Bolshoi Theatre Main (Historic) Stage Reconstruction recent chronicle (auto-translated from Russian)

Restored main curtain of the Bolshoi Theatre 

Finishes work on the restoration of the main curtain of the Bolshoi Theatre.

The famous "golden" Curtain, which became a symbol of the Bolshoi Theatre, appeared in 1955, It was created based on sketches by Theodore Feodor renowned graphic artist Michael Petrovsky. 

The front surface of the curtain has been designed as a tapestry, woven from natural materials, with gold and silk thread.Ornament tissue was very similar to what it was prior to the curtain, his images were a gold star, red flag, the words "Soviet Union" and the lira against the background of the phrase "Glory, glory, dear land". Figure, five feet long and three meters wide, was repeated 26 times on the tapestry. The total area of ​​the curtain was nearly five hundred square meters and weighed over a ton. 

In the nineties of the twentieth century has been created yet another curtain - in pandan to the "golden" Curtain in 1955.Sketches were reanalyzed Fedorovsky artist Sergei Barkhin in accordance with the requirements of the time. Star and ears replaced with a new coat of arms - two-headed eagle, and instead of the abbreviation "USSR" shows "Russia." 

Conducted in 2006 and curtain study revealed numerous scenes of loss and defects. Fabrics were worn out, brush fringe and had a significant loss, and the elements in the design stage had no idea of ​​style and artistic unity. Because of its dilapidated state they are not subject to the restoration and replacement demand. 

Therefore it was decided to recreate the main curtain of the Bolshoi Theatre. Before the master has been tasked to weave a tapestry with gold thread damask lined with several layers of sound absorbing with fabric inside. Creating a fabric has been entrusted to the company "Rubelli", included in the top three manufacturers of decorative fabrics. 

The fabric mimics the natural silk, but it is a modern non-combustible material. Each thread connects to a metal foil having a gold coating. This combination creates the effect of the volume image and tissue gives a solemn look. 

After installing the main curtain opens on the three classic schemes: German - like lifting the curtain standpipe, a Greek-like curtain sliding and Italian, the most spectacular - on the diagonal. Behind the main curtain is traditionally installed acoustic curtain that dampens noise while working for change of scenery. It also can be placed transparent lace curtains, so often used by artists. 

"Entry of Minin and Pozharsky" to the Bolshoi Theater 

Started the main stage curtain installation. The first was mounted scenic curtain rises - copy of the first curtain of the Bolshoi Theatre, "The entrance of Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow." Reproduction of the historic curtain engaged artists Vladimir Black and Eugene Kravtsov. 

Curtain "Entry of Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow," was executed in 1856 a professor of painting of the Imperial Academy of Arts Kozroe-Duse. The artist, drawing on the traditions of the Italian masters, chose one of the key points of the city's history, which was built in the theater (the old building, we recall perished in the flames of fire). Academic work has caused a unanimous enthusiasm first audience of the new Grand Theatre. The newspapers of the time wrote: "This is not Decoration painting, content overall effects, but rather a true picture, finished in every detail, with the true love of art."The creator of a new theater curtain was personally present at the opening marked the Bolshoi Emperor Alexander II. But even the most perfect work of art is forever, especially if used on a daily basis. Curtain Kazroe-Duse thirty years came to a state of disrepair and was replaced. 

A total of over 155 years of existence of the building, restored by Albert Kavos, used seven different curtains. 

By the beginning of the restoration of the theater operated sliding curtain, in 1955, performed by Mikhail Petrovsky designed by National Artist of the USSR Fyodor Fedorovsky. The study curtain and backstage identified numerous defects. Fabrics were worn out, brush fringe and had a significant loss, and the elements in the design stage had no idea of ​​style and artistic unity. 

As part of the restoration project has been developed a comprehensive design of the portal scene. It was decided to reconstruct the original curtain rises, "Entry of Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow" as well as the basic sliding curtain with the words "Russia" designed by Theodore Feodor, transformed by artist Sergei Barkhin. 

