Friday, January 17, 2014

Favorites from Russia

A few weeks ago Tonya tagged me on a favorite tag. Soon after she realized that the Bolshoi card she sent me wasn't exactly the same i had in my favorites album. To apologize, she sent me a second card. She really didn't have to do this but it was a nice gesture from her. Both cards are great.
Although in recent years the Bolshoi has been beset by financial and artistic difficulties, it is still one of the greatest theatres in the world, with its own proud traditions and unforgettable atmosphere. 
The building itself, built between 1821 and 1824, is one of Moscow's most symbolic sites, a truly impressive example of Russian Classical architecture that faces the Kremlin walls. The Bolshoi is the second biggest opera house in Europe (after La Scala), and grandeur and artistic strength are combined in everything from the impressive statue of Apollo that crowns the facade to the ballet's famously muscular style of choreography.
The Bolshoi takes its role as Russia's national theatre seriously, and the policy is to ensure that 70% of its repertoire is made up of Russian masterpieces. In recent years the company has made every effort to increase the number of works by 20th century Russian composers not performed or little performed in the Soviet Union, and some of the most exciting recent additions to the repertoire have been ballets and operas by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, etc.
For genuine lovers of opera and ballet, it is worth doing some research before choosing the performance you wish to attend, as quality can be variable. For the rest of us, the breathtaking beauty of the setting, the idiosyncrasies of Russian theatre-going and the historic atmosphere should be more than enough to guarantee a truly memorable evening out. - in

© Published by M-ARTS, 2009 * © Photo & design by Mikhail Slavin, 2009
This is a view of Varzuga, a Pomor village in Kola Peninsula, in Murmansk Oblast. The church of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, in the center of the image, is a pearl of the russian wooden architecture. Master Kliment built it in 1674.

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