Carmen

Act I
A bustling square in the city of Seville. Dragoon guards are watching over the crowd. Micaëla comes in search of Don José whose mother is sending him a letter through her. As José is not to be found, Micaëla leaves. José arrives with his company to relieve the guards. Female workers of the tobacco make their way from work through the square. Carmen the gypsy is among them. All the men are fascinated by her, but she refuses to love them back: she is drawn to the indifferent one, Don José. As she leaves, she throws at him a cassia flower. Micaëla returns. She and José reminisce about their native land. When Micaëla goes away, José reads his mother’s letter. He is decided to do as she says and marry Micaëla.
Suddenly the peace is disturbed: Carmen has started a quarrel with her fellow worker. Two fighting women are set apart, and José is to escort Carmen to jail. Carmen promises him her love if he helps her escape. José surrenders to her charm.

Act II
Gypsy girls entertain the soldiers at Lillas Pastia’s. Escamillo the toreador praises his dangerous trade, and is in his turn praised by the enrapt crowd. Escamillo is captivated by Carmen, but she is not interested in him.
The smugglers Dancaïre and Remendado arrive. They tempt Carmen and her friends, Frasquita and Mercédès, to assist them in a fat job. Carmen refuses: she is in love and awaits the soldier who was confined because of her. It is José, and he does not hesistate to keep their appointment once he is free. Carmen is happy to see him and eager to dance for him alone. A bugle call summons José back to the barracks. He intends to go, and Carmen annoyed with his obedience to command.
Suddenly Zuniga, José’s senior, arrives at the inn. He goes after Carmen, but the smugglers interfere. Zuniga is overpowered, and José has to join the smugglers.

Act III
Smugglers’ camp. José is jealous of his lover and ashamed of being a deserter.
Carmen reads the cards and is foretold death.
The smugglers, including Frasquita and Mercédès, are in for a job, and Carmen decides to join them to help cajole the customs officers.
Escamillo comes to the camp. He wants to see Carmen and declares his love for her. José is ready to kill his rival, but Carmen stops their combat. As he leaves, Escamillo invites everyone to a bullfight.
Micaëla arrives. She was looking for José to inform him of his mother’s mortal ilness. José has to go with her and leave Carmen.

Act IV
A square in front of an arena where a bullfight is about to start. Carmen and Escamillo arrive together, they are happily in love. Frasquita and Mercédès warn Carmen to beware of José, but Carmen is intrepid.
She stays behind the crowd and meets José face to face. José implores Carmen to go with him and love him again, but she is adamant: her heart belongs to another.
Desperate and enraged, José kills Carmen.

Program and cast

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June 2019
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Damir Yusupov
© Damir Yusupov
Damir Yusupov
© Damir Yusupov
Damir Yusupov
© Damir Yusupov
Damir Yusupov
© Damir Yusupov

Bolshoi Theatre

On 28 March (17 according to the old style) 1776, Catherine II granted the prosecutor, Prince Pyotr Urusov, the "privilege" of "maintaining" theatre performances of all kinds, including masquerades, balls and other forms of entertainment, for a period of ten years. And it is from this date that Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre traces its history.

The Bolshoi building, which for many years now has been regarded as one of Moscow’s main sights, was opened on 20 October 1856, on Tsar Alexander II’s coronation day.

On 29 October 2002 the Bolshoi was given a New Stage and it was here it presented its performances during the years the Historic Stage was undergoing massive reconstruction and refurbishment.

The reconstruction project lasted from l July 2005 to 28 October 2011. As a result of this reconstruction, many lost features of the historic building were reinstated and, at the same time, it has joined the ranks of most technically equipped theatre buildings in the world.

The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it made to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages.

 

An inherent part of the Theatre’s activities is the presentation of concerts of symphony and chamber works, and of operas in concert performance, thus acquainting the public with works of all music genres. 

Now that the Bolshoi Theatre has two stages at its disposal, one of them its legendary Historic Stage which is at last back in action again, it hopes to fulfill its mission with an even greater degree of success, steadily extending the sphere of its influence at home and throughout the world.