Composition "Entry of Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow," recreated by two surviving documents: hand-painted engravings in 1859 and black-and-white archival photographs, stored in the Museum of the Bolshoi Theatre. Another source is the large painting of Alexander Hall Grand Kremlin Palace, executed the same in 1856. Restorers, it served as a model of style. 

Old curtain was sewn from several pieces of fabric. But now the web has become the perfect smoothness, as in the workshops was woven canvas width of 24 meters and a length of 17 meters. The curtain, which weighs over 700 pounds, was delivered to the site in a special cylindrical container. 

On the facade of the Bolshoi were a muse 

Images of music commissioned by the architect Albert Kavos, which restored the building of the Bolshoi Theatre, almost completely burned in the 1853 bomb exploded in 1941 at the walls of the theater of these sculptures are located in the front compartments of the Bolshoi, leaving nothing but splinters. Already in 1942 the sculptors Mitrofan Rukavishnikov and Sergei rings are made of plaster figures of new music, but they are very different from the original plan. 

During the current renovation and restoration of the Bolshoi decided to completely restore the historical appearance of the building. Therefore, the "Soviet" muses removed from the front and handed over to the museum theater. The group of authors led by sculptor Constantin Arabchikovym done extensive archival and survey work to restore the detailed shape of the Muses, that were installed on the facade in 1856 

Kept not too many pictures, which quite clearly see the shape music. According to the sculptors who participated this paper, vintage images allowed to catch only the general outlines of style sculptures and driving dynamics. So that each image created very carefully and held numerous discussions. 

The height of the recovered pieces up to 3.5 meters, weight - more than two tons. Each sculpture consists of seven elements of plaster. Part of the sculptures were strung on a metal frame, which was made in the XIX century. And then the master cemented them together and putty so that it was impossible to detect a single interface. In order to sculpture as long as possible retain their beauty, their special coated with primer and paint. 

Recreated sculpture had to be correlated with the size of niches, foreshortening of perception and overall stylistic architecture of the Bolshoi Theater, thereby connecting the historical authenticity and the author's interpretation. "Gestures", produced by the legs, draping tunics, "mimicry" sculptures - all caused a heated debate among restorers, art historians and artists. Of course there were some common ground. Thus, the muse of dance Terpsichore is often depicted with a lyre and plectrum in his hands. Muse of lyric poetry Erato's lyre in his hands always holds. But the way it should be more restrained and peaceful compared to the rather dynamic Terpsichore. Together, they must be unity of opposites and the harmony of diverse theatrical world. 

Each image was created in several stages. Initially developed and approved a paper sketch. Then created a small, 32-inches tall, model. At each stage going to the experts who evaluated the presented model. Also made proportional fitting. The models were inserted into the scaled niche in order to see how the sculpture will fit seamlessly into the space of the facade. Following the approval of the first models were created by the larger vosmidesyatisantimetrovye figures, allowing more clearly identify facial expressions and movements of future sculptures. 

Before a final version was the so-called fotoprimerka. To do this, models have been created a life-size sculptures installed in the niches for the visualization of the project. And only after that met the sculptors clay models height of 3,5 meters. 

The problem was in the fact that the sculptures should be in recess for about five meters high. Therefore, it was impossible to reproduce the shape of anatomical accuracy. Some elements had to be proportional to recycle - reduce or enlarge. Now sculptures created in this way that the viewer sees them from the bottom without any distortion. 

In the body of the Bolshoi Theatre was taken from Germany 

In a historic building of the Bolshoi Theater brought an organ from Germany. It was produced by special order, taking into account the architectural and acoustical features of the building. Like a musical instrument in the Great was not previously. 

The process of making the body very long and complicated - especially because all its parts are created manually. Big German authority will be equipped in 1819 with metal pipes, wooden pipes hundred thirty-one register and two keyboards. The total weight of the body, including furs and wraps, is eight tons. 

