In Moscow, music lovers have long been loved. Therefore, long before the opening of the Imperial Bolshoi Theater, the rich noblemen created home theaters in their estates, where their own serf actors played. Representations could begin to dawn and lasted until darkness, until the host and his guests were satisfied with the play of the talented serfs. And if someone in the heat of a very praised an episode, he could repeat, playing anew the whole scene. After all, these were private theaters, and everything in them was simple.
Under Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, actors’ troupes from serfs were especially fashionable. In Russia, the very word “theater” did not yet exist, calling the Melpomene’s temple “comedic groom”, but connoisseurs of theatrical art
The actors were taught by foreign teachers, many talented singers, dramatic artists. They were sent to study abroad. There are also sad stories from the life of serf talents that could be sold, exchanged, forced to marry or marry. The leading figures of Russian culture protested against the cruel treatment of serf artists.
Occasionally an Italian opera would come to Moscow from afar, and then the Russian musical troupe, which was created at the Moscow University, again performed. But Muscovites dreamed of a permanent theater.
In 1775, Prince Peter Urusov decided to organize a permanent Russian theater. At first he submitted to the Empress Catherine II a petition for the issuance of a privilege to him for the maintenance of the theater in Moscow, and only then began to create it.
The foundation day of the Bolshoi Theater is March 28, 1776. On this day in the wooden hall was given the first performance. At first the theater was located in a house, hastily attached to the palace of one of the Moscow aristocrats. But the success of the troupe was so great that Urusov built a large stone building for her. However, the new premises of the theater soon burned down.
Since the foundation of the theater until 1856, fires have been so frequent in it that it had to be rebuilt more than once. The building, which now houses the Bolshoi Theater, was restored in 1825 according to the project of the famous Carlo Rossi and in 1856 it was rebuilt for the last time after another fire.