The reconstruction and refurbishment of the Bolshoi Theatre Main stage was a colossal project. The Theatre building has long been seen as one of Russia’s symbols but unfortunately decades of neglect had left the theatre in a desperate condition, with more than 75% unstable and making its restoration a matter of urgency.
The Italian fabric house, Rubelli, was commissioned in 2007 to provide all the textiles for its restoration. These included damask for the boxes, the rooms behind the boxes and pelmets, and a brocatelle for the drapes and walls, both in red, as well as two types of flame-retardant velvet.
A close look at the gold damask
The grand centrepiece of Rubelli’s contribution is the three curtains for the main Bolshoi stage which required two years to research, design and produce. The original curtain’s main design was retained but communistic iconography was replaced with the double-headed Tsarist Imperial eagle, Saint George and the Dragon and the word “Russia” in Cyrillic letters.
A man is dwarfed by the stage curtains
Here are some amazing statistics about the stage curtains:
12,000 metres fabric
1,200 metres gold fabric
500kg of pure gold yarn
900kg is the total weight of the main stage curtain