Most attention, of course, was paid to sound instrumenta.Tehnicheskoe task for the West's leading masters of organostroitelnoy "Glatter-Goetz 'has been developed jointly with a German company specializing in architectural acoustics," Mueller BBM "with the participation of Russian experts. Acoustics, and the designers decided together quite a challenge. Organ located in the upper scenic space, and the orchestra should sound for the audience as a whole. For this purpose a specially designed power sound body. It was considered even then, that during the stage action on the way to the auditorium will be hard and soft scenery. 

Pre-setting of organ pipes held in the studio. Final configuration tool specialists will be engaged immediately after the assembly tool. 

Authority of the Bolshoi Theater has the most complex system of controlling the game. Its main mechanical control (shpiltish) will be integrated into the instrument. Second E-shpiltish with which a musician can play remotely on a huge tool to be installed in the orchestra pit. 

Began the last stage of the desalination white stone pillars of the Bolshoi Theatre 

Began the last stage of the desalination technology pillar of the main facade of the Bolshoi Theatre, the official said contractor Director of Public Relations Investment Group "Capital Amount" Mikhail Sidorov. 

"These architectural elements remaining from the Big Petrovsky Theater, created Osip Bove to decorate the main facade of the building. Over the past nearly 200 years of white stone blocks that are composed of columns, received severe injuries. After a fire in 1853, Albert Kavos, restoring the theater, decided to install a miraculously preserved columns to pieces of birch bark, which should serve as a waterproofing. But over time, and this protection was no more. Moisture began to fall at the base of the columns and climb up the porous limestone. A few decades on the surface of the steel columns appear dark stains from salt and dirt, breaking into the column together with groundwater. These "wet" spots are clearly visible in old photographs beginning of the twentieth century ", - said Mikhail Sidorov. 

In 1941, the explosion of bombs columns have won numerous "injuries." Their surface was damaged by unsuccessful restorations, in which even the sand was used technology. 

To restore the column, the restorers took several years. Under their foundations were laid concrete blocks, which are now separate them from the ground and not allow groundwater to fall into the base of the columns. In order to rid the column of black salt stains, restoration for many months spent desalting white stone blocks. For this purpose, a white stone, imposed special formulations of cellulose and clay, which wrapped around the surface of the master column and a half to two weeks. To enhance the effect of compositions on top of their sheltering special film. Repeated application of these packs will significantly reduce the level of salt. The main stage of restoration work was completed in autumn 2010 then managed to return the stone to its original ivory. 

"To consolidate the results in 2011, the restorers decided to repeat the demineralization procedure for many years to ensure the preservation of the natural beauty of white stone," - said the official representative of the general contractor. 

In the auditorium of the Bolshoi Theater has begun installing seats 

"At the end of the XIX century, when the orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre set chairs, the capacity of the auditorium has 1740 seats up. It is this amount was specified in the" Yearbook of the Imperial Theatres, "published in 1895," - said the official representative of the general contractor of the Department of Communications Director Public investment group "Total Capital" Mikhail Sidorov. 

In Soviet times, the Bolshoi Theatre was not only the main theater of the country, but also the venue for major political events. Here were the Russian Congress of Soviets, meeting the All-Comintern Congress and meetings of the Moscow Soviet. It was in the building of the Bolshoi Theater in 1922 at the First All-Union Congress of Soviets was proclaimed the Soviet Union. Latitude party ranks required to increase the number of rows in the hall of the Bolshoi. The old chairs were replaced by other, more compact and narrow. Due to this capacity of the hall was the amount of seats in 2185. 

During the development of the project of reconstruction and restoration of the Bolshoi Theatre, it was decided to return to the historical number of seats. Placing chairs in the boxes on the experts studied the archives, including drawings by the artist Luigi Primatstsi, up photographer vosproizvedshego interiors of the Bolshoi Theatre in his famous album "Grand Theatre de Moscou ...". "Chairs will be more comfortable and increase the width of the side aisles, which, of course, ranked by the orchestra", - said Mikhail Sidorov. 

