The Biggest Russian Theatre
‘Opera and Ballet Theatre is the biggest theatre in Russia’. This is how I often start the sightseeing tour of the city center. When I say ‘the biggest’ I really mean it. This is the biggest theatre building in my country, but not the most well-known one. Nealy everyone has heard of the Bolshoy Theatre in Moscow or the Maryinsky in St.Petersburg, but not many people know something about the Opera House in Novosibirsk.
Here is just the short list of the technical parameters of the building:
Quantity of seats:
- Grand Hall 1762 seats. 6 seats for invalids, 6 seats for attendants
- Concert Hall – 375 seats
- Rehearsal Hall (Upper stage) – 130 seats
Grand Hall (after reconstruction):
- stage depth – 30m, height of fly tower – 36m, width of acting area – 24m, proscenium opening – 18/20m
- height up to flyloft – 29,5m
- height up to fly facilities – 29m
- depth of understage – 3,46m
- forestage: depth – 3m, width – 22m
- rear stage: depth – 9m, width – 20m
The building is a real architectural masterpiece, though many say that it cannot be called beautiful. It is big, massive and impressive, and it is a typical Soviet, Stalin-style building, which perfectly makes a perfect match with the rest of the city.
Besides, it is one of very few opera and ballet theatres in Siberia. The next opera and ballet house is in Krasnoyarsk, which is nearly 1000 km to the East of Novosibirsk. It makes people from smaller Siberia cities and town like Barnaul, Tomsk, Biysk, etc, organize special tours to Novosibirsk with the only purpose — a visit to our Opera and Ballet Theatre.
There are many mysteries connected with and caused by the theatre. They say there are complex and deep underground passageways under the theatre. What is certain is that there are really 4 levels under the great hall, where costumes are sawn and kept and where stage scenery is manufactured, If there is something else under the building, is unclear and not known to ordinary people.
Impressive is the chandelier in the grand hall. Its weight is about 2 tons, and before the reconstruction nearly 12 hours were needed to put it down to do cleaning or replacement of lamps. Now it can go up and down within 10 minites, though its weight remained the same.
One more thing which is certain is that at the beginning of the construction the theatre was planned as a house of culture and science, and it was planned to unite a theatre, a circus and a planetarium under one roof, and the circus had to have a possibility for water performances. It turned out that it was impossible to construct something like that, and an ‘ordinary’ theatre was built, though of coirse it is not at all ordinary.
The description of the theatre can be very long, but I just recommend to visit it if you come to Novosibirsk. Or you can read further information at the theatre web site here: http://www.opera-novosibirsk.ru/index.php
And of course I have some pictures for you. Enjoy reading and watching!