 

The Bolshoi has to a large extent reacquired its authentic historical appearance, lost during the years of Soviet power. The auditorium and part of its suite of halls now look as they were originally conceived by Bolshoi Theatre architect Alberto Cavos. While the former imperial foyer halls have been given back their 1895 decor, this was the year they were redecorated for Emperor Nicholas II’s coronation celebrations. Each reproduced or restored element of interior decoration was made the object of a special project for which separate documentation was collected based on numerous archival and on-site researches.

In 2010 the auditorium suite of halls were renovated: the Lobby, the Main or the White Foyer, the Choral, Exhibition, Round and Beethoven halls. Muscovites were able to admire the restored facades and the renovated symbol of the Bolshoi Theatre — the famous Apollo quadriga, created by the sculptor Peter Klodt.

The auditorium has regained its original beauty. And, just like the 19th century theatergoer, so each member of the public today will be dazzled by its extravagant and at the same time “light” décor. The bright crimson, scattered with gold, draping of the interiors of the boxes, the different on each level stucco arabesques, the Apollo and the Muses plafond — all this contributes to the auditorium’s breath-taking impact.

Special attention was paid to the restoration of the legendary acoustics. International experts did extensive research work and made sure all their technical recommendations were carried out to the letter.

State of the art machinery has been installed in the stagehouse. The Bolshoi Theatre Historic stage now consists of seven two-tier rising and descending platforms. These platforms can easily change their positions, thus the stage can become horizontal, raked or stepped. The stage and backstage area can be united which creates a stage space of incredible depth.

New upper stage equipment, remotely controlled by computer, makes it possible to derive maximum use from lighting, sound and visual effects. Cutting edge rigs have been installed for the deployment of lanterns, special effects apparatus and acoustics. 

The orchestra pit has been provided with extra space under the forestage. This makes it one of the biggest orchestra pits in the world seating up to 130 musicians, which is necessary for the performance of such large-scale works as, for instance, Wagner operas.

The installation of state of the art stage equipment was a unique world-scale project. The reconstruction has doubled the Theatre’s total floor space. Thanks to the expansion of the Theatre’s existing underground spaces (under stagehouse) and to the construction of new underground space under Theatre Square, this has been achieved without any change to the Theatre’s external appearance.

Thus the Theatre has acquired badly needed new space, including an underground concert and rehearsal room, which has inherited its name from the Beethoven Hall, under the Theatre lobby. This hall is a multi-functional space which can be used in different ways. It consists of five main platforms: the central platform is the stage itself, two platforms to the right and left of it can be used either to increase the size of the stage or as audience space. The two remaining platforms form the main space of the auditorium. All of the platforms can be raised to foyer level to create a space for holding formal, receptions. Apart from this concert hall and its auxiliary premises, the rest of the underground space under Theatre Square accommodates a large number of technical, service and staff rooms.

The Bolshoi Theatre reconstruction project also included the renovation of the Khomyakov House, a protected architectural monument of the first half of the nineteenth century situated immediately behind the Bolshoi, which has been transformed into a service wing. Due to numerous 20th century reconstructions, the historical interiors of the Khomyakov House have been totally lost. While its main walls have been preserved, the interior layout has been redesigned to meet the Theatre’s present-day requirements. Thus the Khomaykov House, which is linked to the main Bolshoi Theatre building by an underground tunnel, is a key element in the gigantic Bolshoi Theatre complex.

The renovation of the country’s main stage was a landmark event in the lives of a large coordinated team of highest-level professionals. Participating in the project were uniquely qualified specialists whose great feat of labor will earn them the undying gratitude of present-day Bolshoi Theatre audiences.

 

Car

Mokhovaya Street

If you are on Mokhovaya Street keep driving straight ahead, not turning off it, till you reach Theatre Square where the Bolshoi Theatre is situated.

Tverskaya Street

If you are moving down Tverskaya, in the direction of the centre, you will automatically find yourself on Teatralnyi Proezd Street leading to the Bolshoi Theatre.

Petrovka Street

If you are on the Petrovka, which is a one-way street, you will be able to drive right up to the Theatre.

Metro

Take the metro to Teatralnaya (Bolshoi Theatre exit) or Okhotnyi ryad (Theatre Square exit).

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