Furniture for the Bolshoi Theater is made up of modern materials, repeating exactly the appearance of the historic interior. Thus, for example, was completely reconstructed picture cloth chairs and armchairs. Model for the development of modern tissue fragments were the historical upholstery end of the XIX century, from the archives of the Bolshoi Theater and pieces of cloth found in the survey restorers interiors. 

"For the stuffing chairs and armchairs in the XIX century used horse hair and coconut. This gave the surface hardness, but to sit on this furniture was not very comfortable. Now, when recreating chairs and armchairs used modern fillers. And in order to comply with requirements for fire safety, all tissues of the Bolshoi Theatre cover impregnated, non-combustible material making, "- said Mikhail Sidorov. 

One of the main tasks of reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theater was the restoration of its legendary acoustics. The work of the masters, restoring the interiors of the auditorium, and the acoustics were closely intertwined. All restoration work carefully planned in conjunction with the German company "Mьller BBM" - a leader in the field of architectural acoustics, theatrical and concert halls. The experts of the company held regular acoustic surveys and provide technical advice to help adjust the course of rehabilitation. 

Even the furniture on a plan of experts should help to improve acoustics of the auditorium. Therefore, the composition and treatment of fabrics for chairs and armchairs, as well as harlequin pattern upholstery and additional lodges were consistent with the acoustics. 

Capacity of the auditorium will be increased. During a concert at the theater will be able to raise a platform orchestra pit to the level of the auditorium and install additional seats for her viewers. 

"It is helpful to recall that after the reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theater will be more convenient to attend the performances of spectators with disabilities. So for people with mobility impairments are provided in the apparatus twenty-six seats in the first row of the amphitheater. In the last row of the stalls are ten removable seats, that allows you to organize the six seats for wheelchair users. To accommodate the visually impaired in the first two ranks of the orchestra provides twenty places. programmok planned to print brochures and using a special Braille. To accommodate people with hearing disabilities will take twenty-eight in the second row of seats amphitheater. In the back seat is supposed to place the front row of information "scrolling", - said Mikhail Sidorov. 

Photo by Damir Yusupov

The underground concert hall set up-and-ground standpipe 

Concert hall for 330 spectators, will be located in new premises at the Bolshoi Theatre Square. The total floor area will be 326 square meters. m, the area of ​​the scene - 44.2 sq. km. m. Earlier this room at the theater was not. In order to see it, it was necessary to create space deep in the six floors. Except for the concert hall in the underground part of the theater will be located, technical, household and office space. With the creation of new underground spaces under the Theatre Square and the buildings in the scenic area of ​​the total area of ​​the theater has doubled - from 40 to 80 sq m. 

  Michael Ford (on contractor fitsialny Representative Director of Public Relations Investment Group "Capital Amount"): "In addition, the historic building will be connected to transitions from home Khomyakov auxiliary body and a new scene. Now the Bolshoi Theatre will become a huge theater complex, a of the world's largest, if not the largest. Underground Day concert hall will be used to separate and joint rehearsals the orchestra and chorus, and at night it will be held chamber concerts and entertainment. Available more so - now three stage on which to give performances and concerts at the same time. " 

The hall will set a unique technological system reliability which allows to apply it to ocean liners, where in terms pump mechanisms are constantly subject to all sorts of deviations from the horizontal and vertical planes. This system is widely used around the world and worked well. Devices of this type for many years working in many theaters of the world - Royal Danish Opera, Vienna Staatsoper in Berlin Komische opera, theater, Phoenix in the U.S., Olympia Theatre in Spain, the Cultural Center in Kyoto (Japan), etc. This mechanics was also used in creating various works designed for the Olympic Games in Beijing. 

Underground concert hall space is formed by five major and three support platforms (weighing over 20 tons). The central platform will be a scene is built and the two platforms to the left and right of it, depending on the immediate requirements form part of a scene, or the viewing area. The remaining two platforms form the space of the auditorium. Design decision stipulates that all platforms can climb up to the level of the lobby, creating a huge space for receptions. 

