Watch the Bolshoi online for the first time in its history

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Swan Lake Bolshoi

The Bolshoi Theatre is broadcasting opera and ballet performances on YouTube.

If there is any good to be had from this pandemic, it is witnessing the extraordinary adaptability and speed of arts organisations and the benefits to audiences. We might be shut out of live performances in theatres, but we can watch an amazing amount of dance online that previously weren’t accessible. 

One example is the Bolshoi Theater, which for the first time in history is going digital. From Friday it began presenting some of its most popular opera and ballet performances, also known as the “Golden Collection,” on its official YouTube channel, allowing viewers around the world to tune in. 

A total of six performances are being shown, with Swan Lake already having been presented. While all performances have been prerecorded, fans will feel the excitement and feeling of opening night by tuning in to watch each broadcast using YouTube’s Premiere feature. For fans who are unable to watch in real time, each performance will be available on demand for 24 hours after its initial broadcast.

“Our country, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a very difficult time” said Vladmire Urin, General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre. “We’ve never faced this type of situation before and since we had to close the theater we didn’t want to lose our connection with our audience. Theatre is deeply moving and is a rich experience, and although we cannot perform in front of live audiences, we’re excited to share our performances digitally. It’s been a lot of hard work on our part to make this happen, but we hope these performances will lift peoples spirits and support the well-being of all who tune into the Bolshoi.” 

Each performance will premiere at 7 p.m. Moscow time. Viewers who subscribe to the channel will receive an alert and will be able to participate in a live chat for the performance. The comments section will also remain open after each performance so viewers can discuss upcoming shows. Next up is on Marco Spada (2014) on April 4 followed by The Nutcracker (2011) April 10.

Tune in via

Pictured: the Bolshoi's Svetlana Zakharova.


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