Guess who's opening the Bolshoi tomorrow night

Guess who's opening the Bolshoi tomorrow night


norman lebrecht

October 27, 2011

Fresh from his 40th anniversary songfest in London tonight, the indefatigable Placido Domingo flies to Moscow for tomorrow’s Bolshoi reopening.

Also on the bill are Natalie Dessay,

Angela Georghiu and Dmitri Hvorostovski.

The concert, attended by puppet-president Dmitri Medvedev (but without strongman Vladimir Putin) will be screened to crowds on the square outside and to audiences worldwide on Arte and other channels.

The Bolshoi closed in 2005. Its $800 million refit has overrun by three years.


  • Ronald Schneider says:

    I watched the Bolshoi gala on “arte” last night – but no sign of Domingo – does anybody know what happened? The best moment was Galina Vishnevskaya’s face after Angela G. had finished sightreading Lisa’s aria from “Pique Dame”. Hvorostovski’s performance of Jeletzki’s aria was sensational!

  • Frank says:

    Ah.. Domingo was not in the program and I did not hear any explanation… Otherwise, the innovative “presentation” (directed by Dimitri Tcherniakov) did away with the traditional “Gala” melange and featured innovative backdrops (which included a gold wallpaper with the Czar’s crest next to the Hammer and Sickle) for both the arias and the ballet.

  • Seated next to my American friends, I was embarrassed o be representing Russia on that day. Everything, from the un-presidential address by Medvedev and his vulgar labeling of Bolshoi “our national brand”, to the ticket-checkers “Flower-basket” dance to Minkus -which, ironically, received the most audience applause, with poor Mikus likely turning in his grave — the entire event proved something and I hope the world is paying attention — Russia is no longer in contention for leadership in the world of music and ballet. They lasted as long as they could on the idle force left to them by the USSR (also, never a leader) and were so full of themselves heading into the Gala of the 28th, but every number of that gala served only to prove that Russia does not know how to respect the art, the artist and the audience. Outdated choreography, maybe the cutting edge of 1930s or 1950s, but certainly not 21st century. Even the corps were not on par! Absence of performers names in English captions, failure to translate the video of former Bolshoi greats during the gala…and the general lack of good taste coupled with the excessive bravura of “we are the best” even though we have just ruined this historical landmark and had 1/2 of the funds disappear into thin air– I could go on, but why bother, someone will be reading it and free press is still an Utopian dream…Tsitskaridze’s interview was removed. And he knows that theater very well…and is Bolshoi superstar…he was not allowed to attend. I hope Mr. Domingo declined to participate in this farce.