Installation of spectator seats will take a few minutes. Chairs, "collected" in 16 special capsules weighing about a ton. This is a huge wooden boxes on wheels that are fixed in place and when you press the turn of a few rows of seats. Thus, two people will be able to fully furnish the auditorium for a few minutes. 

Mikhail Sidorov: "I just finished assembling hoisting and standpipe platforms, and entered a phase of commissioning. After debugging platform will be covered with a special parquet floor, marble foyer repeating pattern. When the architects developed the interior of the hall, they sought to achieve stylistic unity with the historic halls of the Bolshoi Theater,   therefore, the elements of its decoration in common with the rest of the decoration of the theater. " 

Particular attention in the design of an underground concert and rehearsal hall devoted to acoustics. Space of the hall was designed in accordance with international standards of acoustic (single musicians play at least 30 cubic feet of space). During the rehearsal of the orchestra in the room can be accommodated up to 130 musicians, which is especially important when it comes to products designed for large orchestra - for example, Wagner and Strauss. 

Mikhail Sidorov, "Now go work on acoustic concert hall. After hall is located in the heart of Moscow, and only thirty meters from the metro station" Theatre. "Therefore, we are the company" Mьller BBM "- a leader in the field of acoustics and theatrical concert halls - very seriously approached the acoustic problems. It is a quality soundproofing will allow simultaneous concerts in the concert hall and underground performances at the stage of history. " 

Used in the underground space of up-and-standpipe hydraulic system will be silent. Operation of mechanical drive units and structures in the fixed positions of the stationary structures eliminates vibration and, therefore, possible scratches and other extraneous noises that might influence the perception of music. 

Mikhail Sidorov, "All the Bolshoi Theatre building meets the most stringent security requirements. In order to provide rapid evacuation of the concert hall, it was decided to create a direct access to the Theater Square, so that three hundred people will be able to leave the premises within a few minutes." 

"Hovering" soffit-bridges of the upper stage lighting 

In a historic building of the Bolshoi Theatre mounted spotlight-bridges of the upper stage lighting. 

"This is a steel lattice structures placed above the stage on a 25-meter height. The length of each soffit, the bridge is 15 meters, width - 1.2 meters Height - 3 meters, the mass of -19 tons. Soffit inside-bridges can be 15 control cabinets automation and electrical equipment. At the present time, all five soffit-mounted bridge design position "- official representative of the contractor director of the Department of Communications Investment Group" Capital Amount "Mikhail Sidorov. 

Overhead lighting the historical stage of the Bolshoi Theater will be created using a complex system of lighting devices with a remote control on the basis of modern computer designs. In order to accommodate all of the lighting system is required to mount in the space of ten scenic side sofitnyh towers, five bridges and two sofitnyh gantry tower. On the soffit-bridges will be located three to five sofitnyh farms, which, in turn, can be placed up to 32 different lighting and sound equipment. 

"A regular stage reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theatre. Such large and multi-ton design, as soffit-bridges, were brought into the building before builders began to restore the northern facade. A northern facade - it is the only part of the facade of the Bolshoi Theater, which undergoes renovation. It is now completed work on concreting sections of the walls and the facade of this zone. Work has already begun work on the device panel of fiber-reinforced concrete ", - said Mikhail Sidorov. 

Recall, according to the architect's plan, the north facade will be an important technological component of the theater. Design decisions provides an automated unloading and loading of containers with decorations on his part. To do so would be equipped with special gates in a front wall 14 and a length of 5 meters high. From the northern facade will also be located warehouses for storage of containers with scenery for the performances of this repertoire. To lift these decorations provided by the use of special cargo area - the so-called "back lift", whose mass is 40 tons, and height - 12 meters. With it, the scenery will be raised to the level of arerstseny and delivered to the stage space. At the same device in the theater will come from the warehouse bulk containers of scenery, which is located under Kopevskim lane, and with an industrial-warehouse complex on the street Plekhanov. 

The auditorium began to shine! 

