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The Bright Stream tickets

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The Bright Stream

Venue: Bolshoi Theatre

 
Theatre Square, 1
Moscow, Russia
125009
 
 
All dates

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Next performance (see season calendar above for other dates)
 
Event details
 

Act I
Scene 1 
A small wayside halt, in the steppes, on one of the branch lines of the North Caucasian Railway. Early autumn. The local collective farms have completed both theirharvesting and autumn sowing.

A brigade of artistes from one of the capital’s theatres is due to arrive in the region to take part in the harvest festival, marking the end of the field work. Some members of the nearest collectivefarm, The Bright Stream, have come to the halt to welcome their guests. They include the collective farm activist, Gavrilych, who, though advanced in years, is full of the joys of life and a generalfavorite; the school-girl Galya, and some of her friends, with a bunch of flowers for the artistes; Pyotr, an agricultural student and his wife Zina, a local amusements’ organizer. The last to arriveare two dacha dwellers: an elderly man and his anxious-to-be-younger-than-she-is wife. Both of the latter, bored to tears, have come to gawk at the visiting artistes. While waiting for the guests toarrive, the dreamy and thoughtful Zina buries her head in a book. Her husband, Pyotr, who is of a cheerful, buoyant disposition, tries to distract her, inducing the others to share in his efforts.Eventually all, except Zina, proceed to the platform. The excited crowd returns, together with the artistes — a ballet dancer, her partner and an accordion-player.

The amusements’ organizer, Zina, hails the ballet dancer who stops in her tracks. They recognize each other as old friends, for they once studied togeth­er at ballet school. Since then Zina hasmarried Pyotr, the agricultural student, and has gone to work with him on the collective farm where no one has any idea that she used to be a dancer. The two friends, who have remained alone, gaze ateach other with curiosity.

The ballerina asks if Zina has forgotten her dancing. But, living in the country, she has not forgotten her dancing skills and intends to prove it. The two friends, compete with each other, trying tosee who can remember the most of their former lessons. Gavrilych and Pyotr now appear: they have come to fetch Zina and the ballerina. Zina introduces her husband to the ballerina. Dazzled by theballerina, Pyotr begins to court her. The latter feels her first pang of jealousy.

Scene 2
The day is on the wane. Encamped among the golden sheaves of wheat, a field workers’ brigade from The Bright Stream collective farmjoyfully makes plans for tomorrow, which is to be a day of festival. The artistes’ brigade arrives. Gavrilych presents them to the field workers’ brigade.

The two brigades greet each other. An improvised celebration gets under­way. The artistes display the presents they have brought with them for distri­bution to the collective farm’s best shockworkers. There is a gramophone for Gavrilych, a silk dress for the best milkmaid. The prizewinners are lustily congratulated, and the jollity merges into a dance. The first to break into a dance arethe grey-haired, bearded ‘inspectors of quality’ and their Gavrilych.

The dacha dwellers turn up, late as usual. They are forced to trip a measure and, by way of a joke, they dance an ancient Chaconne. Then comes a number by some young girls, members of an amateurgroup organized by Zina. But it is the milkmaid who is the center of attention: they want to see her dance in her smart, new dress. The milkmaid dances with the tractor driver. The merrimentincreases. Gavrilych winds up his new gramophone and asks the guest artistes to dance.

Not wishing to disappoint the collective-farm workers, the artistes agree though they dislike the idea of dancing in their ordinary clothes. They improvise a dance among the wheat sheaves. Theirdance gets a mixed reception. The farm workers watch it with pleasure, but the dacha dwellers only have eyes for the artistes themselves (the husband is taken by the classical ballerina, while hiswife is attracted by the ballerina’s partner). Zina is jealous of her husband. Pyotr, the young agricultural student, is more and more enchanted by the ballerina who seems so brilliant and talentedby comparison to his modest, unassuming wife.

The accordionist is asked to join in the dancing with schoolgirl Galya. Now some young field workers from Kuban and the Caucasus burst into a gay, warlike dance which enthralls all present. Themerriment reaches its height. Eventually, the assembled company is invited to partake of refreshment. As all make their exit, the old dacha dweller manages to whisper in the visiting ballerina’s earthat he would like to see her again, his wife makes a similar proposal to the latter’s partner. Meanwhile, Pyotr goes off with the ballerina. Zina is totally distraught, she even starts to cry. Theyoung people, together with Gavrilych, try to calm her down. But now the ballerina returns and assures Zina that she has no intention of flirting with the latter’s husband. She suggests that Zinatell the young people that she too used to be a dancer.

