Swan Lake ballet by Tchaikovsky has been danced here for more than 140 years!

The elegant eight-columned portico and spectacular quadriga, the four-horse chariot driven by Apollo, rushing off the roof – magnificent picture of the Bolshoi Theater is the world-famous symbol of Moscow.

Russian autocrats dating back to the days of Empress Elizabeth fell in love with ballet, sparing no expense on the art and starting off a distinguished history of Russian dance through the ages to make it our national pride as well as a great and unique phenomenon in world culture.

The Bolshoi’s tradition of excellence goes back to 18th century (1776) when the first Moscow regular troupe was organized. The present building of Russia's best-known ballet and opera house was designed by architect Joseph Bové and erected in 1825. Today we enjoy visiting it after the grand renovation, which made it one of the most technically advanced theatrical constructions in the world, featuring phenomenal acoustic characteristics. Behind the iconic façade, the interior of the theatre is strikingly gorgeous, boasting spacious, light-filled halls with sumptuous furniture, elegantly decorated with red velvet and golden stucco. If you would like to experience the luxury of Imperial Russia and immerse yourself in local culture, the best way is to attend a performance in this majestic temple of musical art on its either Historic or New stages.

You can also enjoy a sensational experience of a backstage visit of the theatre with a local guide. To walk behind the scenes and catch a glimpse of what others won't be able to see — that is a dream for many theatre lovers! On this tour you'll admire the lower lobby, White (main) lobby, the luxurious imperial Great and Small Halls that offer exhibitions of Opera and Ballet. You will also learn about the features of Beethoven's underground hall-transformer: in a few minutes it turns into a concert hall, orchestra pit and a choir hall or into an auditorium depending on the event. You will discover most sacred corners and have a close look at the Tsars' box and other special VIP areas. The highlight of the tour is a great view of the main stage of the Bolshoi Theatre from the upper level of the six-tiered main lodge. And if you are lucky, you might see a rehearsal or scenery installation for the upcoming performances.

The bohemian life is always surrounded with a halo of mystery, no exception to the Bolshoi. Our highly knowledgeable guides will highlight a lot of interesting facts and little-known details about the most important choreographers, entrepreneurs, ballet dancers and performances. …Did you know that the legendary choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983), known as the father of American ballet, was born in Russia? …Ballet has been an inspiration to Russian artists for over 200 years! …Maya Plisetskaya, a person who is inextricable from the Bolshoi, once modeled for Mark Chagall, barefoot spinning to the music of Mendelssohn. Later, she would recognize herself in one of the murals that Chagall created for the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. …At least four of the greatest Soviet ballerinas had dramatic fates. …Sometimes a dancer only has 40 seconds to change costumes before reappearing onstage. How are the costumes for the Bolshoi made?.. As you delve deep into an amazing artistic environment you’ll perhaps ensure fairness of Shakespeare’s words: “All the world’s a stage…”
Moscow / Russia

Suitable tours

Moscow city tour
Arbat Bolshoi Theatre Moscow Kremlin Moscow State University Novodevichy Convent Red Square
3 hours
from 1800₽ (
At the central Bank of Russia exchange rate, reference info
/ person