Completed gilded decorative elements of the auditorium of the historical building of the Bolshoi Theatre, made of papier-mache. Restorers 893 square meters of gilded stucco decoration of the auditorium. Decor made from papier-mache was covered with sheets of gold leaf 960-th sample. The thickness of the leaves varied in the range 0.1-0.25 microns, that is, in any case, each sheet was much thinner than a human hair. A total of gilding the auditorium went about four and a half pounds, or, more precisely, 2812 books of gold. 

Used for gilding the old technology, almost lost in the Soviet era. So gather artists who own unique technologies, had to literally all over the country. A team of restorers of 163 volume elements covered in gold "for polyment" and for the background image used by gold-plating "on gulfarbu." Game gloss and matte foundation gave additional molding capacity and convexity, the figure was again ripped and vivid. 

The decor of the auditorium has been restored in the form in which it was originally conceived Albert Kavos. Each stage of the Bolshoi Theater has its own unique pattern. The lower tier, the thicker its relief decoration, built from elements of the architecture of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo. The decor incorporates the ancient motif of acanthus leaf, rocaille, cartouches, fancy weave Byzantine ornament. Therefore, most decorative elements applied to the most complicated (the fourth) type of gilding work. 

"Not only are the tiers differ from each other. Even one report - repeating pattern decor on the tiers and boxes - unique. In the figure there is no monotonous repetition, according to the restorers, he seemed to live as if dancing. Therefore, the master was so concerned for him and - as a living creature, and put all his skill and craftsmanship to give the decor a new "golden" life "- official representative of the contractor director of the Department of Communications Investment Group" Capital Amount "Mikhail Sidorov. 

Upon completion of gilding in the audience began the final stage of restoration work. The wizard will start sanding floors and painting them with varnish first, and then begin preparing to install seats."Chairs were made specially to order the Bolshoi Theater in Italy. And now we are waiting for their delivery", - said Mikhail Sidorov. 

After the reconstruction will be much easier to visit the Bolshoi Theater for spectators with disabilities 

"Great theater is part of the cultural life of all citizens of our country. That's why the reconstruction project was designed to meet the needs of different categories of persons with disabilities. Have been developed special measures to ensure maximum comfort for people with damage to the musculoskeletal system, visually impaired, hearing and representatives of the low mobile groups "- official representative of the contractor director of the Department of Communications Investment Group" Capital Amount "Mikhail Sidorov. 

Planned unit ramps at appropriate places. Pavement and sidewalks will provide a seamless travel on the route of citizens with disabilities to entrances to the building of the theater. Log of the audience is carried out both through the three main entrance under the colonnade, and from Petrovka Street and Schepkinskogo travel. In the cold season for the disabled, moving chairs, a separate entrance leading into the lobby, where is designed to lift them to descend into the wardrobe. 

All   premises of the theater (the theater auditorium, foyer, dressing rooms, cupboards, closets, smoking rooms) will be available for low mobile populations. For the convenience of movement and evacuation of these populations, in addition to stairs, ramps are provided, lifts and inclined elevators. So, with that level where the wardrobe, you can climb to the level of the orchestra and an amphitheater auditorium. The underground space also is a group of elevators and escalators. 

For persons with impaired locomotor in the audience included twenty-six a front row seat amphitheater. In the last row of the stalls are ten removable seat that allows you to organize the six seats for the disabled, moving on wheelchairs. Twenty-two seats in the front ranks of the orchestra provides accommodation for persons with impaired vision. It is also assumed that the printing of the theater will produce additional copies of brochures and items can by using a special Braille. 

To accommodate people with hearing disabilities will be given twenty-eight in the second row of seats amphitheater. In the backside of the front row of seats will be located the information "scrolling".Also in the theater will create a wireless system of individual sound amplification. 

"The project provides for universal design, adaptable to the needs of people with disabilities. The project of reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theatre, we have tried to contribute to the establishment in the territory of our country more accessible environment for low mobile populations," - said Mikhail Sidorov. 

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