Zina agrees and again the two friends dance together. There is general astonishment. The ballerina proposes that a joke be played on Pyotr and the others: she will dress up in her partner’s costumeand go and meet the anxious-to-be-younger-than-she-is dacha dweller’s wife. Her partner, made up as a female dancer, shall go to the rendezvous with the old dacha dweller. While Zina shall go to meether husband in the ballerina’s costume. The plan is approved.

Act II
Scene 3
A warm, southern night. A clearing, surrounded by bushes and trees. The young people have assembled. The dacha dwellers turn up too, late as usual. The accordionist has takena fancy to Galya, the schoolgirl, who had danced with him so merrily earlier in the day. He whispers to her that he will soon be back and that she should wait for him. Galya is quite taken aback. Theold dacha dweller, his wife and Pyotr remind their ‘sweethearts’ of their trysts. The young people are now determined to teach them a lesson. They quickly dress up: the ballerina in her partner’sclothes, the latter in female dress, Zina in one of her friend’s theatrical costumes. To add to the fun, the tractor driver puts on a dogskin. All is ready. Now Galya admits that the accordionist hasinvited her to a rendezvous too.

This revelation threatens to ruin their carefully laid plans, but the trac­tor driver comes to the rescue. He suggests to Galya that she should meet the accordionist as the latter had proposed, butthat he, the tractor driver, disguised as a dog, will not allow the accordionist to approach her. His plan is agreed. Galya, attended by Kolka-‘the dog’, waits for the accordionist. He appears and ismuch put out by the uncalled-for presence of the dog which seems very fierce and keeps on attacking him. Finally, the accordionist realizes he is being made a fool of but, taking it in good part, hejoins in the main plot.

The elderly dacha dweller turns up, wheeling a bicycle. He wants to make a good impression on the ballerina and has donned sporting gear. He is festooned with a gun, ammunition belt and telescope.The thought of the forthcoming meeting excites him. His wife turns up at the same spot. She is wearing ballet shoes to surprise the male dancer. It is time to put the plan in action. Suddenly, thedacha dweller catches sight of his beautiful ballerina , his Sylphide, in the middle of a clump of trees. It is in fact the ballerina’s partner, in female garb, but the old man does not notice this.His wife, who is observing him, objects to his flirting and chases off her husband. But she, in turn, is frightened by the tractor driver who, still in his dogskin, is riding the bicycle. Appearingin her partner’s costume, the ballerina mocks the dacha dweller’s wife. Finally, they both run off.

Enter Pyotr, the agricultural student. He is waiting for the dancer from the distant capital, but instead, he is met by his own wife, disguised as the dancer. He fails to recognize her. Joking andflirting with him, Zina disappears into the bushes. This lyrical scene gives way to slapstick. The old dacha dweller and male dancer disguised as the ballerina now come running in. ‘Romanticpassions’ reach an all-time high. The ballerina, dressed in male clothing, comes out from behind the bushes, and makes a scene. She demands satisfaction from the dacha dweller. There follows a comicduel. The first to fire is the disguised bal­lerina. She misses. Now the old dacha dweller is handed a pistol. Though he is frightened, he takes aim. Simultaneously, Gavrilych bangs a pail, and theold man thinks he has fired. Immediately the ballerina’s partner falls to the ground as though shot. The horrified dacha dweller takes to his heels. No sooner has he disappeared, than the ‘victim’comes to life and dances amid the laughter of the delighted plotters.

Scene 4
The beginning of the morning of the following day. The harvest festival. In the meadow, an improvised stage for the artistes. All the seats are taken.Pyotr, the agricultural student, is waiting on tenterhooks for the show to begin so that he can see the ballerina whom (he thinks) he met last night in the woods.

But to his great astonishment two dancers, dressed exactly alike, appear on stage, their faces hidden by masks. Their dance over, Pyotr, unable to restrain himself, rushes towards them. They raisetheir veils and the secret is out. Pyotr, who sees one of the ballerinas is his wife, timidly begs her forgiveness. Eventually they are reconciled. Pyotr has learnt his lesson: he now knows that hismodest Zina is both a first-class worker and a marvelous ballerina. The fes­tival ends with a general dance in which alt young and old take part, togeth­er with the guest artistes.

 
Program details
 

Libretto by Adrian Piotrovsky and Fyodor Lopukhov


Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky
Designer: Boris Messerer
Music Director: Pavel Sorokin
Lighting Designer: Alexander Rubtsov

 
Venue
 
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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