BOLSHOI BALLET BELARUS
The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus was founded in 1933 as the State Opera and Ballet Theatre of Belarus on the basis of the Belarusian Opera and Ballet Studio. In 1940 it became Bolshoi, and in 1964 the theatre received the title of academic.
The history of the theatre began in the 1920s on the stage of the first State Drama Theatre which was comprised of the opera and ballet companies, chorus, and quite a small symphony orchestra. Various musicals and drama performances, fragments from operas and ballets were staged, and folk music was played there. At that time future stars of Belarusian opera and ballet studied at music colleges in Minsk, Vitebsk, and Gomel, including the State Opera and Ballet Studio which was opened in 1930 and headed by Anton Bonachich, an outstanding Russian singer who appeared with Feodor Chaliapin at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
For three years a galaxy of professional artists were trained at the studio, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel (1931) and Georges Bizet’s Carmen (1932) were staged.